Northern Ireland news

Boyle's Bar victims' relatives were told UDR man was suspect

Clockwise from top, Boyle's Bar victims Dwayne O'Donnell, Malcolm Nugent, John Quinn and Tommy Armstrong
Connla Young

RELATIVES of IRA men killed by loyalists in Co Tyrone were told that a named member of the UDR was a suspect.

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 in March 1991.

The three IRA members were shot as they pulled up in a car outside the pub as loyalist gunmen prepared to mount an attack.

Seconds later Mr Armstrong was killed as he stood in the bar after one of the gunmen opened fire through a toilet window.

It has emerged that the now-defunct Historical Enquiries Team (HET) provided relatives with the name of a UDR member who was one of several suspects arrested in connection with the attack.

No-one has ever been charged.

The details are contained in minutes of a 2012 meeting involving relatives and HET representatives.

The officials also revealed that former UVF and LVF leader Billy Wright and another man were detained.

Wright was shot dead by the INLA inside the H-Blocks in December 1997.

Dwayne O’Donnell’s mother Briege O’Donnell said relatives engaged with the HET over a seven-year period.

"After meeting with them on several occasions we were provided with verbal updates and were promised details about the murder of our loved ones," she said.

"We were informed at these meetings that a report had been drafted, however they couldn’t share it with us as there was evidence of thematic collusion."

Malcolm Nugent’s sister Siobhan Nugent said: “It is unfortunate that families have to continue to battle for the truth but rest assured we are on a journey that will not stop until we get the truth - until we can stand proud and say that out family members were murdered by the state and their proxies.”

Solicitor Peter Corrigan, of Phoenix Law, said the Boyle’s Bar case was later referred to a special unit in the HET that dealt with collusion.

He added that relatives are seeking a copy of a report into the murder and an investigation into “all the elements of collusion in the case”.

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