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UK News PSNI to payout £875,000 in damages to Loughinisland massacre journalists Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey

14:35  27 november  2020
14:35  27 november  2020 Source:   newsletter.co.uk

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Simon Byrne wrote to Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey to apologise after the Court of Appeal “We have had to live for the last two years with that highly damaging slur hanging over our heads. It was by the PSNI and Durham Constabulary.” Mr McCaffrey said senior police officers involved in the

The Loughinisland massacre [1][2][3][4] took place on 18 June 1994 in the small village of Loughinisland , County Down, Northern Ireland . On 31 August 2018 the Police Service of Northern Ireland arrested Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey , two journalists who researched the

It is understood the PSNI has also agreed to delete material it seized from Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey and they raided their homes and offices in August 2018.

a man in a suit standing in front of a building © Barry McCaffrey (left) and Trevor Birney.

The PA news agency understands that the PSNI has agreed to pay out £875,000.

The total includes £600,000 to Fine Point Films, £150,000 to Mr Birney and £125,000 to Mr McCaffrey.

The news a settlement had been reached was announced during a brief hearing at Belfast High Court on Friday morning.

Mr McCaffrey and Mr Birney were arrested over the alleged theft of a police watchdog document that appeared in their film No Stone Unturned about a notorious loyalist massacre in Loughinisland during the Northern Ireland Troubles.

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Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey were arrested in August 2018 over the suspected theft of confidential files. The journalists had been involved in a documentary on the Loughinisland attack in 1994. Mr Birney and Mr McCaffrey collected their possessions from a police station in east Belfast

Image caption Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey were involved in producing the film No Stone Unturned. Lawyers for two journalists are claiming victory after judges indicated they would quash police warrants to search their homes and office. Authorisation for the searches that led to the arrests

Six men were shot dead while watching football in a pub in the Co Down village in the summer of 1994.

Northern Ireland’s Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan welcomed the fact a settlement had been reached between the parties.

“We congratulate the parties on finding an answer to this interesting and difficult, but also important case,” he told lawyers in Belfast High Court.

Last year, Sir Declan and other senior judges ruled search warrants used by police to search the journalists’ home and their offices at Fine Point Films been “inappropriate”.

This resulted in the criminal probe into the journalists being discontinued.

The original police operation had been undertaken by Durham Constabulary at the request of the PSNI amid conflict of interest concerns.

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Investigative journalists Barry McCaffrey and Trevor Birney . THE CHIEF CONSTABLE of the PSNI has apologised to two journalists who were arrested and had their homes searched under a warrant that was later deemed “unlawful” by a High Court.

Journalist Trevor Birney , who was arrested over the suspected theft of confidential documents Police have dropped their investigation into journalists Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey . It examined the Royal Ulster Constabulary's handling of the 1994 Loughinisland killings by loyalist

In the summer, Northern Ireland’s police chief Simon Byrne issued an unreserved apology to the two journalists.

Reacting to the settlement, Mr Birney said: “Today marks an end to the legal process I began in a police cell on August 31 2018 after being arrested and my home and offices raided by dozens of PSNI and Durham police.

“We launched a Judicial Review in the face of the PSNI’s most egregious attack on journalism to protect our journalism, our sources, and press freedom itself.

“Over the past two years, the PSNI fought our attempts to protect our journalism and sources every step of the way.

“They sought to defend their indefensible attack on press freedom right up until the judgment delivered by the Lord Chief Justice in July this year.

“We have welcomed the current Chief Constable’s apology for the actions of the PSNI. No such apology has been received by his predecessor George Hamilton, under whose leadership the PSNI arrested us.

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Image caption Journalists Barry McCaffrey and Trevor Birney were arrested. The authorisation led to the arrest of Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey . Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan also stressed that the pair had at all times acted as investigative reporters adhering to their professional

image captionTrevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey had mounted a legal challenge against the police raids. The PSNI Chief Constable, George Hamilton, is under renewed pressure to drop the police investigation into two Belfast journalists . Two politicians who sit on the Northern Ireland Policing

“Journalists in this jurisdiction now need to see Simon Byrne take all steps necessary to ensure accountability for the PSNI’s despicable attack on press freedom and to assure the press that lessons have been learned.”

More Loughinisland articles:

- Loughinisland ruling helps ‘expose fake news of collusion’

- BEN LOWRY: The troubling saga around the Loughinisland legal case shows the value of newspapers

- Loughinisland police to break 25-year silence on UVF atrocity

- JIM ALLISTER: I welcome Loughinisland ruling, which confirms that police have a right to expect probes against them to be properly conducted

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