FOLLOWING the recent meeting between the Police Ombudsman in Loughinisland with the families of those who were murdered in the Loughinisland massacre in 1994, South Down MLA Caitriona Ruane has spoken out welcoming the decision of the Board to task its Human Rights and Professional Standards Committee to consider the wider issues arising from the Ombudsman report into the UVF murders at Loughinisland.
Sinn Féin Policing Board member Caitriona Ruane has said, “It is obvious to all that the families of those killed at Loughinisland have been let down time and again by the police investigation. It is important that the Policing Board recognise this and more importantly examines this case in detail and ensures that these failures are never repeated again.
“The Policing Board have an important role to play in ensuring community confidence in the current policing structures. The revelations around the police conduct before, during and after the murders at Loughinisland will if not properly addressed erode confidence.
“Sinn Féin will continue to support the Loughinisland families in their quest for justice and through the Policing Board we will continue to press for proper investigation into any police misconduct and any necessary action taken.”
At the meeting in the Loughinisland GAA hall in June representatives of the families maintained their position that there was collusion within the ranks of the then RUC although the Ombudsman explained that this case on the evidence was not proven. The Ombudsman’s Report which took a lengthy five years to compile, was produced on the 24th June and has generated a widespread anger within the local community as his interpretation of collusion has moved from that of previous senior and emminent police figures and investigators such as Sir John Stevens. The attack claimed the UVF in 1994 was a retaliation for the INLA shooting on the Shankhill Road prior to that.
There have been widespread calls from Loughinisland campaigners for Police Ombudsman Al Hutchinson to resign. But the Ombudsman maintained his position that on the basis of evidence available, he could not conclude that collusion had taken place. The Ombudsman had responded after heavy criticisim from the elatives for Justice group.