Report reveals Loyalists carried out Derrylin murder

An official report by the Historical Enquiries Team revealed on Monday, December 17 a butcher from Derrylin, Co Fermanagh, was murdered in 1972 by two loyalists from the Rathcoole area of Belfast.

40 years after 26 year old Louis Leonard was found in a fridge after being shot dead, the details of the HET report were revealed at a press conference in Enniskillen.

It’s now known that Mr Leonard was shot dead by the two Belfast loyalists, working in Fermanagh at the time.

The Leonard family also revealed details of evidence against the two men, who returned a hire car at Aldergrove airport the day after the murder with bullets still left in it. Intelligence was available to suggest that both men had travelled from Belfast to carry out the murder on behalf of Fermanagh UVF.

With intelligence and evidence available, RUC Headquarters sent a report to the police in Fermanagh, naming the two suspects.

However, the two suspects were never even interviewed. The HET said there was a shocking pattern of failures to follow up the most basic investigative practices by the RUC.

Unknown to his family at the time, it emerged later that Louis Leonard was a member of the IRA, and his family believes he was deliberately targeted.

A number of events to mark the 40th anniversary of Louis Leonard’s death were held in Derrylin at the weekend.


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