The May 1987 Loughgall Killings
DORFMAN, LYNCH & KNOEBEL, ESQS.
LEGAL COUNSEL TO THE
LOUGHGALL CAMPAIGN FOR
TRUTH & JUSTICE
Over one year ago the Loughgall Campaign for Truth and Justice sought an independent investigation of the events 8 May 1987. On that day, nine individuals were killed and one person was left for dead at Loughgall, Northern Ireland. The killings were done admittedly by members of the British Military’s elite Special Air Services (“SAS”).
Loughgall was the birthplace of the Orange Order and a RUC Barracks was located there. The RUC Barracks was manned only on a part-time basis. In a planned attack on a Barracks when it was scheduled to be unmanned, Eight Volunteers of the Irish Republican Army (“IRA”) and one civilian were killed that day. To date, the circumstances of the 8 May 1987 killings have never been examined by any independent investigation body.
The Loughgall Campaign for Truth & Justice (the “Campaign”) retained the services of a law firm experienced in civil rights matters to investigate the circumstances surrounding the events of 8 May 1987. This Special Report is the product of that year long expert investigation.
SPECIAL REPORT INVESTIGATIVE BACKGROUND
The immediate background of events regarding the Loughgall Killings are undisputed. On 8.30PM on 7 May 1987 British SAS Soldiers were briefed by their Commanding Officer about a raid that was planned by the IRA on the Loughgall Barracks. SAS soldiers deployed in the field around the Barracks beginning at 2.30AM on 8 May 1987. At 7.00PM on 8 May 1987 the SAS soldiers were aware that a JCB digger was acting “in a suspicious manner” driving “up and down” past the RUC Barracks. The SAS soldiers were likewise aware that a Blue Van was also being driven accompanying the JCB digger. The JCB Digger and blue Van drove past the SAS soldiers hiding in the fields surrounding the RUC Barracks at least twice without the SAS trying to stop the vehicles.
According to a Deposition of the Commanding Officer of the SAS forces, the mission of the British soldiers was “to protect Loughgall RUC Station from possible” attack by the IRA. Simply stated, the mission was to prevent an attack. Besides the Commanding Officer there were twenty-three (23) other SAS soldiers used in this Operation. According to the sworn deposition of this SAS Commanding Officer, sometime after 6.15PM that evening of 8 May 1987 the Blue Van that was previously hijacked first passed by the RUC Barracks. Since the attack on the RUC Barracks by the IRA took place approximately 7.30PM the evening of 8 May 1987, the SAS had over one (1) hour of time to prevent the attack after being aware that the IRA Active Service Unit was about to attack.
These events led the Campaign to question whether this SAS operation was truly to prevent a raid on the RUC Barracks that evening as testified to under oath by British military personnel.
As a result of this investigation, it is clear that neither the SAS soldiers nor any other military or paramilitary personnel for the British Government did anything to prevent this attack on the RUC Barracks which took place the evening of 8 May 1987. As a result, all eight IRA volunteers involved in the attack were killed. And, one innocent civilian was also killed. Another innocent civilian was left for dead by the SAS and survived only after receiving near fatal wounds.
REPORTS OF EXPERTS RETAINED FOR THIS SPECIAL REPORT
To assist legal counsel in conducting an investigation two experts in parliamentary matters were retained as well as a pathologist. The results of their reports are as follows.
First, a Company with extensive international experience in paramilitary and security matters, AMTI of Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA was hired to review all evidence supplied in an Inquest that was conducted in 1995. This Inquest was officially sanctioned by the Northern Ireland Government and the evidence approved by the Northern Ireland Government was used for expert review purposes. Annexed hereto as Exhibit “A” is the results of that expert review. As noted, this independent expert has confirmed that the British Military forces “took no action to prevent” the IRA attack on the RUC Barracks that evening.
Second, an experienced paramilitary operative, Kenneth J. Cummings, also examined the identical evidence supplied by the Northern Ireland Government. This paramilitary operative who had “extensive knowledge of SAS activities” reviewed the aforementioned documents. Based upon that expert review annexed hereto as “Exhibit B” it was concluded:
(I)t is clear to any reasonable prudent professional
involved in paramilitary matters that a classic
elimination plan of these eight IRA individuals
was executed by the SAS on May 8, 1987.
(T)he SAS operation on the day of the incident
was not intended to prevent an attack on a
RUC Barracks. Instead, the operation was
planned and executed to kill all IRA personnel
involved in the incident. Otherwise stated,
on May 8, 1987 the SAS acted as judge, jury
and executioner for nine residents of Northern
Ireland, including one totally innocent civilian.
