Loyalist killings linked to Ulster Defence Regiment should be investigated ‘thoroughly’, says British minister

Minister of state Anna Soubry: would not accept the accuracy of all of the allegations made about the so-called Glenanne gang. “

The killings of 120 Catholics by a loyalist murder gang that included members of the Ulster Defence Regiment should be “investigated honestly, thoroughly and vigorously”, a British minister of state for defence has said.

The declaration by the newly appointed minister of state Anna Soubry came during a debate in Westminster yesterday called by SDLP MP Mark Durkan, who said that the ministry of defence well knew in the 1970s that some members of the security services were involved.

“They should be investigated thoroughly, honestly and vigorously by the police. It is not my department’s intention to shy away from acknowledging or apologising for genuine mistakes and where errors have been made,” she said.

In his speech, Mr Durkan said official ministry of defence files inspected by the Pat Finucane Centre and published in Lethal Allies, the book authored by Anne Cadwallader, "casually" refer to the existence of collusion between UDR soldiers and loyalist paramilitaries.


“The MoD knew one thing in private and said another thing in public and refuted the concerns that were legitimately being expressed by members of this house, by other representatives in NI and by other governments,” the former SDLP leader declared.

However, Ms Soubry refused to accept the accuracy of all of the allegations made about the so-called Glenanne gang. “It is only right for me to make the point that some of these allegations may well be untrue. It is only by painstaking and professional investigation that the truth can be uncovered,” she said.

Mark Hennessy

Mark Hennessy

Mark Hennessy is Ireland and Britain Editor with The Irish Times