My bid for the truth about the murder of my dad, the ice cream man

Gavin Larmour, son of Constable John Larmour, outside the Police Ombudsman's office. Picture: Diane Magill
Gavin Larmour, son of Constable John Larmour, outside the Police Ombudsman's office. Picture: Diane Magill

I found Alex Kane’s article (October 10) on my dad’s brother’s book (They Killed The Ice Cream Man) distressing.

I had previously paid little attention to the book and tried to remain positive thinking that any publicity could help my cause, but after reading Alex’s article I want to clarify a few things.

I have never had much contact with my uncle George.

The reasons he couldn’t understand why Historical Enquiries Team (HET) told him certain things is because they were as a result of my questions.

The reason HET knew of some press articles before they were released is because I had given them advance notice as was based on my research.

I was a 13 year old schoolboy when my dad was murdered by the IRA on October 11 1988, in the ice cream shop owned by George on the Lisburn Road around 10pm. I was sleeping when the police knocked on the door to tell my mum. She let me sleep and broke the news to me herself in the morning.

In the early hours she received a phone call from one of my dad’s former colleagues, Gabriel Mulally. He told her that there were things he needed to tell her and that her life could be in danger as could his.

He said he would let her get her head around everything and that he would then later meet her to talk things through. He didn’t get the chance before he was killed by a bomb under his car in February 1989, despite having retired from the police.

My mum and I weren’t made aware of the inquest into my dad’s murder held in June 1989, and I only became aware of it some years later after concerns were raised with the police over no convictions or progress with the investigation. I then had to pay £1 per page for copies of the inquest report, but was refused access to another half dozen or so other murders, including Gabriel’s and others that I had already established by then we’re linked ballistically.

I have been investigating my dad’s murder since my late teens and feel that I have been repeatedly obstructed along the way. This led to previous complaints being lodged with the Police Ombudsman’s office.

Complaints to the chief constable’s office led to my being referred to SCRT at Knocknagoney, then MIT in Ladas Drive before my case was allocated to the HET before they went live as they were set up to be uniquely resourced to deal with legacy cases. George spoke to MIT then later HET when he was asked to as a result of my ongoing queries.

In April 2008 the Ombudsman’s office released a press statement having upheld my complaints after several years of investigation. This was the second time they had examined different aspects. Further information came to light from the publicity I received following this which helped me investigate further. My findings were continuously fed back to both the Ombudsman and HET with each new revelation.

Nothing would have gotten this far if I hadn’t persisted.

Despite what I have discovered over the 28 years since my dad’s murder, even if someone is found guilty I will then have to fight for justice against the misguided Good Friday Agreement which bought a peace but at a price for those of us who were directly affected. Not only were murderers free to walk the streets once again while their victims’ families tried to piece together their lives, but concessions and money continue to be given to placate terrorists.

The Ombudsman’s Office is finalising their report in my ongoing case so I don’t wish to disclose more at this stage.