Northern Ireland

Attorney General set to rule on call for fresh inquest into British army killing of 'New Lodge Six'

The New Lodge Six
The New Lodge Six

THE Attorney General is set to decide whether there should be a new inquest into the British army killing of six Catholic men nearly 50 years ago.

The victims, known as the New Lodge Six, died during two separate shooting incidents in north Belfast overnight between February 3 and 4 1973.

Three of the men were members of the IRA but were not involved in republican activities at the time.

It is suspected by some that the British army's undercover Military Research Force may have been involved in killing two of the men, IRA members James Sloan (19) and James McCann (19).

Another IRA man, Tony Campbell (19), was shot dead a short time later along with three other local men, John Loughran (35), Brendan Maguire (32), and Ambrose Hardy (26).

A short commemoration video was posted online last night.

The anniversary event took place just days before Attorney General Brenda King is expected to rule on whether there should be a new inquest.

In 2017 former Attorney General John Larkin was asked to a direct a fresh inquest into the killings.

In September 2018 he said he would not order a new inquest but the Director of Public Prosecutions should direct that the Chief Constable of the PSNI investigate the case.

In February last year the PPS declined that request.

Fresh submissions were later made to Ms King and she is expected to rule in the case next week.

Mike Ritchie from Relatives for Justice said "this is a very serious case and needs to be looked at".

"This reinforces the petition by 3,500 people in the last couple of weeks for the implementation of the Stormont House Agreement," he added.