Man freed in Loughinisland murder inquiry

 

Police in Northern Ireland have freed a man held for questioning over the loyalist murders of six men in a Co Down bar fourteen years ago.

The 45-year-old man was arrested in Maidstone, Kent, in connection with the 1994 Ulster Volunteer Force attack in a bar in Loughinisland, where patrons were watching Ireland play Italy in the World Cup.

Police also questioned him about the attempted murder of five other people in the bar.

The suspect was held at Antrim Serious Crimes Suite before being freed last night without charge.

The victims were Adrian Rogan, 39-year-old Eamon Byrne, who was married with four children, his brother-in-law Patsy O'Hare, who was 35 and a single man, 59-year-old Dan McCreanor, a single farmer, his uncle Barney Green, an 87-year-old retired pig farmer who was married, and 54-year-old Malcolm Jenkinson, a building contractor who was married with three children.

According to RUC reports at the time of the killing, the gunmen locked their victims into the bar, walking among them and shot each between two and five times before running out of bullets.

In 2006, the families, through their solicitors, formally complained to Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan about serious flaws in the police investigation into the murders.

They alleged "police mismanagement" of items of evidence seized at the time that, they argued, could be tested to find clues that could identify the killers. In particular they questioned why the getaway car used in the murder was "wilfully destroyed by police".