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Cappagh relatives launch legal action to force independent probe into killings

Pacemaker Archive Belfast.Scene of the shooting by the UVF of four men in Boyles Bar Cappagh Co Tyrone..153-91-BW.
Connla Young

RELATIVES of four men killed in a loyalist gun attack in Co Tyrone, believed to have involved collusion, have launched legal action to force an independent investigation.

Republicans Malcolm Nugent (20), Dwayne O’Donnell (17) and John Quinn (23) were shot dead along with civilian Thomas Armstrong (52) at Boyle’s Bar in Cappagh on March 3, 1991.

Three members of UDR were arrested and questioned about the attack, which was later claimed by the UVF.

New information about the gun attack was revealed in a draft Historical Enquiries Team (HET) given to families by the PSNI earlier this year.

The document also reveals that two separate reviews into the murders have been carried out - including one focusing on 'the security service', which is another name for MI5.

The HET report, which was focused on the murder of Dwayne O’Donnell, reveals that in December 1991 three part-time members of the UDR were among four suspects arrested.

A fourth man, a relative of one of the UDR men, was also detained.'

Tommy Armstrong was one of four men shot dead by loyalists at Boyle's Bar Cappagh Co Tyrone in 1991

The report said that intelligence was later received naming the three men as being responsible for Mr O’Donnell’s murder.

It also claims the UDR men “were also named as responsible for other murders”.

All those arrested were later released without charge.

Malcom Nudgent

Two reviews into the murders were carried out in 1991 and 2002.

In 1991 a joint British army and RUC team examined intelligence relating to several murders and attempted murders “as a result of raised concerns of security service collusion in east Tyrone”.

No details have been given about a second review carried out in 2002.

The HET report reveals that "two members of the Portadown UVF" were arrested on the night of the attack at a checkpoint on the Moy Road, from Portadown and later released.

One of the two was believed to be then UVF commander Billy Wright.

John Quinn

A judicial review has now been launched by a brother of Tommy Armstrong “in the matter of decisions and failures” by the chief constable of the PSNI.

The family's solicitor Gavin Booth last night said that relatives believe that the case warrants an independent investigation.

“We are seeking a fresh independent investigation into the events of not only Cappagh but the whole Mid Ulster series,” he said.

“Unfortunately we have been forced to go to court to seek this.”

Dwayne O'Donnell

“Following confirmation that members of the UDR were involved there is a basis for a fresh independent investigation.”

A spokesman for the PSNI said: “Due to pending legal action it would not be appropriate for police to comment on this case.”

Pacemaker Archive Belfast.Scene of the shooting by the UVF of four men in Boyles Bar Cappagh Co Tyrone..153-91-BW.

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