Britain’s secret murder campaign in Ireland has been further exposed after a court found one of its alleged loyalist agents murdered three civilians in a shop in Drumbeg, Craigavon in 1991.
The judgment held three UVF loyalists liable for the massacre in a mobile shop which claimed the lives of 19-year-old Eileen Duffy, 16-year-old Katrina Rennie and 29-year-old Brian Frizzell.
On March 28, 1991, the two teenage girls were talking with a friend behind the counter of the mobile shop when a van pulled up outside. A masked gunman wearing military style clothing and armed with a 9mm Browning pistol jumped out. He shot the two young girls, killing them. As the attack was ongoing, Brian Frizzell entered the shop and was shot as the gunman was leaving.
A judgment was issued this week in a civil case in respect of Alan Oliver, Anthony McNeill and Thomas Harper. Harper, who was convicted for his involvement in the attack, had identified Oliver as the killer, and McNeill as also being involved.
During interrogation Harper said that after the attack Oliver used a radio to say “Tatie bread” (rhyming slang for ‘dead’), to indicate that the victims had been killed.
He also said that top loyalist paramilitaries and suspected double agents Billy Wright and Mark ‘Swinger’ Fulton were both involved in planning the deadly attack.
Despite the direct information supplied by Harper, Oliver infamously never faced prosecution for the attack. Now a born-again Christian, Oliver has frequently been named as a British agent who played a central role in the Mid Ulster UVF, which was responsible for dozens of sectarian murders.
Oliver has himself admitted being “heavily involved in organised crime and political violence” in recorded testimonies posted online.
“I think it is a game changer,” Pat Frizzell, a brother of Brian, said of the court order.
In addition to the three named loyalists, Mr Frizzell has launched actions against the PSNI chief, the British Ministry of Defence and the British Direct Ruler.
“Hopefully this a step in the right direction on the road to truth and justice for us and all the other families.”
Eileen Duffy’s brother Brendan Duffy said, “if he [Oliver] has an ounce of Christianity, he needs to tell everything he knows about the murders he carried out, and about who his contacts and handlers were. It’s long past time for him to come clean.”
He condemned the police ‘investigation’: “In Dublin, London, or anywhere else, the authorities would have done everything possible to convict the killer of two teenage girls and a young man.
“But this is Northern Ireland. Our search for justice has been thwarted at every twist and turn with a massive cover-up.”
He said it was “difficult to fight the state and now we have gone trough the courts. Everybody knows what went on here during the troubles. With the recent Ballymurphy case the momentum seems to be with the families again.”
Kevin Winters, of KRW Law, added: “We act for many other families similarly afflicted and they are also considering applications of a similar nature.
“This really establishes a precedent and the way is open for many other families to do likewise.”
Sinn Féin’s John O’Dowd said the the lack of investigation into the murders was “another brazen and disgraceful attempt by the British state to cover-up its dirty war in Ireland.
“The British government must end their cover-ups and come clean on their involvement in countless killings in Ireland, both through state forces and agents.”