RUC is cleared of killings liability

 

THE RUC has been cleared of financial liability arising out of the killing of three men by a deranged policeman in west Belfast five years ago.

In the High Court in Belfast yesterday, Mr Justice Pringle held that the force had no duty of care to the three men shot dead by Constable Allen Moore (24) in Sinn Fein offices on February 4th, 1992. The judge said that, having regard to the large number of unidentifiable potential victims, there was no special relationship between the victims and the police.

Mr Patrick Loughran (60), Mrs Michael O'Dwyer (21) and Mr Patrick McBride (40) were killed when Moore opened up with his pump action shotgun which he later turned on himself.

The judge recalled that on the day before the shootings, Moore had fired shots over a colleague's grave. He was arrested and his police revolver was taken from him as he was found to be drunk.

But later he was allowed to leave Newtownabbey RUC station unhindered. He returned there shortly afterwards and was again allowed to leave, this time with his shotgun.

Ten minutes later he entered the Sinn Fein offices and killed three men and wounded two others.

Mr Eamon McMenamin, solicitor, said his clients had instructed him to appeal.