Cairns family ask why PSNI did nothing to investigate the killings of Gerard and Rory

The Cairns family on the night of the attack only hours earlier celebrating sister Roisín's birthday

Statement released through Relatives for Justice –

BBC journalist Mandy McAuley has confirmed to RFJ that the PSNI has yet to contact her in respect of the programme and today she also confirmed that the PSNI has not contacted Laurence Maguire.

Murdered boys’ father speaks out about PSNI inaction one year on from BBC Spotlight revelations of agents, collusion and murders

A year on from the broadcast (October 15th 2019) of a landmark BBC Spotlight programme that revealed the role of agents within the Mid-Ulster UVF involved in scores of sectarian murders, the PSNI has yet to respond.

One of the key incidents that Spotlight focussed on was the murders of brothers Gerard (22) and Rory Cairns (18) on October 28th 1993.

Former Mid-Ulster UVF member and convicted killer Laurence Maguire spoke to Spotlight on camera and revealed the following:

  • That the Mid-Ulster UVF leader Billy Wright was working directly with and alongside RUC officers;
  • That these RUC officers provided intelligence to Wright for the purposes of targeting and carrying out attacks;
  • That this information was up to date;
  • That all of the intelligence relating to all the attacks and murders by the Mid-Ulster UVF during this period (the 1990s onwards) had come from Wright;
  • That Wright insisted on taking on the targeting of Maguire’s victims;
  • That the Mid-Ulster UVF had targeted the Cairns family a year prior to the murders of Gerard and Rory;
  • That Wright’s predecessor and then leader of the terror gang, Robin Jackson, had unusually planned and ordered Maguire to carry out the above attack;
  • That Jackson’s instructions were to kill all the males within the Cairns home (4 in total) and that he gave those orders in the presence of Wright;
  • That Maguire and three others aborted the attack due to an overhead military helicopter near the Cairns home;
  • And that Jackson was a state agent.

Wright as an agent

BBC Spotlight also spoke to its own sources further stating that they had been told “…by two senior security sources…” that Billy Wright had been “… a security force agent…” working for “…both the police and military…”.

The murdered boys father Eamon Cairns said: “This new information should have immediately warranted the reopening of a fresh independent investigation by the authorities, yet there has been absolutely no action.”

Shockingly the PSNI has yet to contact the Cairns family, or sought to interview Laurence Maguire, or the programme makers.

BBC Spotlight also interviewed HET Detective Chief Inspector Dave Hoare from England who examined some of the murders carried by the Mid-Ulster UVF. His commentary is noteworthy in that when asked about why so many of these murders remained unsolved he said: “…it raises the question, did the RUC not try hard enough or were they just not good enough to deal with the Mid-ulster UVF? Well I don’t buy the argument that they weren’t good enough, they were certainly good enough.”

Eamon Cairns added: “The significance of these comments brings into sharp focus the very reasons why the RUC investigation into the murders of Gerard and Rory failed to bring to account those responsible. It was to protect agents and their handlers.

Despite the killers leaving a treasure trove of forensics, as one of the getaway vehicles containing the balaclavas and boilersuits worn by the killers failed to properly ignite in an attempt to destroy evidence, no one has ever been brought to justice for the double murder.

When presented with the evidence by Spotlight Mrs O’Loan, who unbelievably failed to find collusion in her investigation, stated that if she were still ombudsman she’d reopen the investigation. She stated that:”… if that evidence had been available to me it would have changed a lot things.”

As noted by the family lawyers, Madden & Finucane: “It is difficult to consider that such an extensive and significant catalogue of errors was the result of mere negligence.”

Eamon Cairns continued: “Supposedly rigorous investigations were deliberately flawed and collusive.”

“At least three agents, including Jackson and Wright, were involved in the murders of my sons including the conspiracy the previous year.

“The third agent, one of the actual gunmen who shot Gerard and Rory, was Alan Oliver who is responsible for up to 15 murders. Spotlight confronted Oliver asking if he was being “protected” from prosecution by his handers.”

Despite being named in court documents as the gunman in a triple murder in 1991, Oliver has never been prosecuted for any terrorist activity.

Concluding Eamon Cairns said: “In any other society there’d be an outcry and immediate police action. As far as I’m concerned the cover-up is still ongoing and the PSNI are as much a part of it as the RUC were.

“Our family has been failed by three investigations involving the RUC, police ombudsman, and the HET. And the inquest system at the time was also deliberately prohibitive in examining the facts. How come groups like Relatives for Justice and the BBC could uncover such evidence yet all these investigations could not?

“In light of all the evidence, in the face of deliberately flawed investigations and inaction by the PSNI, it’s clear to me that the only way forward is to have a public inquiry.”

Mark Thompson of Relatives for Justice said: 

The PSNI agenda is also the British ‘security’ agenda of concealment regarding state wrongdoing, hence their inaction.

“It is all about protecting former handlers within speical branch and those they colluded with in scores of murders rather than investigating such atrocities.

“This would be shocking if it were an isolated incident. Sadly it is so blatantly systemic.

“The policy practice of collusion demands public scrutiny and independent investigation.”ENDS