Northern Ireland

Winston Rea: Leading loyalist questioned over Troubles murders

Winston Rea Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Winston Rea gave an interview to Boston College researchers on the basis it would not be made public until his death

High-profile loyalist Winston Rea has been arrested in connection with the murders of two Catholic workmen more than 20 years ago.

In September, police re-opened inquiries into the killings of John Devine and John O'Hara in the 1980s and 1990s.

Detectives arrested Mr Rea, 65, in Belfast on Tuesday.

He is being questioned over the killings and "other serious crimes", police said.

Last year, police gained access to tapes containing interviews he gave to an American university project.

Image caption John Joseph Gerard O'Hara (left) and John Benedict Devine (right) were murdered more than 20 years ago

He was among dozens of loyalists and republicans who provided testimonies to Boston College staff compiling an oral history of Northern Ireland's Troubles.

Mr Devine, 37, was shot dead at his home in Fallswater Street in west Belfast on 23 July 1989.

On 17 April 1991, John O'Hara, 41, was shot at Dunluce Avenue in south Belfast.

Both victims were targeted by loyalist gunmen in separate attacks.

No-one has been charged in connection with either murder.

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