A UUP peer has criticised a police report on the McKearney murders as ‘totally out of context’ and without ‘any modicum of logic’.
Kevin McKearney and his elderly uncle Jack McKearney were shot at their family shop in County Tyrone in 1992 by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).
An investigation conducted by the HET concluded last week that the RUC did not do enough to prevent their murders.
However, Lord Ken Maginnis, a former member of the UDR, has criticised the findings and defended the role played by the RUC at the time.
“The latest Historic Enquiries Team report on the McKearney murders calls into question the entire credibility and, indeed, the futility of these latter-day investigations”, he said.
“In so far as one might reasonably expect any such enquiry to deal with facts – not an easy task considering the relative normality of 2012 – there has been such a speculative approach within this McKearney Report as to raise a question on the current motivation of those involved.
“For over 40 years I’ve condemned all political violence and worked to try to protect the community – many of my colleagues have paid with their lives for doing the same thing. Over 300 RUC and RUCR members were murdered and one immediately asks who colluded in their murders.
“Let’s not forget that it was Patrick, Sean and Tommy McKearney who, as IRA members, set the scene for much of the carnage that Moy village had to endure.
Lord Maginnis went on : “Let’s not forget the Dobson brothers, Tommy and Robert, gunned down in their office or Robin Farmer in his father’s store – they had no security connections. That is not to forget George Elliott, Jack Donnelly, George McCaul, Fred Irwin and Roy Leslie all from the village.
“If the two victims of the butchers’ shop murders were innocent, and it would be wrong to speculate otherwise, then two obvious facts have been overlooked!
“Firstly, it would have been impossible for police to effectively protect anyone without the person’s active cooperation. Secondly, knowing the McKearney’s IRA family connections, the RUC could not have discounted the possibility that the whole issue was a “come on” where any security personnel deployed could have found themselves sitting on a booby-trap or walking into a pre-planned ambush.
“The HET – and I wonder how many have any real anti-terrorist experience or service - has blithely ignored that reality. Hence, their opinion – not ‘judgment’ – that “the RUC did not do enough to prevent their murders” is totally out of context and without any modicum of logic.
“The Chief Constable needs to urgently rethink whether such slovenly and speculative conclusions are the product of genuine investigation or simply the outcome of current social conditioning. Listening to Tommy McKearney, who now parades as a journalist, I think that many of us will recognise “conditioning”!”