RFJ Statement regarding the Loughinisland Report

LislandMark Thompson

Director of Relatives for Justice has made the following statement in response to the report by Police Ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire regarding Loughinisland.

“Relatives for Justice welcomes today’s report on Loughinisland. The collusion in these murders is clear and unambiguous. This not only relates to the murders but also to the importation of an arsenal of weapons from South Africa in 1987/8 that were used in scores of murders, including the six men killed on 18th June 1994.[1]

The report by Dr Michael Maguire, however only deals with the role of the RUC and its Special Branch.

There are huge accountability gaps regarding the full extent of what happened in Loughinisland concerning the roles of British Military Intelligence and Security Service (MI5).

All three branches of these security agencies were involved in the widespread use of agents and informers and the procurement of weapons for the purpose of murder. All three agencies were involved in cover up and the protection of agents, this included the cover up of one key suspects involved in the murders in Loughinisland. Indeed suspects were warned and tipped off by police in order to avoid prosecution. This also extended to ensuring that the bulk of the deadly arsenal imported from South Africa remained undetected. Key evidence was also routinely and systematically destroyed.

Worryingly in this jurisdiction there has arisen a view that prosecutions are unobtainable. Families and NGOs argue that there is sufficient evidence to warrant prosecutorial action and evidence to be put before a jury. It is disappointing that the PPS has failed abysmally when concerning members of the RUC and PSNI, British army, and Security Service.

Earlier this year Theresa Villiers alleged that families and NGOs such as RFJ were engaged in pernicious counter narratives about the past.

The only thing pernicious is that her government made such a statement whilst in full knowledge of all of these facts.

It is now time for a process of accountability that delivers justice.” ENDS