UK: Journalists exposing police collusion in Loughinisland massacre arrested


UK: Journalists exposing police collusion in Loughinisland massacre arrested

Steve James

12 September 2018

Twenty-four years after masked gunmen sprayed automatic gunfire into the Heights Bar, Loughinisland in Northern Ireland, killing six football fans, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) arrested two journalists who have spent years investigating the atrocity.

The two, Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey, were questioned for 14 hours, August 31, before being released on bail. Police also searched two houses and offices where the Detail investigative news site, media company Below The Radar and documentary producer Fine Point Films are based.

Large numbers of phones, computers and documents were seized. At the time of writing, police have been legally prevented from immediately trawling through the seized material.

Birney is a former current affairs editor of Ulster Television, and has produced a number of historical and political biographies and documentaries. He has won media awards and was named Northern Ireland’s broadcaster of the year in 2002.

McCaffrey has spent more than a decade on Loughinisland and has been writing and reporting on Irish current affairs for longer. In 2013, he was named Northern Ireland’s digital journalist of the year.

The raid and arrests came ten months after, and relate directly to, the release last year by Fine Point Films of a powerful documentary by US director Alex Gibney on the killings. No Stone Unturned was produced by Birney and based on research by both Birney and McCaffrey.

The film places the killings in the context of British forces’ countless clandestine operations during the so-called “Troubles” (approximately 1968 to 1998) and notes numerous failings in the police investigation. The film identified for…

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