Northern Ireland news

Teebane victim's daughter demands informer investigation

The scene of the 1992 Teebane massacre in which eight Protestant workmen died when their minibus was blown up in a land mine at Teebane crossroads in Co Tyrone
Seamus McKinney

THE daughter of a victim of the 1992 Teebane massacre has called on Secretary of State Theresa Villiers to take action over claims that innocent lives were sacrificed to protect informers.

Diane Allen said Irish News revelations that the Shankill bombing the following year might have been stopped echoed the case of her father.

Eight Protestant workmen were killed when the IRA bombed a minibus at Teebane in Co Tyrone on January 17 1992. The men were returning home after working at a British army barracks in Omagh.

Two years ago, a Co Tyrone businessman said he told police in advance of the attack that the Provisional IRA intended targeting the workers.

The Protestant said he was given the information by Catholic neighbours who did not wish to deal directly with the RUC.

He asked the Police Ombudsman to investigate his belief that the Teebane killings were allowed to happen to protect a police informer.

However, last year Ombudsman Michael Maguire told the families the allegation may not be investigated until 2025 because of financial constraints.

Ms Allen – whose father Cecil Caldwell was one of those killed – has now called on Ms Villiers to intervene directly in the case.

In a letter to the Secretary of State on Wednesday, she said she believes the British government let her family down.

“My father was murdered by terrorists at Teebane in 1992 and 24 years on we feel we haven’t received the truth.

“We hold an anniversary service ever year. I watch my mother fall to pieces and the stress it has put on our family life as we remember my father and seven other workmen.”

The Co Tyrone woman said Dr Maguire’s inability to investigate the businessman’s claims is blocking the truth coming out.

“The legacy of the past needs to be dealt with for all families, Protestant or Catholic. Please can you assure me that we will find out the truth sooner rather than later,” Ms Allen said.

The businessman also told the Irish News he was determined that the truth would be revealed.

He called on the other Teebane families to support Ms Allen in her campaign to have a full investigation into the RUC's actions.

“The Shankill situation is further proof that my fears about protecting informers are justified,” he said.

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