Weekend marks 25 years since brutal few days of Troubles

The scene of the 1992 attack on a south Belfast bookmakers that left five Catholics dead.

The scene of the 1992 attack on a south Belfast bookmakers that left five Catholics dead.

This weekend marks the 25th anniversary of a particularly bloody and brutal few days of the Northern Ireland Troubles.

On this day in 1992, off-duty RUC constable Allen Moore shot and killed three men at a Sinn Fein advice centre on Belfast’s Falls Road.

The following day, February 5, two loyalist paramilitaries burst into the Sean Graham bookmakers on the Ormeau Road and gunned down five Catholics aged between 15 and 66.

Claiming responsibility for the south Belfast murders, the UFF said it was in retaliation for the IRA murder of eight Protestant workmen at Teebane Crossroads in Co Tyrone the month before.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams is due to address a 25th anniversary commemoration of the triple murder at the Falls Road advice centre this afternoon.

Moore, who had failed to turn up to have his mental state assessed by a police doctor shortly before the incident, was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound on the shore of Lough Neagh at Ballinderry half an hour later.

According to the book Lost Lives, a psychiatrist at Moore’s inquest the following year told the coroner he believed 57 RUC officers had taken their own lives between 1978 and 1993. He also claimed not enough was being done to investigate the reasons and described the situation as “disgraceful”.

In the run up to the bookmaker’s attack anniversary, the Police Ombudsman told UTV that the inquiry he is conducting into the atrocity has been widened to include a total of 12 loyalist murders in south Belfast during the 1980s and 1990s.

In the two days before the Falls Road shooting, a loyalist gunman killed a Catholic taxi driver at his home in north Belfast, while the IRA shot and killed a Protestant delivery driver from Coagh at a supermarket in Dungannon.