Northern Ireland news

Taoiseach Micheál Martin to meet relatives of people killed by Glenanne Gang

Taoiseach Micheál Martin is to meet with relatives of people killed by the Glenanne Gang
Connla Young

TAOISEACH Micheál Martin has said he will meet with relatives of people killed by the Glenanne Gang.

The Fianna Fáil leader was speaking after the discovery of a gun close to where some victims were killed was raised in the Dáil by Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín.

The PSNI initially said it had no record of the weapon and ammunition found by workmen at a house near Moy on Easter Monday but later confirmed they had been located in an Armagh police station.

Tests are being carried out.

The gun, believed to be a .38 revolver along with 200 rounds of ammunition, was discovered close to where SDLP activist Denis Mullen was shot dead by the Glenanne Gang in September 1975 in front of his young daughter Denise Mullen, who is now an Aontú councillor in Mid Ulster.

The Glenanne Gang included members of the RUC, UDR and UVF and is believed to have been responsible for around 120 murders.

Raising the gun find in the Dáil this week, Mr Tóibín said he has asked three taoisigh, including Mr Martin, to meet relatives of those killed by the gang without success.

However, he accepted that the pandemic had impacted on Mr Martin's ability to meet families.

Mr Martin later said he is willing to have a meeting.

"I will meet with the victims and families on the actions of the Glenanne group," he said.

"If we can arrange that I will certainly facilitate that.

"I have met some in opposition, but in a different context."

The taoiseach said he was not aware of the specifics of the gun find.

"I do think on a broader point... it is important given all that has been achieved in relation to policing in Northern Ireland that we continue to support the PSNI and express confidence in the PSNI in its capacity to police fairly and impartially," he added.

In 2016 the PSNI said it had “no knowledge” of a similar find by workmen at a property in the Tamnamore area of Co Tyrone.

It later confirmed that a gun and ammunition had been discovered.

In 2018 police said ballistics tests had been carried out on the weapon and “it is not being linked to any known incident or crime at this time”.

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