Northern Ireland

Second ex-RUC officer will not to be prosecuted over Glenanne Gang-linked killings

UVF gang which also included RUC officers and UDR soldiers killed around 120 people

Brian (22), John Martin (24) and Anthony Reavey (17) were shot in their home by a loyalist gang in 1976. The two older brothers died at the scene while Anthony died weeks later 
Brian (22), John Martin (24) and Anthony Reavey (17) were shot in their home by a loyalist gang in 1976. The two older brothers died at the scene while Anthony died weeks later

A former RUC officer linked to four murders and a series of loyalist bomb attacks carried out by the notorious Glenanne gang will not be prosecuted.

Known as Officer C, the former policeman was reported to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) in connection with the murders of the Reavey brothers and another man in south Armagh almost 50 years ago.

The Glenanne gang, which is believed to have killed around 120 people, included members of the RUC, UDR and UVF.

Its activities are currently being reviewed by Operation Kenova.

Brothers John Martin Reavey (24) and Brian (22) were shot dead at their Whitecross home on January 4, 1976.

A third brother, Anthony (17), died several weeks later from his injuries.

The ex-RUC man was also reported in connection with the murder of Thomas McNamee as a result of an explosion at McArdle’s Bar in Crossmaglen on November 29, 1974.

He died almost a year later from his injuries.

Officer C was also reported for alleged involvement in several other incidents including an attack at the Rock Bar, Keady, Co Armagh in June 1976, a bomb attack on Tully’s Bar, Belleeks, Co Armagh, in May the same year and conspiracy to cause an explosion at Short’s Bar Crossmaglen, Co Armagh, in November 1974.

The PPS issued a no prosecution decision after an investigation file was submitted by the Police Ombudsman.

In February the PPS also confirmed that another former RUC man, known as Officer A, would not be prosecuted in relation to the murders of ten people, including the Reavey brothers and Mr McNamee.

Eugene Reavey

Eugene Reavey, who has campaigned on behalf of his siblings, said he will not give up.

“This kind of news only seeks to put salt in the wounds after all these years,” he said.

“I have been fighting for over four decades for justice for my brothers and I do not intend on giving up now.”

Mr Reavey said he will seek a review of the PPS decision.

“Time after time, the British government has put obstacles in our way with one aim - to stop their own police officers in the dock,” he said.

“This decision is no different and I intend on urgently seeking a review of this decision.”

Darragh Mackin, of Phoenix Law, said: ““It is difficult to comprehend how suspects who have openly made admissions can somehow be saved from prosecution.

“Irrespective of the context of the admission, it is exactly that, it is tantamount to a confession to involvement in an offence.

“With this in mind, we have been instructed to ask for an urgent review.”

A spokeswoman for the PPS said it has now concluded that the “the available evidence is insufficient to provide a reasonable prospect of obtaining a conviction of Officer C for any offence”.

“The reasons for the decision in this case related to a lack of sufficient admissible evidence to establish the officer as having been involved in specific incidents,” she added.