The Republic of Ireland team is to mark the 18th anniversary of the Loughlinisland tragedy by wearing black armbands when they take on Italy during in Poznan in Euro 2012 next month.
The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) today confirmed that Uefa had granted permission for the players to commemorate the tragedy on June 18th.
On the same day in 1994, six Catholic men were murdered by the UVF at the Heights Bar in the village of Loughinsland, Co Down, as they were watching the Ireland versus Italy World Cup game on television.
Five other people were seriously injured in the attack in which gunmen walked into the bar and opened fire with assault rifles.
The victims were Adrian Rogan (34); married father of four Eamon Byrne (39); his brother-in-law Patsy O'Hare (35); Dan McCreanor (59); his uncle Barney Green (87), and Malcolm Jenkinson (54), a married father of three children.
According to RUC reports at the time of the killing, the gunmen locked their victims into the bar, walking among them and shot each between two and five times before running out of bullets. No one was convicted of the murders, although over the years 16 people were arrested, some a number of times.
Uefa granted permission for the commemoration after the FAI approached them on behalf of the families of the bereaved.
Welcoming the announcement, FAI chief executive John Delaney said he was grateful that the request had been facilitated.
“What happened in Loughinisland in 1994 was an awful tragedy and deeply moving for all football fans. I would like to thank Uefa for assisting us in commemorating this atrocity and take the opportunity to remember all those who lost their lives in the troubles,” he said.
Separately, Niall Murphy, solicitor acting for the families of the Loughlinisland tragedy said: "The families are touched that this tragic event can be commemorated on such a poignant day, the eighteenth anniversary of the atrocity. We would like to thank the FAI and Uefa or their assistance in providing a forum to recall the awful events that took place on that fateful day when Ireland played Italy in 1994.”
A report published by the police ombudsman Al Hutchinson last year found there were police failings in the investigation into the attack but insufficient evidence of any RUC collusion.
a very nice gesture. fair play to UEFA for agreeing to it.