Loughinisland suspect is detained in England

A 45-YEAR-OLD man was arrested last night in Maidstone, England, in connection with the murder of six men and attempted murder of five in Loughinisland on June 18, 1994.

PSNI officers from the serious crime branch with assistance from Kent police made the arrest yesterday afternoon.

Last night the suspect was being questioned at Antrim Serious Crime Suite.

The 1994 mass murder in The Height’s bar in Loughinisland was the UVF’s last major atrocity.

It had a chilling similarity to its first – an indiscriminate attack on a pub.

The gun attack on the Loughinisland pub came just month’s before the first IRA and loyalist ceasefires and was part of an intense sequence of tit-for-tat attacks.

On the evening of June 18, locals from the small village of Loughinisland near Downpatrick were watching the Republic play Italy in the World Cup.

Jack Charlton’s men were on the way to a famous victory when the UVF gunmen walked into the small country bar at 10.10pm and raked the bar with gunfire from assault rifles and in a matter of seconds, six Catholic died – among them 87-year-old Barney Green, one of the oldest victims of the Troubles. Five others were seriously wounded.

The gunmen were reported to have been armed with an AK-47 and a Czech made rifle which was recovered later in Saintfield.

Witnesses said the gunmen ran laughing to their getaway car.

The car was later found abandoned between Crossgar and Ballynahinch.

One witness to the atrocity said: “Bodies were lying piled on top of each other on the floor.”

Around two dozen people were in the bar and lounge when the attack happened.

The men killed in the Loughinisland attack were Adrian Rogan, 34, Eamon Byrne, 39, Patsy O’Hare, 35, Dan McCreanor, 59, Barney Green, 87, and Malcolm Jenkinson, 54.

Earlier this year Sinn Fein South Down MLA Caitriona Ruane accompanied the relatives of those killed in the 1994 Loughinisland massacre to a meeting with the Police Ombudsman Al Hutchinson.

Ms Ruane claimed that at least one British agent was directly involved in the murders and that the search for truth and justice had to continue.

She said: “There is an ongoing Police Ombudsman investigation into the 1994 Height’s Bar shooting in Loughinisland. The issue of collusion will not go away.

“The killings at Loughinisland had a deep and lasting impact on people across this island and the subsequent revelations of British involvement and cover-up surprised no one.”