Nationalists have expressed disbelief at news that ‘no prosecution’ is be taken against an RUC policeman over the 1994 Loughinisland Pub Massacre.
South Down Sinn Fein Minister, Caitriona Ruane, expressed her outrage and disappointment at the decision by the North’s Prosecution Service not to take action against the man, who still wears a (PSNI) police uniform in the North.
He was under investigation for helping the UVF gang behind the bloody Loughinisland massacre when six men -- including an 87-year-old man -- were killed on 18 June 1994, when two gunmen burst into the village’s Heights bar and opened fire, leaving five others injured after a hail of fire when 200 bullets were fired.
The solicitor for the families has also criticised the decision by prosecutors not to proceed as relatives of the victims have consistently maintained that there was Crown force collusion and that a number of agents working for the RUC were involved in the atrocity.
The former policeman had been questioned over perverting the course of justice and helping the gang make its getaway after the shooting.
In a statement, prosecutors said there was “insufficient evidence to provide a reasonable prospect of conviction of the individual reported”.
Ms Ruane said: “The decision by the PPS not to proceed with prosecutions, on the back of the damning inquiry into the Loughinisland massacre, is nothing short of scandalous and will come as a major blow to the families who have campaigned tirelessly for justice.
“The loss of life that occurred in the Height’s Bar exposed serious flaws in the RUC’s original investigation and there is no doubt in my mind that many of the UVF gang involved in this gun attack were colluding directly with Special Branch.
“The Police Ombudsman’s Report into the massacre must be published without delay and the PSNI clearly have serious questions to answer.”
Relatives for Justice said the decision by the PPS and the PSNI was a “de-facto form of impunity” that stood in stark contrast to the case of Gerry McGeogh and Vincent McAnespie.
“This adds to a long list of cases in which members of the RUC and British army yet again avoid prosecution despite their collusive roles being exposed,” said RFJ director Mark Thompson.
“Ensuring that this individual is not brought to trial will be viewed as protecting others further up the chain of command, including the role of Special Branch. This calls into question yet again the role of the PPS and the PSNI concerning legacy cases involving collusion.”