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Peter Hadden

Loughinisland Outrage

(24 June 1994)

From Militant [UK], No. 1187, 24 June 1994.
Transcribed and marked up by Ciaran Crossey.

Six dead. Others fighting for their lives in hospital. Eleven out of twenty four locals enjoying the Ireland v. Italy game, hit by gunfire. Inside, a scene so harrowing that TV pictures could not be broadcast.

Among the bodies lying on the floor of O’Toole’s cramped lounge bar is that of Barney Green, at 87 years old the oldest victim of the 25 years of violence.

Loughinisland – transformed in a few seconds of carnage from a tranquil County Down hamlet into yet another word like Ormeau, Shankill and Greysteel, evoking an image of horror.

Two days earlier Colin Craig, reputedly a senior figure in the UVF was shot dead by the Irish National Liberation Army on Belfast’s Shankill Road. Another Protestant also died in that attack. Loughinisland was the Ulster Volunteer Force’s (UVF) answer.

Their feeble excuse that a republican meeting was taking place cuts no ice with any section of the community in Northern Ireland.

The two killers were seen laughing as they ran from the bar. This was a brutal sectarian attack carried out by thugs who find some sick sadistic pleasure in murdering Catholics.

Loughinisland has managed to stay largely free of the sectarian divisions seen elsewhere. Laureen Casement, the 20-year-old grand-niece of Barney Green said: “This community has never been sectarian. We are all totally disgusted, Protestant and Catholic alike.”

Politicians and church leaders have issued their by now ritual condemnation but in their statements there is not a word about how to end this situation.

Last November it was different. After the Shankill bombing and the attack on a mainly Catholic bar in Greysteel, the trade unions took action. Mass protests drew crowds of 100,000 workers – Catholic and Protestant.

But since then the union leadership have done nothing. The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) are the one major organisation to say nothing about Loughinisland.

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