THE widows and the fiance of three men killed by a deranged policeman in Sinn Fein offices in west Belfast 11 years ago were awarded substantial compensation yesterday.

The men shot dead by RUC Constable Allen Moore (24), from Ballymena, who later killed himself, were Michael O’Dwyer (21), Patrick Loughran (61) and Pat McBride (40).

The compensation awards – the amounts were not disclosed – were made to Mr O’Dwyer’s widow Eileen Shevlin and their two children, from west Belfast; Barbara Loughran, also from west Belfast; and Bernadette McDaid, who was engaged to Mr McBride, and their son Patrick, from the Ormeau area of south Belfast. The awards were approved at a private hearing in the High Court in Belfast before Mr Justice Kerr.

A solicitor from Madden and Finucane solicitors said his clients were relieved that their long drawn out cases had eventually come to a conclusion.

“These families have borne their terrible grief and loss for over 11 years,” he said.

“The cases involved a test action after the RUC chief constable sought to have the claims struck out and it was only a Court of Appeal judgment that established the right to seek compensation.”