Northern Ireland news

UVF men were arrested over Gerard and Rory Cairns murder

Former loyalist killer Billy Wright
Connla Young

Killer Billy Wright was one of nine loyalists questioned about the murders of Gerard and Rory Cairns.

Fellow UVF men Mark Fulton and Robin Jackson were also arrested and questioned but later released without charge.

During the Troubles several sectarian attacks were carried out against the Catholic community in the wider Bleary area.

The remains of nine victims, including the Cairns’ brothers, are interred in the small graveyard adjacent to nearby St Colman’s Church in Clare.

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After the murders of his sons Eamon Cairns saw a photograph of Wright and identified him as the man he had seen in the area prior to the attack.

He said that police later attempted to dismiss an eyewitness who said he saw RUC officers attempting to speak to Billy Wright a short distance from the murder scene before the attack.

Mr Cairns said he also saw former UVF man Lindsay Robb in the area before the murders.

In a 2007 report then Police Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan said she could find no evidence of collusion.

However, the Cairns family continue to suspect collusion in the case.

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