A DAMNING REPORT has found that significant collusion took place between security services and paramilitaries before a gun attack on a bar that saw six men shot dead.
On 18 June 1994, a group of Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) members burst into the The Heights Bar in Loughinisland, Co Down and opened fire on a group of people watching the Republic of Ireland play Italy in the USA ’94 World Cup.
Today, the Police Ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire has published a report which has found that “collusion was a significant feature of the Loughinisland murders”.
To date, no one has ever been convicted in connection with the killings.
It is shown that one of the initial suspects for the crime was an RUC informant, and that the investigation into the getaway car and the people connected to it had been insufficient.
The last registered keeper of the car was a prominent member of the UDA, and the poor follow up is attributed to the “the relationship between this person and two police officers in particular”.
On the point of senior RUC officers failing to push UVF sources about the murder, Dr Maguire said:
“I have found no evidence that sources were tasked with gathering specific information that could have assisted the murder investigation.”
“This was a ‘hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil’ approach to the use of informants, which potentially frustrated the police investigation.”
Foreign affairs minister Charlie Flanagan said the findings of the report were “deeply disturbing” adding:
“The findings must now be carefully examined with a view to the question of further investigations and possible prosecutions.”