Cover-up fears as Glenanne case dropped
Cover-up fears as Glenanne case dropped


Hopes for justice in the series of over 120 killings carried out by the ‘Glenanne’ gang of Crown Force death squads are fading after it was announced that there will be no prosecution against one of the senior RUC police figures alleged to have been centrally involved.

A file on the person involved had been sent to prosecutors by the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland as part of its investigation, but that has now been binned.

It is expected that the report into the full series of murders on both sides of the border will be published in advance of 1 May 2024, the cut-off point under new legislation intended to end investigations into British war crimes in the north of Ireland.

Alan Brecknell, whose father, Trevor Brecknell, was killed in a gun and bomb attack on Donnelly’s Bar in Silverbridge in 1975, described the decision not to prosecute in his father’s case as deeply disappointing but not surprising.

“The RUC was well aware of the identities of those who carried out these attacks while at the same time making sure not to carry out anything resembling a proper investigation,” he said.

“Rarely has the phrase justice delayed is justice denied rung more true.”

The decision not to prosecute concerns five attacks which left ten people dead:

Thomas McNamee, who died from injuries he sustained in a bomb attack on McArdle’s Bar in Crossmaglen in November 1974;

Sean Farmer and Colm McCartney - two GAA fans who were killed at a dummy roadblock at Altnamackin, County Armagh in August 1975;

Trevor Brecknell, Patsy Donnelly and Michael Donnelly who were killed in a gun and bomb attack at Donnelly’s Bar in Silverbridge in December 1975;

Anthony Reavey, Brian Reavey and John Martin Reavey, three brothers who were shot dead in their home in Whitecross, County Armagh in January 1976;

Patrick Mone who was killed in a car bomb attack in Castleblayney, County Monaghan in March 1976.

Eugene Reavey, whose three brothers (pictured) were among the victims, said he had expected charges to be brought and now intends to challenge the decision.

“Now I have to go and tell all of my family members that this guy is not going to be prosecuted,” he said.

“It’s just one of those things that the Reavey brothers didn’t matter. They were just murdered in the Troubles and nobody wanted to know.”

The campaigner said he was not officially notified of the decision before the information appeared online on Wednesday afternoon.

“Officially I’ve been told nothing. I heard from a third party source that one of the RUC officers that was to be charged in connection with the murder of my three brothers is now not going to be charged at all,” he said.

“It is very disappointing that after 48 years, nearly 49 years almost now, that I find myself at the end of my tether almost with this investigation and it turns out to be a bum steer.”

Mr Reavey said he would be speaking to his lawyer about the issue “because we will definitely be challenging this decision”.

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