Relatives of the Glenanne gang’s victims have wept outside Belfast High Court after it ruled that the PSNI is breaching their human rights.
The families took legal action against the PSNI for failing to complete an overarching review of the activities of the loyalist gang, which is believed to have been responsible for up to 120 murders in nearly 90 incidents in the Troubles.
It was responsible for killings such as the Miami Showband massacre in 1975 and the Step Inn pub bombing in Keady in County Armagh a year later.
Denise Mullen, whose father Denis was murdered by the gang in September 1975 said she was happy yet sad at the verdict today (Friday).
“Today has opened the gates for us”, she told the Tyrone Times.
“I’ve very mixed emotions. Sad when I look at my aged mother - the tragic events surrounding 01 Sept 1975 and the aftermath - have aged her long before her years.”
Eddie Barnard, whose 13-year-old brother, Patrick, was killed in the bombing of the Hillcrest Bar in Dungannon, said he had not expected the outcome.
“I am shocked - I did not think we would get the victory today that we have got,” he said.
“We have proved collusion, we have proved that the police halted the report, they stopped the HET from fulfilling their part.”
Independent Republical Councillor Barry Monteith commeded the families for their courage. “This is further proof that the PSNI is a British police force actively involved in hiding the truth about British military and police involvement in the killing of Irish people.
“How much public money has been and continues to be spent by the PSNI to fight against these families? It is quite clear that when it comes to covering up Britain’s dirty war that austerity is not an issue.”
Relatives have called for the PSNI to complete an unfinished report into the Glenanne gang by the defunct Historical Enquiries Team (HET) and publish its findings.
The judge said that in replacing the HET with the Legacy Investigations branch, the PSNI had frustrated “any possibility of an effective investigation”.