23 April 2006

Agent supplied car to UVF killer gang

Sunday Life

23 April 2006

IT has been revealed the car used by the UVF in the massacre of six Catholics in a Loughinisland bar in 1994 was supplied by a security force agent.

The shock revelation emerged during a probe by the Police Ombudsman into UVF Special Branch agents, sparked by the 1997 murder of Raymond McCord jnr.

Nuala O'Loan's office is already carrying out a separate probe into claims of collusion in the Heights Bar massacre and the competence of the murder investigation.

Down SDLP councillor Eamonn O'Neill said: "This information confirms one of the grave suspicions we have had about what happened in this atrocity."

Mrs O'Loan's report is expected to claim the police informant - codenamed 'The Mechanic' and now living outside Ulster - supplied the Triumph Acclaim used by the east Belfast-based UVF gang.

They shot dead the six men as they watched Ireland playing Italy in the World Cup on TV.

The move to re-examine the case was prompted after Mr O'Neill delivered a dossier to Mrs O'Loan on behalf of relatives of the six men on the 10th anniversary of the atrocity.

Mr O'Neill added: "I have been assured that the police investigation into the murder is continuing and the Police Ombudsman's report is pending."

Mrs O'Loan's office is understood to be investigating concerns that the RUC did not follow up a letter purportedly written by someone who was a witness to the planning of the massacre.

There is also hope that a match can be made with DNA samples taken from tests on the rifles and balaclavas used. They were found buried near Saintfield.

Loughinisland has become known locally as the "forgotten" tragedy of the Troubles, because no one has ever been charged.

The victims included the oldest person to die in the Troubles, Barney Green (87). His 59-year-old nephew, Dan McCreanor, died beside him.

The youngest to die was Adrian Rogan (34). Brothers-in-law Eamon Byrne and Patsy O'Hare, and Malcolm Jenkinson, were the other victims.

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