Progress in Loughinisland campaign
Progress in Loughinisland campaign

The long-awaited report into the 1994 Loughinisland massacre will be published by the Police Ombudsman’s office at the end of March.

Six men - including an elderly 87-year-old man - were killed when two UVF gunmen sprayed The Heights Bar in the County Down village with 200 bullets in June 1994.

Five others were injured in the shooting.

Families of the victims of the massacre met Police Ombudsman Al Hutchinson on Friday to express their concern over the delay in publishing the report.

They have consistently maintained that there was Crown force collusion and that a number of agents working for the PSNI (then RUC) police were involved in the atrocity.

Speaking after the meeting, Sinn Fein South Down Assembly member Caitriona Ruane said:

“The Loughinisland families have carried themselves with the utmost dignity and courage since that tragic night.

“I welcome the fact that after a needlessly long delay the families were informed that the report into the Loughlinisland Massacre will be handed over to the families in mid-March.”

Last year, a file was sent to prosecutors to consider whether to press charges against a PSNI man involved in the case. He was alleged to have helped the UVF gunmen involved in the massacre.

The man, who was suspended by the PSNI, had been questioned over perverting the course of justice and helping the gang make its getaway after the shooting.

However, it was decided to proceed with the prosecution.

Lat year, leaked details of the initial findings of the independent investigation by the Police Ombudsman showed that he considered there to have been major failings in the original investigation.

Details included claims that not enough effort was made to identify the killers, that the police failed to speak to people of interest, and that key forensic evidence was destroyed.

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