Northern Ireland

Call for full disclosure after MI5 linked to Tyrone killings

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

THERE have been calls for “proper disclosure” on the role of the state after MI5 was linked to the murders of four men – including three IRA members – in Co Tyrone almost three decades ago.

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.

The attack was later claimed by the UVF.

Details of possible MI5 involvement were revealed yesterday in The Irish News.

They are contained in a draft Historical Enquiries Team report recently handed over to relatives of those killed.

The report also reveals that three part-time members of the UDR were among four suspects arrested in December 1991.

The report also shows that intelligence obtained at the time suggested that the three UDR men were also suspected in other murders.

They were all released without charge.

The document details how two separate reviews into the murders have been carried out – with one of them focusing on the 'security service', which is another name for MI5.

A joint RUC and British army review carried out in 1991 examined intelligence relating to several murders and attempted murders “as a result of raised concerns of security service collusion in east Tyrone” between 1988 and 1991.

The report also confirms that “two members of the Portadown UVF” were arrested on the night of the attack while travelling along the Moy Road from Portadown. Both men were later released.

It was later reported that one of the men was then UVF commander Billy Wright.

Mid Ulster independent councillor Barry Monteith said the revelations in the draft report “been well known for many years”.

“The reality is the full weight of the British war machine was unleashed in east Tyrone,” he said.

Sinn Féin justice spokeswoman Linda Dillon last night said: "There needs to be full and proper disclosure on the British state’s involvement in these killings."