Detectives arrest man over Ulster pub killings

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The Independent Online

Detectives investigating one of Northern Ireland's most infamous multiple murders are questioning a 45-year-old man arrested in Kent.

He is being held in connection with an attack on a quiet Catholic pub in County Down in June 1994 in which six men were shot dead as they watched a World Cup football match. Those killed included Barney Green, who at the age of 87 was one of the oldest victims of the conflict in Northern Ireland.

The man was arrested in Maidstone on Saturday by detectives from Belfast working with Kent police. He was flown to Belfast on Sunday, where an extension has been granted to the initial three-day questioning period. Under Northern Ireland regulations he must be charged or released this week.

The attack on the Catholic-owned bar in the village of Loughinisland seemed to have been carried out on a purely sectarian basis. The victims had been watching the Republic of Ireland playing Italy.

Two gunmen belonging to the illegal Ulster Volunteer Force walked into the bar and opened fire with assault rifles on customers, who had been sitting with their backs to the door. About two dozen people were in the bar and lounge and several were seriously injured.

Some of the families of the Loughinisland victims have alleged collusion between the security forces and loyalists. The Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland is to publish a report into their claims this year.

A UVF claim that the victims had been attending a "republican function" was dismissed by police and politicians from across the political spectrum.