“Documentary highlights the need to prevent security veto

Posted By: November 04, 2017


ALLISON MORRIS. Irish News. Saturday, November 4, 2017




Attorney Niall Murphy


The victims were killed as they watched a World Cup match in the Heights Bar, Loughinisland in June 1994

The lawyer representing relatives of those killed in the Loughinisland massacre has said the findings of a documentary into the atrocity has highlighted the need to prevent a ‘national security veto’ on any future legacy mechanisms.

Niall Murphy, top, who has worked with the families for over a decade, said they are now considering asking Attorney General John Larkin for fresh inquests into the six men killed in the 1994 attack.

Mr. Murphy said the findings of the documentary will also form part of the evidence for an ongoing civil case against the chief constable and PSNI for failure to properly investigate the killings.

“In normal circumstances, we would expect arrests, charges, and prosecutions gave the amount of new evidence now available,” Mr. Murphy said.

“However, the families already have civil cases ongoing and are considering a request for fresh inquests.

“From a legal perspective, we will also be concentrating on defending the police ombudsman’s findings from challenge by retired officers.”

Two retired police officers lodged a High Court challenge to the Police Ombudsman report last August in a bid to quash the report’s findings.

Dr. Michael Maguire’s report, which was published last June, was damning in its criticism of the original RUC investigation.

While the findings were accepted by Chief Constable George Hamilton and former British prime minister David Cameron, the Northern Ireland Retired Police Officers Association challenged the report.

Mechanisms to deal with the past were agreed by both the DUP and Sinn Féin in the Fresh Start deal, which was never implemented prior to the collapse of the Stormont assembly.

The British government said at the time they would have a ‘national security’ veto over all documents released to a proposed Historical Investigations Unit which would carry out legacy investigations.

Mr. Murphy said the Loughinisland case demonstrates why this would be unacceptable.

“This case, the findings of the Ombudsman and of the team behind No Stone Unturned, demonstrates, probably more than any other current case, why a British government veto cannot be allowed to hamper legacy investigations.”