Sunday 21 January 2018

Cabinet orders fresh probe into death of Real IRA member

THE cabinet has ordered a fresh probe into the death of a Real IRA member who was shot and killed in Ashford 16 years ago during an armed raid on a Securicor van.

Ronan McLoughlin was fatally shot on May 1, 1998, after gardai interrupted a hold-up of the van on the day when most of the force were taking part in a 'Blue Flu' industrial action protest.

A one-person commission will be established to examine the circumstances of the shooting. Mr. McLoughlin's partner had already brought a case to the European Court of Human Rights.

An inquest into the shooting was held in 2009 and returned a verdict of death by misadventure.

During evidence at the trial it was revealed that initially the gardai weren't aware the gang were going to try and rob the contents of the Securicor van, thinking instead that they were heading to Wicklow in an attempt to kidnap a wealthy, local farmer for ransom.

It wasn't until a Securicor van passed by that Special Branch detectives suspected that vehicle was in fact the intended target.

The gang was armed with an assault rifle, a pump-action shotgun and revolver, an imitation rocket launcher and an angle grinder for cutting through metal.

The raiders had parked a van near the old Cullenmore House Hotel in Ashford and proceeded to place roadworks signs on the roadway.

They were also joined by a car in a nearby laneway.

Both the north and south lanes of the road were blocked by the van and car as a number of men wearing balaclavas attempted to break into the security van.

The inquest was told that McLoughlin had pointed a handgun at a detective garda sergeant, who in turn discharged his weapon twice, three rounds each time.

The confrontation saw the gardai fire three weapons, with the fatal shot coming from a Smith and Wesson revolver.

Bray People

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