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Police renew appeal over pub murders during 1994 Ireland-Italy match

Six men were shot dead while watching the World Cup match. No one has ever been charged with their murders.

Source: Ceasefire Massacre screengrab

TWENTY YEARS AGO today, six men were shot dead and five others injured by UVF members while watching the Ireland-Italy World Cup match in Heights Bar in Loughinisland.

None of the gunmen involved have ever been charged with the murders and today police in Northern Ireland appealed for information, saying a renewed investigation is underway.

Barney Green, Adrian Rogan, Malcolm Jenkinson, Daniel McCreanor, Patrick O’Hare and Eamon Byrne all lost their lives that day in the bar which was frequented by both Catholics and Protestants well away from the core areas of violence during the Troubles.

bar An image of the bar shortly after the tragedy occurred. Source: Ceasefire Massacre screengrab

To this day, it is unclear why this particular pub was chosen. Irish filmmaker Trevour Birney, who produced a documentary about the massacre said last year:

“I don’t think any of the authorities have ever been able to work out why that bar was chosen. There were no links to terrorists in that bar, unlike other bars where there had been some sort of incident before or some sort of knowledge. The police could find nothing that would link the terrorists to that bar and yet, it was the most humble of bars in County Down — [they were] very simple, very proud, but very humble people.

16 people have been arrested, 51 searches have been conducted, 605 statements were recorded and more than 2,500 actions raised as part of the investigation but still no one has ever been charged.

Senior investigating officer, Detective Inspector Gareth Talbot described the incident as “a sickening, indiscriminate and completely futile attack committed by terrorists who gave no thought to the innocent lives they shattered, then and now”.

He said police remain firmly committed to apprehending those responsible for the murders.

Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

On this 20th anniversary, with all its pain for families and survivors and perhaps reflection for those involved, I would ask anyone with information about the murders to come forward and speak to police.
The anniversary should bring into focus the fact that it is never too late to do the right thing, to come forward with any information about individuals or events. Police will not give up but what we really need is for people to make statements and give evidence.

Anyone with any information can contact detectives in the Incident Room on 028 3751 7390 or by email to MIT8@psni.pnn.police.uk. Alternatively, people can provide information without giving their details to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Related: ‘They’d only gone to the bar to support the Irish team, yet they died for their love of the sport’>

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