Loughinisland report deeply disturbing, says Flanagan

Police Ombudsman’sfindings vindicates ‘concerns families raised over many years’

Concerns raised by families of the Loughinisland victims over many years have been vindicated by the official report into the murders, according to Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan.

He said the report by the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland into the 1994 murders was a cause for deep concern.

“My thoughts are first and foremost with the families of the six victims of the terrible attack at Loughinisland, for whom today will be a very difficult reminder of their loss and pain,” said the Minister on Thursday.

He added that the ombudsman’s report vindicated fundamentally the concerns the families have raised over many years and their pursuit for justice.


Mr Flanagan said the findings were deeply disturbing, particularly the determination of the ombudsman that “collusion is a significant feature of the Loughinisland murders”.

Possible prosecutions

The Minister added that the findings must now be carefully examined with a view to the question of further investigations and possible prosecutions.

“Despite its disturbing findings, the report is an important reminder of the central importance of the Police Ombudsman in supporting public confidence in the new policing arrangements in Northern Ireland, as envisaged in the Patten Report,” said Mr Flanagan.

He welcomed the full co-operation of the PSNI with the investigation and said that PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton had made clear that the force remained committed to apprehending those responsible for these appalling sectarian murders.

“The Police Ombudsman’s report is another stark reminder of the need to agree mechanisms for dealing with the painful legacy of the past in Northern Ireland. This is a priority for me in my engagement with the British Government and the parties in Northern Ireland,” said Mr Flanagan.

Stephen Collins

Stephen Collins

Stephen Collins is a columnist with and former political editor of The Irish Times