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Northern Ireland news

Loughinisland massacre: Killing of six Catholic men among worst atrocities of Troubles

The six men killed in Loughinisland were, from top left, Adrian Rogan, Barney Green and Dan McCreanor and (from bottom left) Eamon Byrne, Malcolm Jenkinson and Patsy O'Hare

THE massacre of six Catholic men in a Co Down bar 23 years ago was among the worst atrocities of the Troubles.

UVF gunmen opened fire at the Heights Bar in Loughinisland, Co Down as their victims were watching the Republic of Ireland football team play in a World Cup match in June 1994.

The men who died were Adrian Rogan (34), Malcolm Jenkinson (53), Barney Green (87), Daniel McCreanor (59), Patrick O'Hare (35) and Eamon Byrne (39).

Five others were wounded.

No-one has ever been charged with the murders and the victims' families have fought a long campaign for justice amid claims that police colluded with the killers.

Read more: Wife of suspected Loughinisland gunman 'gave his name to police'

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Relatives were strongly critical of a Police Ombudsman's investigation published in 2011.

The controversial report by then ombudsman Al Hutchinson found no evidence of collusion between police and the UVF gang in two specific areas of his inquiries.

And he found insufficient evidence of collusion surrounding the getaway car used in the murders.

His findings provoked outrage and the police response to the atrocity was later re-investigated by the Ombudsman's office.

In a second report published in June last year, ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire found collusion was a significant feature in the murders.

He said there was no evidence police had prior knowledge of the attack, but identified "catastrophic failings" in the investigation.

One of the suspects in the attack was an informer, according to the findings. The ombudsman also found that two of the weapons used in the attack were part of a shipment brought into Northern Ireland with the involvement of police informers who were at the highest "echelons" within loyalism.

Police were also said to have been aware of a UVF gang operating in south Down and involved in previous murders.

The report said that if they had been properly investigated that gang could have been brought to justice and may not have been involved in the Loughinisland attack.

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