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  1. ITV Report

Shootings inquiry widened as anniversary approaches

The scene of the shooting at Sean Graham bookmakers in 1992. Photo: Pacemaker

As the 25th anniversary of the Sean Graham bookmakers massacre approaches, the Police Ombudsman has told UTV an inquiry he's conducting has been widened to include a total of 12 loyalist murders in south Belfast in the 1980s and 90s.

Five people, including a 15-year-old boy, died after gunmen opened fire at the bookies on the Ormeau Road on 5 February 1992.

The UFF claimed the attack was in revenge for IRA killings at Teebane.

Relatives have said they hope the ombudsman’s report will be published around Easter and will back their claims of collusion.

The attack was all over in just 20 seconds as two UFF gunmen sprayed the tiny office with 46 bullets from a pistol and an automatic rifle, hitting all but one of the 13 people inside including a teenage boy who was one of the five fatalities.

The families in the lower Ormeau are in no doubt there was collusion.

The Police Ombudsman has been investigating the police handling of the original inquiry but the probe has been widened.

A statement from the ombudsman said his inquiry now formed part of a complex investigation into police actions in relation to 12 murders and one attempted murder by loyalist paramilitaries in south Belfast in the 1980s and 90s.

Officials have started drafting their report and the Ormeau families and Relatives for Justice say they want the truth - and the prosecution of a Special Branch officer.

Tommy Duffin, whose father Jack Duffin was murdered, said it “just stinks to the high heavens”.

He went on: “We all know nobody’s probably going to go to jail over this but we do require the British Government to put their hands up and say - we had a hand in this.”

A memorial service will be held outside the bookmakers on Sunday.