Third, the report of a noted Pathologist, Dr Hiroshi Nakawaza, M.D. has confirmed that wounds on the nine deceased individuals involved are consistent with close-up weapons discharges evidencing an execution-type killing to the dead and dying people involved in this event. Therefore, in addition to any shoot-to-kill policy, evidence exist of execution style murders by British and Northern Ireland Government forces.
Based upon a year long investigation and expert reports obtained by the undersigned, it has been established beyond a reasonable doubt as follows:
The SAS has advanced warning of the IRA attack on
a scheduled unmanned RUC Barracks at least one day
before the attack took place;
With advanced knowledge of the attack, the SAS
forces were deployed in a fashion not to prevent
the IRA attack on his unmanned Barracks;
Although aware at least one hour before the IRA
attack on the Barracks that an Active Service Unit
of the IRA was ready to attack, the SAS and other
British and Northern Ireland military and
paramilitary forces did nothing to prevent the
attack although well able to do so;
The IRA volunteers were allowed to enter a killing
zone established by the SAS on 8 May 1987 and all
IRA personnel were killed pursuant to a “shoot-to-
kill” policy in effect that evening;
One innocent civilian was also killed as part of
that “shoot-to-kill” policy and another innocent
civilian received near fatal injuries;
Established procedures of due process under law
were not followed in a determination of legal
responsibility by those British and Northern
Ireland officials who sanctioned this “shoot-to-
kill” policy for the events of 8 May 1987.
DENNIS E.A. LYNCH, ESQ.
A member of the law firm of
DORFMAN, LYNCH & KNOEBEL
51 North Broadway
Nyack, New York USA
Report of AMTI, Inc.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
EVENT ANALYSIS OF THE BOMBING/GUN BATTLE
AT LOUGHGALL,COUNTY ARMAGH
ON MAY 8, 1987
Purpose.I reviewed the documentation cited in paragraph 2 to ascertain whether:
the British Army and RUC forces involved in the incident were deployed
and utilized for the purpose of preventing an attack on the RUC station;
2. Documentation. The following materials were reviewed and analyzed:
Minutes of the Coroner’s Inquest of 30 May 1995 by C.A.J.
Deposition of Soldier A of 39 Infantry Brigade.
Deposition of Soldier B of 39 Infantry Brigade
Deposition of Soldier C of 39 Infantry Brigade
Deposition of Soldier D of 39 Infantry Brigade
Deposition of Soldier K of 39 Infantry Brigade
Deposition of Soldier S of 39 Infantry Brigade
Deposition of Soldier T of 39 Infantry Brigade
Deposition of Soldier U of 39 Infantry Brigade
Deposition of Soldier V of 39 Infantry Brigade
Deposition of Peter Corr
Deposition of Patrick Gerald Mackle
Deposition of Oliver James Hughes
Deposition of Constable A
Deposition of Constable C
Report of Autopsy ico Patrick Joseph Kelly
Report of Autopsy of Anthony Hughes
Report of Autopsy of Seamus Donnelly
Report of Autopsy of Michael Anthony Gormley
Report of Autopsy of Eugene Kelly
Report of Autopsy of Declan Arthurs
Report of Autopsy of Gerard O’Callaghan
Report of Autopsy of Patrick Oliver McKearney
Report Autopsy of James Lynagh
Judgement on Appeal by Amelia Arthurs for Judicial Review and the
Matter of a Ruling of Her Majesty’s Coroner for County Armagh by McCollum J.
3. Opinions. The opinions contained in this analysis are based upon the documentation cited in the preceding paragraph and my personal experiences gained during 20 years of active military service with U.S. Special Operations Forces to include the national counter-terrorist forces.
Were the British Army and RUC forces involved in the incident deployed and utilized for the purpose of preventing an attack on the RUC station?
The deployment of the British force was sufficient to cover the approaches to the RUC Station in Loughgall. The troops deployed to six different positions as outlined in Soldier A’s deposition. From these positions they could detect the approach of suspicious personnel and vehicles. They did, in fact, detect suspicious personnel and vehicles as supported by the statements of the soldiers.
The crux of the issue is whether or not the British force was utilized to prevent an attack on the RUC station. It is my opinion that the British soldiers and the RUC constables were not utilized to prevent the attack. The following points are offered to support this conclusion:
The British forces had prior intelligence regarding a planned attack on the RUC station.
The deployed forces were informed that a blue Toyota Hiace van had been stolen by the IRA.
A van fitting the description of the stolen vehicle was observed by the forces surrounding the RUC station and permitted to drive by the RUC station several times.
