Relatives of Catholic man Loughlin Maginn killed by loyalists settle legal action

Loughlin Maginn was killed in Rathfriland, Co Down in 1989. Credit: Pacemaker

Relatives of a Catholic father-of-four murdered in a notorious loyalist assassination have settled their High Court action over alleged state collusion with the paramilitary killers.

Loughlin Maginn was gunned down after UDA men burst into his home in Rathfriland, Co Down in August 1989.

The 28-year-old victim’s family sued the PSNI and Ministry of Defence for damages in connection with the shooting.

They attended court on Friday for the announcement that their claim is to be stayed on confidential terms.

Part of the resolution involves the defendants paying the family’s legal costs.

With Mr Maginn’s relatives now set to press for a fresh inquest into his murder, Mr Justice Humphreys acknowledged the settlement forms part of a wider campaign.

He told them: “I know there may be other legal avenues you are pursuing in order to try to find out more about what happened to the loved member of your family.

“I recognise that it might not be the end of your journey, and for many families this is only one part of a process that is ongoing.

“I hope matters work out and I wish you all well.”

Mr Maginn was shot dead after the killers used a sledgehammer to gain entry to his home.

Two serving members of the UDR were subsequently convicted of his murder.

Credible evidence later emerged that there was state collusion in targeting him for assassination, according to the family’s case.

The UDA was said to have entered an army base and taken a video tape of an intelligence briefing which contained references to Mr Maginn.

Outside court their solicitor, Gavin Booth of Phoenix Law, said: “Our clients are delighted that today the PSNI and MOD have finally settled their case which has been ongoing since 1992.

“Today should mark a significant milestone in the family’s journey for justice for the murder of Loughlin Maginn, in Rathfriland in County Down.”

Mr Booth added: “Whilst some of the truth is now known as to what happened to Loughlin Maginn many questions remain unanswered and many of those responsible have been allowed to escape justice.

“The family will continue to campaign for a fresh inquest into the murder of Loughlin Maginn and hope that a decision will be forthcoming by the coroner in the coming weeks.”