Irish Republican News · August 27, 2016
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Collusion victim’s son condemns ‘years of lies’


A man whose wife was killed when a car bomb exploded outside the Step Inn bar in south Armagh 40 years ago has said he wants to see a new inquest, ordered by attorney General John Larkin in 2013, finally take place and for the RUC police to be “shamed” for their involvement in the killing.

Malachi McDonald’s wife Elizabeth, who was known as Betty, was killed along with 22 year old Gerald McGleenan in the bomb blast carried out by the notorious Glenanne gang on August 16th 1976. The gang was directed by the RUC Special Branch and Military Intelligence who operated a campaign of bombings and shootings at will without fear of detection. The Glenanne Gang are believed to have been responsible for the murders of more than 100 people in the seventies.

The Cortina car used in the Step Inn bomb attack had been hijacked on Belfast’s Shankill Road a week earlier and packed with 25lb of commercial explosives and 200lb of homemade explosives.

An investigation by the police Historical Enquiries Team revealed that the RUC had known the identities of those involved in the attack and that the house where the bomb was stored belonged to a part-time police officer and had been under British army surveillance in the days leading up to the attack.

The bomb was originally intended for a bar in Clontibret in County Monaghan but when the gang discovered that the bar was under surveillance by 26 County gardai police, the Step Inn bar in Keady became the new target.

No-one has ever been charged with the bomb attack.

Malachi McDonald, who now lives in Pomeroy in County Tyrone, says he has struggled to cope with the loss of the mother of his three children four decades ago. Mr McDonald said he has been “fed so many lies for years” and has no doubt there was collusion in the killings.

Mrs McDonald had worked as a nurse in England and America before moving home. Her husband, who now lives in Pomeroy, County Tyrone, says he has struggled to cope with his loss over the last four decades.

“I never put any pictures up, it was hard, you just said nothing,” he said. “I pretended it never happened, I just didn’t think about it and it wasn’t in my face every day.”

Mr McDonald said he was “fed so many lies for years” and has no doubt there was collusion in the double murder. He said he wants to see a new inquest ordered by attorney General John Larkin three years ago to finally take place.

“I would like this inquest to be over and this rotten RUC to be shamed for what they were,” he said.

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