Michael Lynch’s family respond to Police Ombudsman Report on RUC killing

Rose and Brian Matthews

Statement issued by Relatives For Justice on behalf of the family of Michael Lynch in response to the Police Ombudsman’s public statement on his murder by the RUC

Michael Lynch was killed by an RUC bullet as he tried to get home from the cinema. He had to make his way through a crowd of people and across Butler Street in the Ardoyne when he was shot. He was 28 years old. His sister Rose said: “He was a quiet, quiet fellow who had never been in any trouble. He had been to the pictures and came straight home. He wasn’t involved in the fighting with the Protestants or resistance to the RUC. He never was. But he had to get through the crowd to get back home and that’s when the RUC shot him. He was murdered, my Daddy always said.”

Rose’s husband, Brian Matthews, was beside Michael when he died. He said: “It was completely unjustified. He wasn’t doing anything to get shot in that way. He was trying to get home.

“I’d like to thank the Police Ombudsman for investigating Michael’s death. We welcome the strong criticisms she has made and we agree with them. She has told us that his death was not justified and shouldn’t have happened. The RUC should never have deployed such dangerous weapons and fired so recklessly. We’re grateful for the efforts of the Ombudsman staff. There should have been a proper investigation at the time. But that was never likely to happen with the RUC.”

On behalf of RFJ, Mike Ritchie said: “We have been proud to assist and support the family through this long engagement with the successive Police Ombudsman. All families deserve to have proper investigations into their loved ones’ death, particularly where the state has taken life. We would also like to see the Ombudsman given greater resources so that families do not have to wait so long to get the outcome of the investigation.”


Please credit Relatives For Justice if quoting this material.

Please contact Mike Ritchie on 07423 454983 for more information or for family details.