Stonewalling investigations: Loughinisland suspicions deepen

Even in the chilling litany of horrors inflicted by one Northern Ireland community on the other, the 1994 murder of six men by the Ulster Volunteer Force in Loughinisland as they watched a World Cup game, has a particular sharpness, a sharpness still relevant today.

Barry McCaffrey and Trevor Birney

Just last week, a Northern Ireland judge dismissed a challenge brought against a watchdog finding that police colluded with the UVF killers. Mrs Justice Keegan dismissed an application by

two retired police officers, ruling that the ombudsman could declare that security force collusion was an issue.

That bid to limit the investigation is not the only big-stick-waving in play. Journalists Barry McCaffrey and Trevor Birney, who were involved in a documentary, No Stone Unturned, which examined the murders, are the subject of an investigation. The recent decision to extend their bail, rather than end the case against them, has been described as a “travesty of justice” and as a “fishing exercise” as regards the alleged theft of a document related to the killings.

There are two issues in play: Press freedom and the right of the victims’ families to know the truth. Almost a quarter of a century after the event, a campaign that looks and walks like a cover-up continues. The Irish Government must involve itself, through the channels opened by the Belfast Peace Agreement, and insist that the journalists be free to do their work and that, most of all, the truth finally prevails.

More on this topic

Former editor denies Denis O'Brien graphic put businessman in 'bad company'

Seven Irish people recognised on Forbes '30 under 30' list

Journalism or social media? The decision is yours

Cork's 'Evening Echo' newspaper to be rebranded 'The Echo' as part of 'developing' offerings in print and online


More in this Section

Readers' Blog: Cork maritime history should have dedicated centre

Brexit protocols we hope we won’t need

Night-time economy

A messy makeover


Lifestyle

Wishlist: Vintage fashion and home-ware are back in style

Spring has sprung: Use the new season turn your garden into an environmentally sound patch

It makes cents to get savvy with household spending

Designer home: Turning a small house into a spacious family home

More From The Irish Examiner