Deadly weapons and loyalist hitlist cache allegedly found at Tamnamore home

The aftermath of the UVF Step Inn pub bombing, Keady, in August 1976

The aftermath of the UVF Step Inn pub bombing, Keady, in August 1976

The Pat Finucane centre is pursuing an investigation into claims that a deadly arsenal of weapons and a hitlist of potential Catholic victims dating back to the 1970s was uncovered by workmen at a house near Coalisland.

A handgun, a rifle, ammunition and the list of names were allegedly found in a dusty plastic bag underneath floorboards during the renovation of the house at Tamnamore during June.

It is claimed that the workmen who made the chilling find reported it to the police, who came with a forensic team and removed the weapons.

However, police have denied any knowledge of the find.

Speculation has mounted since the dicovery in June that the sinister cache is linked to the murder triangle of the 1970s.

A spokesperson for the Pat Finucane centre confirmed that a relative of one of the victims of the notorious Glenanne gang had contacted them in relation to the alleged find.

The human rights group said it would be pursuing the claims with police.

The spokesperson added that the centre had contacted the local district police commander asking for clarification about the alleged find.

It is alleged that one of the names on the list was connected to a victim of the Glenanne gang, which included members of the UVF, RUC and UDR, and is thought to have killed up to dozens of people in the 1970s.

One of its most notorious members was Robin Jackson, also known as the Jackal, who died in 1998 aged 50.

The activities of the gang are currently the subject of an investigation by the Police Ombudsman.

The find could be a major breakthrough in the victims’ families forty-year quest for justice.

Since 2003 the group’s activities have also been investigated by independent inquiries: the 2006 Cassel Report, and three reports commissioned by Irish Supreme Court Justice Henry Barron, known as the Barron Reports.