The son of a police officer killed by the IRA is contemplating legal action after the Police Ombudsman (PONI) found no evidence that former RUC colleagues were complicit in his murder.
Constable John Larmour, 42, was shot dead as he worked behind the counter of his brother’s ice cream parlour on Belfast’s Lisburn Road in October 1988.
No one has ever been charged or convicted in connection with the officer’s murder.
On Wednesday, ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire said PONI investigators “found no evidence” that Special Branch, or any other element within the RUC, “aided, abetted, counselled or procured” the murder, or that they could they have prevented it.
“Similarly, we found no evidence to support allegations that police failed to charge suspects in the murder or that they protected IRA members from being brought to justice,” Dr Maguire said in a statement.
It is understood that the PONI final report on the case will not be made public.
Constable Larmour’s son Gavin and the officer’s brother George have spent more than a decade researching all aspects of the fatal shooting – and have repeatedly claimed that a number of alleged investigative failings point to the involvement of police agents who are being protected.
Many of the Larmour family allegations stemmed from a belief that Constable Larmour had a “fraught relationship” with Special Branch.
During the course of the ombudsman’s investigation it was found that “something of a fractious relationship almost certainly developed” between the two, however, PONI said the weight of evidence did not support allegations or any wrong-doing being initiated by the RUC in an effort to force Constable Larmour out of the police service.
Gavin Larmour, who was 13-years-old when his father was murdered, said he was extremely disappointed with the PONI findings but believed “the truth will out” in the end.
Mr Larmour said the murder inquiry is still a live case with the PSNI’s Legacy Investigation Branch and that he had not given up hope that new evidential material will be uncovered.
“I’m just trying to figure out the next step but this definitely hasn’t gone away,” he said.
“So far I have done everything myself in terms of getting justice for my dad but now legal action is certainly one more option,” Mr Larmour added.