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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Loughinisland relative slams PSNI response to film

Posted by Jim on November 7, 2017

Emma Rogan, MLA.
 
Connla Young.Irish News. Belfast. Monday, November 6, 2017
 
 THE daughter of a man killed in the Loughinisland massacre has strongly criticised the PSNI after it requested an investigation into how sensitive documents came to be used in the film No Stone Unturned.

The documentary, due for general release this Friday, named three people suspected of involvement in the UVF gun attack that claimed lives of six innocent men as they watched the Republic of Ireland play a World Cup match in a bar in June 1994.

It also claimed that the wife of one of the suspected gunmen gave his name to police shortly after the massacre.

The man, Ronald Hawthorne, was arrested after the attack but has never been charged.

The film by Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney also alleges that during an interrogation of Hawthorne an officer tried to convince him to kill a prominent republican.

It comes after a Police Ombudsman’s report published in June last year identified “catastrophic failings” in the RUC investigation and found that collusion was a significant feature in the murders.

In a statement issued last week, Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin acknowledged the “hurt and anger” felt by families and said police remain “firmly committed” to apprehending those responsible for the attack and will be reviewing the documentary.

However, he added that police were aware that sensitive documents thought to originate from the Police Ombudsman’s Office are suspected to have been used in the film.

He said Durham police are already investigating how a solicitor’s firm obtained separate documents from the ombudsman’s office.

“While there is nothing to suggest these matters are linked, the PSNI has requested that the existing investigation is extended to include this recent suspected theft of sensitive material,” he said.

The film makes clear that the Loughinisland documents were posted to the filmmakers unsolicited.

Last night Sinn Féin MLA Emma Rogan, whose father Adrian Rogan was killed, slammed the PSNI response.

“Six men are dead and families still devastated but they want to go after a document,” she said.

“A document that’s in a film that gives the families the truth.

“How dare they distract from their responsibilities to us and all the other families.”

Ms Rogan described the PSNI’s response as “cruel”.

“The families’ first concern is for the perpetrators to be brought to justice,” she said.

“But the PSNI statement provides us with a cruel insight into their priorities.

“Their only investigative action arising from the film, and the work of journalist and lawyers to expose the truth, is an allegation of theft against the film makers.

“It’s stunning and disgraceful in equal measure.”

The PSNI could not be contacted last night for comment

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