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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 August 2007, 05:46 GMT 06:46 UK
Fresh light on sectarian murder
Bernard Moane was just 15 when his father was murdered
Bernard Moane was just 15 when his father was murdered
The son of a man murdered in the early Troubles has said a fresh investigation has helped his family understand more about their father's death.

Benny Moane, a Catholic father of six, was a sales representative for the Irish Bonding Company.

In May 1972, he was abducted by three men from the loyalist Shankill area and taken to the Knockagh Monument, a war memorial in County Antrim.

His captors sat and drank whiskey and beer samples from his car at the scene.

They warned visitors to the monument to stay away because they said Mr Moane was an IRA man, an allegation subsequently refuted by the police.

During his abduction, Mr Moane pleaded with his captors to save his life as he was an innocent person with a wife and six young children. But he was shot dead.

His son, also called Bernard, who was 15 when his father was murdered, said: "Daddy was a great family man and he worked long hours.

"There are six of us - I'm the oldest, I've a brother and four sisters - and we were leading a normal family life.

Scaffolding around monument
Benny Moane was killed at the Knockagh monument

"Then suddenly, our father was taken away from my mother and us and our family life was destroyed forever. We still miss him so much."

When the Historical Enquiries Team - a police investigative unit set up to re-examine murders from Northern Ireland's Troubles - contacted the family last October to say they were re-examining the murder, Bernard said his family had no hesitation about getting involved.

"It was a matter of presenting questions to the HET that would be penetrative enough so they could find the answers to the questions which had been on our minds over the years," Mr Moane said.

He said his father had been in a bar just days after a Protestant teenager from the Shankill was murdered.

The family got more from the re-investigation than any publication or any newspaper article ever could have because it went into a deeper process
Bernard Moane

It is believed the perpetrators overheard a conversation between Benny and the owner saying he should leave as he was a Catholic and did not want to cause any offence to mourners from the boy's funeral in the bar.

"The perpetrators obviously overheard their conversation and decided they were going to do something. Unfortunately and with deep regret they decided to murder my father.

"In a sense we received some answers to our questions from the HET and the family got more from the re-investigation than any publication or any newspaper article ever could have because it went into a deeper process.

"They investigated all avenues in the case and were able to obtain copy transcript reports, interview notes from the officers who interviewed the murderers and spoke to detectives (now retired) who investigated the case," he said.

"The final resolution report provided us with a greater understanding of why my father was killed on a particular day. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time."

However, Mr Moane said only the perpetrators know all the facts and his family will never have all the information unless two of the three - one is now dead - confess on their death beds.




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