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Press Release: Police Ombudsman Appeal for Further Information In Relation to Deaths of Four Persons on the 15th August 1969


Our client, Samuel McLarnon, has welcomed the Police Ombudsman’s appeal for information in relation to the death of his father, Samuel McLarnon Snr, who was shot dead while in the front room of his home by a member of the RUC/B Specials after a loyalist incursion into Ardoyne on the 15th August 1969.

The Scarman Tribunal was appointed by the British Government to investigate the circumstances of this and other related incidents. The Scarman Tribunal in its final report directly addressed the circumstances of Mr McLarnon’s death:

‘Although no one was injured by fire coming out of Herbert Street a civilian, Mr Samuel McLarnon, was shot dead by police fire directed down the street from its junction with the Crumlin Road. He was in the sitting room of his house, No 37 Herbert Street, when he was shot. Although the conclusion that he was shot by police fire was not accepted unequivocally by DI Montgomery, it appears to us from the forensic and other evidence to be irresistible and we so find.’

Despite this finding on the circumstances of this shooting, on closer inspection the Inquiry and Report in relation to Samual McLarnon’s death by the Scarman Tribunal was manifestly insufficient in providing an adequate investigation or authoritative account of this death. The inquest into the death of Mr McLarnon was equally flawed. Only one police officer gave evidence at the original inquest despite the fact that many civilian witnesses supporting the view that there were a substantial number of police officers in the area. No evidence was heard from civilians present in Herbert Street.

A number of civilian witnesses gave evidence to a Community Inquiry in 1999. The testimony of these witnesses will be forwarded to the office of the Police Ombudsman by our office.

The McLarnon family hope that this appeal was result in further witnesses coming forward who have yet to provide a statement. Although his death occurred over forty years ago determining the facts and circumstances of his death remain relevant and important today as a result of the failure of the state to properly determine the facts and circumstances of his death.


Padraig Ó Muirigh

Ó Muirigh Solicitors

24-26 Springfield Road, Belfast, BT12 7AG

Tel:  028 9023 0222     Fax:  028 90329436