RUC officer “urged Loughinisland suspect to murder republican”

Posted By: November 04, 2017

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



Relatives: Barney Greenâ??s niece Moira Casement with Adrian Roganâ??s daughter Emma Rogan

and widow Clare Rogan at a pre-release showing of the documentary No Stone Unturned in Loughinisland last night Picture: Matt Bohill

A POLICE officer interrogating a man suspected to be one of the Loughinisland gunmen tried to get him to murder a prominent south Down republican, a former RUC colleague has claimed.

Retired detective Jimmy Binns told the No Stone Unturned documentary that during one police interview a colleague tried to convince Ronnie Hawthorne to kill a man who is a member of a well-known Republican family in the Castlewellan area.

Six men were murdered and several other people were injured when gunmen sprayed the Heights Bar with bullets during a World Cup match between Ireland and Italy in 1994.

Mr. Binns, pictured left, said he was present when detectives questioned Hawthorne, the chief suspect in the UVF attack. Hawthorne, pictured below left, is thought to be Person A in the Police Ombudsman’s report into the attack released last year.

The republican’s brother was shot dead by the British army in the early 1970s. Media reports from the time said he was on the RUC wanted list and was an IRA ‘adjutant’.

The Irish News contacted the republican who still lives in south Down but he did not respond to our calls.

Mr. Binns told the filmmakers that he was the detective sent to interview the last registered owner of the loyalist gang’s getaway car the morning after the attack.

However, he said he was prevented from speaking to the man from the Shankill area of west Belfast by a local detective.

“I never got speaking to the man…who I would want to be speaking to,” he said.

“But everybody was happy with that. Obviously, there were things going on over my head.”

Mr. Binns told the documentary makers he came away with the distinct impression that “people were being protected”.

Last night the victims’ families gathered in Loughinisland to watch the documentary before it goes on general release next week. Malcolm Jenkinson’s daughter Louise said it was an “emotional” experience.

“I’ve seen the film before, but it was it was a lot to take in, a lot to process. There was so much new information,” she said.

“We never thought something like that would happen in this place. That’s not to take away from the suffering of those people in the city who lost loved ones but in a hamlet like this it was unthinkable.”