Police Ombudsman to probe 1992 Peter McCormack murder

Peter McCormack was shot dead at the Thierafurth Inn, Kilcoo, Co Down, by the UVF in November 1992
Peter McCormack was shot dead at the Thierafurth Inn, Kilcoo, Co Down, by the UVF in November 1992

THE Police Ombudsman's Office is to investigate the circumstances surrounding the UVF murder of a Catholic man in Co Down more than two decades ago.

A spokesman confirmed on Tuesday night that “issues related” to the 1992 gun attack at the Thierafurth Inn in Kilcoo which claimed the life of Peter McCormack (42) will now be probed.

He was shot dead when UVF gunmen burst into the bar and sprayed customers with gunfire. Several others were injured.

News of the investigation comes after the attack was referred to in a Police Ombudsman’s report into the 1994 Loughinisland atrocity which was published earlier this year.

It is understood the ombudsman’s office has received several complaints about incidents referred to in the report.

A cousin of Mr McCormack, Peter McCarthy, whose family owned the pub, only learned of a loyalist plot to kill him when he read the report.

One of the Thierafurth Inn suspects was a UDR member known as Person A.

He was arrested by police investigating the Loughinisland murders in August 1994 after an arms find near Saintfield in Co Down.

He and another UVF man known as Person K were stopped at a security force checkpoint in Ballynahinch and allowed to continue their journey on the night of the murder.

Gavin Booth, who represents Mr McCormack's family, welcomed the investigation which he said he hoped would be "prompt and efficient".

“Some of those attacked that night are no longer with us.

“Like many victims, time is passing and there are unanswered questions.”

A spokesman for the Police Ombudsman said: “We have received a number of complaints about the circumstances surrounding the attack on the Thierafurth Inn in 1992, which resulted in the death of Peter McCormack and injuries to others.

"The Police Ombudsman has now determined that there are issues related to this attack which will be the subject of further investigation by this office.”