Public inquiry sought into actions of UVF agents
Public inquiry sought into actions of UVF agents


The family of two Catholic brothers shot dead by loyalists almost 30 years ago has called for a public inquiry into the series of sectarian murders carried out at the time.

Gerard (22) and Rory (18) Cairns were brutally killed by a unionist paramilitary death squad in the living room of their home near Bleary, County Armagh, on October 28 1993.

Three British agents have been linked to the case, including former UVF commanders Billy Wright and Robin Jackson (pictured, left and right), who are both dead.

Details came to light in 2019 during a BBC interview given by former loyalist Laurence Maguire who said he had been involved in an aborted attempt to target the family, planned by Jackson, a year earlier.

He also revealed that targeting information came from Wright and was supplied to him by members of the RUC police.

Jackson and Wright were among nine loyalists arrested after the murders, but released without charge.

Gerard and Rory’s father, Eamon Cairns, said that since the revelations made by Maguire, his family has not been kept informed of developments by the police.

It is not known if Maguire has even been questioned since the documentary was broadcast.

Mr Cairns believes there should now be a public inquiry into the murders and the role of the state’s double agents.

“We families have never been afforded that opportunity to see the truth never mind get justice,” he said.

On the night Rory and Gerard were murdered their brother Liam, who was 14 at the time, was visiting a neighbour’s house. He believes his family has been treated badly.

“We as a family have been campaigning for truth and justice for Gerard and Rory for the last 30 years and we as a family have been treated with total disdain from the establishment,” he said.

“The corner stone of any civilised society is a right to truth and justice. We have been constantly denied that along with countless other families. Everyone including the wider society wants the families to move on but we can’t unless this legacy issue is addressed once and for all for everyone.”

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