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UDR soldiers 'colluded' with Loyalist terror group in 1991 attack

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The UDR colluded extensively with Loyalist terrorist gangs to harm the Irish Republican movement

In the latest verified case of collusion between British security forces and Loyalist terrorist groups, a high-profile attack dating back to 1991 has been definitively attributed to elements of the British army.

The shooting attack at Boyle’s Bar in Cappagh, County Tyrone, in March 1991, killed four people, including three volunteers in the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA).

The attack was carried out by a Mid-Ulster Brigade of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), one of the largest loyalist terrorist groups during the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland. 

Twenty nine years after the event it has emerged that families of the four victims have obtained a draft police report which links soldiers from the notorious Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) to the attack.

Terrorist regiment 

The UDR was the lead component of the British army during the strife in Northern Ireland. The regiment was disbanded in 1992 (barely a year after the attack on Boyle’s Bar) only to be amalgamated with the Royal Irish Rangers to form the Royal Irish Regiment.

Compiled by the Historical Enquiries Team (HET), the police report states that only “months” after the attack, intelligence was received which “named three serving members of the UDR as being responsible”.

The UDR soldiers and a “close associate” were questioned about the attack but never charged.

Murderous legacy 

Set up by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (the successor to the notorious Royal Ulster Constabulary) in September 2005 to investigate more than three thousand unsolved murders during the Troubles, the HET was dissolved nine years later in September 2014.

The victims’ families have always maintained the terror attack at Boyle’s Bar involved deep collusion between the UDR and loyalist terrorists.

A solicitor representing some of the families, Gavin Booth of Phoenix Law, said it is “the first time a state report confirms collusion” in the case.

MI5 - Loyalist collusion    

More broadly, the police report discusses the possible role of the British Security Service, MI5, in “several murders” in the same area.

The report cites “concerns of security service [MI5] collusion in east Tyrone” following the arrest and interrogation of the UDR soldiers.

Formed in 1966 by a former British soldier, Gusty Spence, the UVF worked closely with elements of the British army and the security service MI5 in assassinating IRA members and other influential figures in the Irish Republican community.  


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