Published on Friday 30 December 2011 11:02
The Pat Finucane Centre (PFC) has carried out extensive research into a loyalist death squad, infiltrated by the RUC and the UDR, which is alleged to have murdered Daniel Hughes in 1974 at Boyle’s Bar , Cappagh, Owen Boyle at his home in Aughnacloy in 1975, Francis and Bernadette Mullan in 1973 at Broughadoey, Tyrone, as well as the Hillcrest Bar bomb in 1976 which killed Andrew Small, James McCaughey, Joseph Kelly and Patrick Barnard.
DungannonIndependent Republican Councillor Barry Monteith said he hoped fresh evidence relating to the Miami Showband massacre would spark new interest in the atrocities which took place in the so-called ‘murder triangle’.
“The further evidence revealed recently about the attack on the Miami Showband shows clearly the high level of collusion between the British Forces and the UVF. At least 5 of those directly involved were serving British Soldiers and another worked for one of the British intelligence services.
“The attack has been linked to the ‘Glenanne gang’ which was responsible for over 100 murders and countless attacks against the nationalist community in East Tyrone, Armagh and surrounding areas in the mid-1970s. How many of these attacks had serving British Soldiers and British intelligence agents involved in them? Where did the orders come from? Who gave the orders?
“Attacking people socialising and places where people socialised was not a one-off. It was part of a campaign of terror against the nationalist population who were guilty only of being Irish in British Occupied Ireland. People were also killed in attacks on the Hillcrest Bar in Dungannon, Hayden’s Bar in Rock, Falls’ Bar in Derrytresk, Boyle’s Bar in Cappagh to name a few.
“In any other country if state forces were found to have been involved in a murder campaign then there would be outrage. Yet Britain still successfully hides its dirty war in Ireland.”
Last week, the PSNI’s Historical Enquiries Team (HET) revealed evidence which pointed to the involvement of notorious loyalist leader Robin ‘The Jackal’ Jackson — believed to have been an RUC Special Branch agent — as well as a number of UDR soldiers in the killing of the three showband members in July 1975.
Jackson’s fingerprints were found on a silencer attached to a Luger pistolthat was used in the murders.
The Pat Finucane centre is co-operating with families in the Dungannon area whose relatives were murdered by loyalist paramilitaries operating out of Portadown, Dungannon and Armagh.
They have connected a number of killings and attempted murders in the Dungannon and Moy areas to two weapons, a .455 Revolver and a 9mm SMG.
Alan Bracknell, who is leading the research, said that the Historical Enquiries Team were in the process of investigating the activities of the death squad.
He expects the official investigation will find evidence that collusion did occur and that there was a cover-up by security forces.
“The team will have access to the official documents and be able to corroborate or disprove our findings.
“I would expect them to uncover more evidence of collusion and perhaps prove that some of the connections we have made are unfounded.
“The families of the victims, who have always suspected collusion, will want to have the truth and some of them will want to have charges brought.
“Realistically, however, the chances of successful prosecutions after all this time are slight.
“The purpose of this research is to finally reveal the truth and allow our community to learn lessons from the past.”
- ‘Agent involved’ in Miami murders (bbc.co.uk)
- Miami Showband: “Disturbing questions about collusive and corrupt behaviour” (sluggerotoole.com)
- Miami Showband HET reaction due (bbc.co.uk)