Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin has said the details contained in the Loughinisland report are deeply disturbing and expose a dark chapter in Northern Ireland’s history.
Deputy Martin said, “The central role of police collusion with Loyalist murder squads in the Loughinisland massacre is deeply shocking. Six men were ruthlessly gunned down while simply watching the world cup on a bright June evening. One of them was 87 years old. The fact that the police, who were entrusted with protecting the community, were embroiled in collusion with the death squad responsible for the massacre is sinister and disturbing.
“Loughinisland was a dark chapter in the history of Northern Ireland. The scale and depth of collusion with violent gunmen is a damming indictment of the rotten culture in parts of the security services. The report vindicates and confirms the necessity at the time to establish the PSNI and the need for ongoing reform of the police service in Northern Ireland.
“I believe the comments made by Secretary of State Villiers in February where she referenced the RUC not pulling the trigger in Loughinisland are misleading and hurtful given the details of serious collusion that have now emerged. She should apologise and retract that statement in light of this report.
“I hope the families can find some sense of closure with the truth around how their loved ones were murdered. However the killers must be brought to justice and answer for this heinous crime. It also highlights the need for British co-operation on the Dublin Monaghan bombings where collision may have been a critical factor.
“As tens of thousands of fans travel to France for the European championship we should all remember the sad fate of six ordinary football fans watching what was a joyous occasion for Ireland, only to be brutally targeted because of their religion. This was the human cost of the Troubles. It is both a reminder of the progress we have made through the peace process and the continuing need to build a better future on this island.”