Loughinisland Families Response to RPOA Judgement

Emma Rogan, whose father Adrian was murdered in the Heights Bar:


“Last Christmas, 2016, was the first Christmas since the atrocity whereby we felt that the truth had been set free and allowed to breath. This judgment, which has been delivered four days prior to Christmas Day, has devastated us all. We feel that the truth has again been suffocated. We will study this judgment over Christmas and renew our efforts to defend the inconvenient truth, in the New Year”


Niall Murphy, solicitor for the families of those bereaved states:


“This case was premised entirely on procedural grounds. Ronnie Hawthorn and Raymond White, did not challenge a single fact contained in the Police Ombudsman’s report. The facts therefore remain as facts.


  • It is still a fact that the RUC recovered the getaway car, intact and destroyed it.
  • It is still a fact that the RUC received a letter, from a former employee, notifying them of the names of the culprits, and the RUC lost that letter, depriving future investigations of a key exhibit.
  • It is still a fact that the twine from the getaway car, which was recovered was lost.
  • It is still a fact that the chief suspect, person A, who was not arrested for 2 months despite investigators having his name within 12 hours, was tipped off by a police officer on 21st August 1994, the day before the RUC actually bothered to arrest him.
  • It is still a fact that transcripts of the interviews of the suspects, that the RUC did bother to arrest, were then destroyed by police.


None of these facts would have seen the light of day, but for the Police Ombudsman’s report, and the families are eternally grateful for the recovery of those facts, which are still facts, notwithstanding this judgement.”


“It is a further matter of fact that the report, was delivered in its entirety to the Chief Constable months in advance of publication. The Chief Constable, who then has a right to reply, to object to factual errors, did not take issue with the report as it was published, indeed he accepted the report in its entirety, as did the then Prime Minister David Cameron who personally wrote to the families on 12th July 2016, as did the then Secretary of State Theresa Villiers.


The office of the Police Ombudsman and specifically the work of its Historic Directorate is held up by the British Government to the European Court of Human Rights in their defence, in respect of found failings in respect of the British Government’s breaches of article 2, the right to life. As such, this judgment will be required to be considered by the Council of Ministers in Strasbourg, and the State’s compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights, considered acutely in that regard.”


Niall Murphy KRW Law LLP