MoD sued over loyalist weapons claim
16 October 2012
The relatives of six men murdered in a bar in Northern Ireland in 1994 are suing the Ministry of Defence for its alleged role in providing the weapons used in the killings.
The men were shot by two loyalist gunmen at a bar in Loughinisland, County Down, in June 1994, in an incident which has become known as the Loughinisland Massacre.
Their relatives are suing for compensation from the Police Service of Northern Ireland and Ministry of Defence.
The case against the MoD is said to centre around 300 assault rifles and pistols, hundreds of grenades and some 30,000 rounds of ammunition smuggled into Belfast in 1987.
The weapons used in the attack are alleged to have been provided by South Africa's Armscor after a deal was struck with loyalist leaders. The deal came after a British agent who was undercover with the Ulster Defence Association at the time visited South Africa,according to The Guardian. The relatives of the six killed in the attack are seeking to link the agent's 1985 trip, which was paid for by the British taxpayer, with the smuggling of the weapons into Belfast in 1987.
At least one of the assault rifles from the shipment was used in the attack at Loughinisland.
Niall Murphy, lawyer for the families, told The Guardian: "We are confident that evidence of British involvement does exist, and we look forward to applying to the high court for its disclosure."
An MoD spokesman told The Guardian the claim would be dealt with "in accordance with the normal process – gathering evidence and presenting it to the courts".