Northern Ireland

Loughinisland: Families call for justice and accountability

Emma Rogan
Image caption Emma Rogan whose father, Adrian, was killed in the Loughinisland massacre

The families of the victims of the Loughinisland massacre say it is time for justice and accountability.

They were speaking following the release of the Police Ombudsman's report on the killings which found that there was collusion between some police officers and the loyalist gunmen involved.

Emma Rogan's father, Adrian, was killed in the 1994 massacre.

She said: "We need justice and accountability from those in authority.

"Today we finally have a report that vindicates our long-held suspicions and belief that the truth of these murders was being covered up."

She called on the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Theresa Villiers, to retract and apologise for references she made about past atrocities, including Loughinisland.

Image caption The families of the victims of the Loughinisland massacre say it is time for justice and accountability

Speaking at an event in Ulster University in February, Ms Villiers said that it was a "deliberate distortion" to say there was widespread misconduct in the security forces during the Troubles.

She said that neither the Royal Ulster Constabulary nor the Army pulled triggers at Loughinisland, among other atrocities.

And she said there was a "pernicious counter-narrative" being promoted through allegations of collusion.

But Ms Rogan described those comments as "hurtful" and "deceitful".

Aidan O'Toole was injured in the attack, he said: "We all deserve and demand justice from the British government who are ultimately responsible."

Image caption Aidan O'Toole who was wounded in the loyalist attack on the Heights Bar

Paddy McCreanor, a nephew of Dan McCreanor who died in the atrocity, said the process of getting to the truth has been "a living nightmare" for the Loughinisland families.

"Collusion is no illusion, and collusion happened, the truth has come out and that's all we ever wanted from day one.

Image caption Paddy McCreanor, a nephew of Dan McCreanor who died in the atrocity, said collusion is "no illusion"

"The next step will be to get justice.

"You haven't heard the last of the Loughinisland Justice Group."

Moira Casement, niece of Barney Green, said of the atrocity: "The course of our lives changed, and only those who have lived through the emotional roller-coaster of broken promises and lies can empathise.

Image caption Moira Casement, niece of Barney Green, said the families wanted to give "hope and encouragement" to others in the same situation

"Our families are among hundreds affected and today we would like to give hope and encouragement and hope to other grieving families who like us, were told there was no point, you'll never get anywhere. Not it's time for justice and accountability."

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