A JCB digger was sighted traveling on the Loughgall Road and that it had grass in its bucket. The soldiers knew that such a vehicle had been used in terrorist attacks on police Stations in the past.
No attempt was made to and investigate either of the vehicles as they
passed the deployed soldiers surrounding the RUC station. At least one
of the soldiers (Soldier S) was carrying a “caltrops” which is a portable
device that can rapidly deployed to establish a vehicle roadblock. It
contains spikes that will puncture a vehicle’s tires. The “caltrops” was
The Toyota van was permitted to stop in front of the RUC station and discharge personnel who took the RUC station under
The JCB digger was permitted to drive pass the RUC station and
then to return and enter the RUC station with its explosives. Only after
the JCB crashed through the front gate of the police station during the
gun battle was it engaged.
The above actions support the opinion that the British soldiers and the RUC constables acted only in response to the attack and took no action to prevent it. Even though they had sufficient intelligence and equipment to stop the two vehicles before they arrived at the RUC station , they chose not to do so.
Kenneth J. Cummings, President
International Information Services
R E P O R T
The undersigned being requested by Dorfman, Lynch & Knoebel, legal counsel to the Campaign for Truth and Justice,respectfully
states the following information.
The undersigned is currently employed in the field of forensic
investigative services. These services entail the collection of evidence for presentation in legal proceedings and otherwise in support of fact-finding in court room proceedings.
Prior to my current employment, I previously received extensive training and was involved in active service with the United States Military Forces. I have trained with British Special
Operations Groups and I have been briefed by members of 14 IN. Additionally, I have also been a member of and trained by the United States Navy Seal Team.
As I do not wish to compromise any past or current activities of the United States Military Forces, I represent that I have received training about practices of the Special Air Services (“SAS”). Due to certain restrictions on disclosure of information, I cannot reveal other background and operational matters. I have however, extensive knowledge of SAS activities through cross- training and sharing information.
Based upon my background and knowledge of the SAS operations at that time, I was requested to review and provide an objective report concerning the events of May 8, 1987. Specifically, I reviewed photographs of the scene of the May 8, 1987 incident involving an active service unit of the Irish Republican Army
( “incident” ). I have also personally reviewed autopsy reports, crime scene investigation by the Royal Ulster Constabulary (“RUC”). In addition, sworn deposition testimony of various individuals identified as Soldiers “A” etc.. was also reviewed by the undersigned. In addition to the foregoing I have also personally reviewed the autopsy report of a civilian identified as Anthony Hughes and the medical reports of his brother, Oliver Hughes. I have also viewed maps of the incident and accounts of the incident reported in several newspapers, as well as video recordings of news reports depicting the actual scene of the incident.
Based upon the foregoing evidence, it is clear to any reasonable prudent professional involved in paramilitary matters that a classic elimination plan of these eight IRA individuals was executed by the SAS on May 8, 1987.
Specifically, based upon my experience with paramilitary matters involving counter-insurgency situations, the SAS forces
received advance notification of a planned IRA operation. Those SAS forces were deployed with a specific plan to surround, surprise
and eliminate the IRA personnel involved. This was not an
operation intended to halt or capture IRA personnel, and it was not
an operation intended to prevent an attack on an RUC barracks. This
operation was intended to eliminate these IRA personnel and to also send a message to demoralize other IRA personnel. I specifically
have read, incorporate and confirm the report of ATM, Inc., with regard to this matter.
In addition, based upon the standard practices of the SAS in such operations as well as the review of medical records, it is
clear that the SAS forces involved as part of their operating
practices proceeded to kill by shooting in the head any individuals who apparently survived the SAS operation.
Specifically with regard to Oliver Hughes, the evidence
reviewed is consistent with the practice of the SAS to inflict
mortal wounds by point blank shots to the head of anyone who may
have survived the initial. The standard SAS practices in any
operation such as employed for this incident would be to eliminate
all potential witnesses who could inform others about SAS operation or identify SAS or other personnel involved.
In conclusion, the SAS operation on the day of the incident
was not intended to prevent an attack on a RUC barracks. Instead,
the operation was planned and executed to kill all IRA personnel involved in the incident. Otherwise stated, on May 8,1987 the SAS
acted as judge,jury and executioner for nine residents of Northern Ireland, including one totally innocent civilian. The fact that a second civilian was not also killed is the only mistake in the SAS plan of operation of that incident of that day.
This report was prepared without prejudice or ill-feeling toward the operation involved. This report was based upon the foregoing experience, knowledge and study of the pertinent documents.
INTERNATIONAL INFORMATION SERVICES
by: Kenneth J. Cummings, President