Top author to speak on Bleary murders

Robin Jackson
Robin Jackson

A top investigative author is to speak about the 1975 controversial triple killing in Bleary, which the RUC closed down the murder probe into after two weeks.

Anne Cadwallader, who has written best selling book Lethal Allies, is to speak on the murders of Joe Toman, Brendan O’Hara and John Feeney at a special event in Portadown this month.

Anne, a former BBC journalist who works for the Pat Finucane Centre, pointed out findings of the Historial Enquiries Tribunal report which revealed the RUC investigation into the murders at Bleary Darts Club closed down after two weeks.

The attack took place on 27 April 1975. The three men were killed just days after an attack when Martin McVeigh was killed in Portadown cycling home from work at the Metal Box factory and within weeks of the murder of Dorothy Trainor on 1st April in the People’s Park in Portadown.

In her book, Anne writes: “The RUC say they carried out house-to-house searches that night (though this is hotly disputed by local people, who insist there were none). Eugene [McCann - Joe Toman’s son-in-law] himself was never interviewed. The RUC do not appear to have carried out any fingerprinting at the club either. Eugene said that if police had interviewed him, he could have told them he had seen Robin Jackson, exactly a week before the attack, in a car with another man scouting the area.”

Robin Jackson, who is now dead, a member of the notorious loyalist Glenanne Gang, is widely believed to have been behind the murders.

Also speaking at the event is Margaret Urwin (of “Justice for the Forgotten” and author of the recently published A State in Denial: British Collaboration with Loyalist Paramilitaries)

The event will be at 7.30pm on 20 September at The Drumcree Centre, Ashgrove Rd.