Adams calls for debate over Loughinisland murders report

Scene of the 1994 Loughinisland attack
Scene of the 1994 Loughinisland attack

Gerry Adams has called for a debate in the Irish parliament to discuss the fall out from the latest Ombudsman report into the 1994 Loughinisland killings.

The Sinn Fein leader and Louth TD said the Dail should respond to Dr Michael Maguire’s assertions that the security services in Northern Ireland “colluded” with loyalist paramilitaries who murdered six men in The Heights bar.

In a report published last week, the Ombudsman found that one man suspected of carrying out the shooting was a police informant.

Dr Maguire also said the murder squad had been involved in a number of other killings in the years beforehand, but had avoided arrest because the Royal Ulster Constabulary’s Special Branch intelligence unit had withheld evidence from RUC detectives investigating the crimes.

He said some Special Branch officers had a “hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil” mindset that placed the collection of information above the detection of crime.

Speaking in the Dail yesterday, Mr Adams said: “The report by the Police Ombudsman into the murder of six men in Loughinisland has affirmed once again the use by the British state of administrative collusion between its security agencies, the RUC and UDR and unionist paramilitary organisations.

“The British government and its agencies armed, directed and then covered up the killings at Loughinisland, that’s a fact.”

Following publication of the report on June 9, DUP MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said no blind eye should be turned to wrongdoing “regardless of who has been involved in those actions,” but said the ombudsman also recognised that informants are an integral part of policing and saved many lives during the Troubles.

Sir Jeffrey added that collusion should be identified where it happened, “but not be allowed to rewrite the past”.

UUP MP Tom Elliott said Loughinisland “was a terrible crime and similar in context to the many other atrocities that were taking place at that time”.

He added: “Terrorists were responsible for 90 per cent of the killings and that should never be forgotten.”