PSNI to examine book on 1988 IRA murder of RUC man

RUC constable John Larmour was shot dead at an ice-cream parlour on the Lisburn Road in south Belfast in 1988
Brendan Hughes

POLICE say they will "study the contents" of a new book by the family of a murdered RUC officer amid claims that the killing was not properly investigated to protect an IRA informer.

Constable John Larmour was off-duty and helping out at his brother's ice-cream parlour in south Belfast when he was shot dead by the IRA in 1988.

His brother George this week published a book, They Killed The Ice Cream Man, on the family's long search for answers about the killing.

The book reveals how one of the guns used in the shooting is today being used by German police in the training of new recruits.

Constable Larmour's son Gavin, who was just 13 years old when his father was murdered, believes the killing was not properly investigated to protect a high-level republican informer.

He claimed the gunman was recruited as a police agent after detectives presented him with evidence that would have led to his conviction for the murder.

Mr Larmour named the senior Provisional, who sat on the IRA army council in the 1990s and is a former Belfast Brigade commander, that he believes was involved.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph the 41 year-old alleged the Police Ombudsman's office is delaying publication of a report into his father's death because it could be politically explosive.

The ombudsman however has said the report will be published later this year.

One of the guns, a Browning 9mm, used in the attack on Barnam's World of Ice Cream on Belfast's Lisburn Road in October 1988, belonged to Corporal Derek Wood.

He was murdered by the Provos alongside Corporal David Howes after they mistakenly drove into the path of an IRA funeral in March 1988. Their weapons were taken by the IRA during the attack.

A second gun used in the attack was identical to a gun used by loyalist killer Michael Stone when he ambushed the funeral of three IRA members shot by the SAS in Gibraltar.

George Larmour has questioned why the now disbanded Historical Enquiries Team (HET) did not recover the Browning from Germany to see if it could be used for evidential purposes.

In a statement the PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said HET examined whether the gun should have been returned to Northern Ireland but "it was not regarded as having credible evidential opportunities."

"That said, the PSNI understands why Mr Larmour has made this request and is amenable to consider whether there is an avenue to bring this weapon back to the UK and return it to the MoD [Ministry of Defence]."

He added: "PSNI will also study the contents of Mr Larmour's book. As in all cases, any new credible evidence will be pursued."

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