Police ‘firmly committed’ to catching killers

Scene of the massacre
Scene of the massacre

Detectives from Serious Crime Branch investigating the murder of six men and the attempted murder of other patrons in the Heights Bar at Loughinisland in 1994 have today issued a renewed appeal for information on the 20th anniversary of the attack.

A PSNI spokesman said no-one has yet been charged with the murders “but a renewed police investigation is under way by detectives from Serious Crime Branch following a review of the case by the PSNI Serious Crime Review Team”.

“Investigators are progressing the recommendations contained in the review which was conducted on foot of a report by the Police Ombudsman,” he added.

Senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Gareth Talbot, said: “This was a sickening, indiscriminate and completely futile attack committed by terrorists who gave no thought to the innocent lives they shattered, then and now.”

The PSNI spokesman said that to date, 16 people have been arrested, 51 searches have been conducted, 605 statements recorded and more than 2,500 actions raised as part of the investigation.

DCI Talbot added: “Police remain firmly committed to apprehending those responsible for these murders.

“On this 20th anniversary, with all its pain for families and survivors and perhaps reflection for those involved, I would ask anyone with information about the murders to come forward and speak to police.

“The anniversary should bring into focus the fact that it is never too late to do the right thing, to come forward with any information about individuals or events. Police will not give up but what we really need is for people to make statements and give evidence.”

Anyone with any information can contact detectives in the incident room on 028 3751 7390 or by email to MIT8@psni.pnn.police.uk. Alternatively, people can provide information without giving their details to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

In 2006, following claims that “an RUC agent” had supplied the getaway car to the gunmen, families of Loughinisland victims lodged an official complaint about the investigation with the Police Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman’s report into the investigation was finally published in 2011. The report was criticised for not investigating the role of RUC informers.

Calls were made for Al Hutchinson to resign and in 2012 the report’s findings were quashed in Belfast High Court.