Pictured: Woman, now 77, who is suspected of belonging to hit squad which lured three British soldiers to their deaths in IRA honeytrap
- PSNI officers from the legacy investigations unit will meet relatives of the men
- The Dublin-based brunette was allegedly a member of the IRA’s women’s unit
- She is claimed to have lured the soldiers to a house where they were shot
Police are to re-examine evidence about the infamous IRA ‘honeytrap’ murders of three British soldiers in 1971, raising hopes that those involved will finally be brought to justice after almost half a century.
Officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s (PSNI) legacy investigations unit will meet relatives of brothers John and Joseph McCaig, aged 17 and 18, and Dougald McCaughey, 23, who were lured to their deaths on a remote country lane following an afternoon pub crawl in Belfast.
The Mail on Sunday last week disclosed fresh details of the atrocity, including the suspected involvement of up to ten conspirators.
Killed: Brothers John and Joseph McCaig, aged 17 and 18, were lured to their deaths following a pub crawl in Belfast
The hit squad is thought to have included two women and Paddy O’Kane, a former British paratrooper turned IRA hitman.
Today, this newspaper can reveal that one of the women suspected of involvement was also linked two years later to the honeytrap murders of three other British soldiers.
The brunette, now aged 77 and living in Dublin, was allegedly a member of the IRA’s women’s division, Cumann na mBan, and featured on a police wanted poster in 1973.
Officers believe that she helped to lure Michael Muldoon, 25, Barrington Foster and Thomas Penrose, both 28, to a house in Belfast where they were shot.
The MoS can also reveal the identity of another suspect in the 1971 murders of three Royal Highland Fusiliers.
He was Henry ‘Harry’ Canavan, who died in 2015 aged 72.
In addition to Canavan and O’Kane, who died in 2009, another suspect is Anthony ‘Dutch’ Doherty, 69, who was arrested over the killings but later escaped jail.
Honeytrap death: Dougald McCaughey,23, was also killed and officers from the PSNI’s legacy investigations unit are now investigating the case
Wanted: A 77-year-old woman based in Dublin who is alleged to have been a member of the IRA’s women’s division
He has never been prosecuted.
The deaths of the Fusiliers – the first off-duty soldiers to be killed by the IRA – caused widespread revulsion.
Their families want a new inquest, which they hope will provide enough evidence to trigger a police inquiry and the eventual extradition of suspects to the UK.
Their lawyer, Matthew Jury, said of the PSNI meeting: ‘The evidence we’ve been able to highlight identifies suspects not previously spoken to by the police.’
The families are raising money to fund their legal campaign. To donate, go to crowdjustice.com/ case/3soldiers