No Stone Unturned: Suspected Loughinisland gunman named

 Ronald Hawthorne was filmed by a private detective as part of the documentary No Stone Unturned
John Monaghan and Claire Simpson

THIS is the loyalist who has been named by a major documentary as a suspected gunman in the Loughinisland massacre.

Ronald Hawthorne was arrested following the 1994 atrocity but has never been charged.

He has been named for the first time in No Stone Unturned, which had its first screening in Northern Ireland this week.

The documentary, by Oscar-winning film maker Alex Gibney, goes on general release next Friday.

Hawthorne could not be reached for comment and did not appear to be at his detached home in the Clough area of Co Down yesterday when The Irish News called.

A shopping bag was hanging on security gates beside an intercom at the front of the property and the blinds were drawn.

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Six Catholic men were killed in the Heights Bar in June 1994 after UVF gunmen burst in while they were watching the Republic of Ireland play Italy in the World Cup.

The documentary also names Gorman McMullan, from Belfast, as the suspected driver of the getaway car and Hawthorne’s wife Hilary as allegedly implicating herself around the planning of the attack.

Hilary Hawthorne is said to have named her husband among the suspects in two calls to an anonymous phone line. The film also said she named the three men allegedly involved in the attack in an anonymous letter to a local SDLP councillor.

No Stone Unturned suggests that police recognised her voice because she was an employee at an RUC station.

It is understood that the Hawthornes remain a couple and have been involved in a cleaning and pest control business together.

A private detective was hired to take photographs of the Hawthornes who were described by victims as “locals” to the area.

The documentary also names the suspected second gunman, who is believed to have left Northern Ireland in the late 1990s and lives in England.

The filmmakers put all the allegations to the suspects and made them aware of the broadcast, but did not receive a response.

The home near Clough, Co Down of Ronald and Hilary Hawthorne

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