Loyalists carried out 'body in the fridge' murder

Published: 17 Dec 2012 15:05

An official report by the Historical Enquiries Team has revealed that Derrylin butcher, Louis Leonard, was murdered in 1972 by two loyalists from the Rathcoole area of Belfast.

Louis Leonard's widow, Betty, and her grandson, also Louis, with a picture of her husband at the press conference in Enniskillen.

It was 40 years ago today that Louis Leonard was shot dead in a murder that became infamous as the body in the fridge murder. The young businessman, aged 26, was found dead in a fridge in his shop where he been working on Christmas orders.

At a press conference in Enniskillen, members of his family, including his widow Betty released details of new information contained in the HET report.

The Leonard family has been working with the Pat Finucane Centre to get more information about the murder, and family members admitted at the press conference that they were shocked by the new details revealed in the report.

It's now known that Mr. Leonard was shot dead by the two Belfast loyalists, who were living and working in Fermanagh at the time. One was a customs officer.

One of the killers, a Rathcoole UDA man, was described as "acting lieutenant colonel for Fermanagh and Tyrone."

The Leonard family also revealed details of evidence against the two men, who returned a hire car at Aldergrove airport the day after the murder with bullets still left in it.

Intelligence was also available to suggest that both men had travelled from Belfast to Derrylin to carry out the murder on behalf of Fermanagh UVF.

With intelligence and evidence available, RUC Headquarters sent a report to the police in Fermanagh, naming the two suspects.

This has led to the HET saying there was a shocking pattern of failures to follow up the most basic investigative practices by the RUC. The two suspects were never even interviewed.

And further intelligence reveals that the two men went on to murder Jim Murphy near Derrylin in 1974.

Unknown to his family at the time, it emerged later that Louis Leonard was a member of the IRA, and his family believes he was deliberately targeted. They say there is evidence that UDR members in Fermanagh provided information about him to the killers. And that Fermanagh UDR men were themselves loyalist paramilitaries at the time.

A number of events to mark the 40th anniversary of Louis Leonard's death were held in Derrylin at the week-end.

Further details of the evidence in the HET report and the family reaction in this week's Impartial Reporter.

Jump to first paragraph.

Get more stories from our Roundup section

24 Apr 2014 19:00 • Editorial Department

Churches come together to commemorate the sadness of Good Friday

The sadness and poignancy of Good Friday was commemorated by the congregations of The Graan and Rossorry Parish Church, who came together for “The Way of the Cross”.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 19:00 • Rodney Edwards

#fermanaghspake This Week is...

Led (as in ‘Lad’)

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 17:00 • Rodney Edwards

Villiers’ sums ‘don’t add up’

SINN Fein MLA Rosie McCorley used her Easter address in Fermanagh on Sunday to hit out at Secretary of State Theresa Villiers who last week said that any review into the past must have “proportionate focus on the wrongdoing of paramilitaries”.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 17:00 • Editorial Department

Tamboran expect to drill a well in Ireland in June or July, report says

FRACKING company Tamboran’s Chief Executive Officer Joel Riddle has said that it expects to drill a well in Ireland in June or July.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 16:00 • Rodney Edwards

Mass rule is ‘destroying the Orange Order’

A FERMANAGH Orangeman has spoken of how he has been on the verge of quitting the organisation over its “stupid rule” about members attending Catholic church services.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 16:00 • Rodney Edwards

Criticism of those who wear ‘convict uniform to toast Queen’

THE deaths of prominent Republicans Jim Murphy and Patrick McManus have been remembered during commemorative events in Derrylin and Swanlinbar, organised by the 1916 Sean MacDiarmada society.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 15:00 • Editorial Department

Kilkenny man is new manager at Lough Erne

Kilkenny-man Andrew Phelan has been appointed as General Manager of the Lough Erne Resort.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 15:00 • Meadhbh Monahan

Shareholder claims that Glanbia made £10,000 offer at meeting

FIVEMILETOWN Co-operative Society shareholders have been offered £10,000 each from Glanbia, a shareholder has claimed.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 14:00 • Lily Dane

Quinton family dealt another blow with death of Christopher

The Quinton family has been dealt another tragic blow with the news this week of the unexpected death of Christopher Quinton whose passing is being met with shock and sadness in the community.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 14:00 • Rodney Edwards

Call for ban on GAA jerseys at universities debated

SINN Fein’s Phil Flanagan has discussed Jim Allister’s call for a ban on GAA jerseys from universities in Northern Ireland with the Employment and Learning Minister, Dr. Stephen Farry.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 13:00 • Rodney Edwards

'Nanny, nanny... he's dead, dead'

The call no mother wants - read Ruby Brown's moving interview following the death of her son Richard in a motorbike accident

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 13:00 • Julie Kenwell

Collegiate given chance of 11th hour appeal to WELB

PARENTS of Collegiate Grammar School are to make an 11th hour appeal to members of the Western Education Library Board (WELB) not to sign off on a development proposal which would see it merge with Portora Royal next year.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 10:15

3,000-year-old bogwood sculptures installed at SWAH garden

BOGWOOD sculptures over 3,000 years old have been installed at the South West Acute Hospital (SWAH) garden.

Social:

24 Apr 2014 10:00 • Editorial Department

Inside today's paper

Way of the Cross: Congregations walk together on Good Friday.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 09:30 • Editorial Department

In today's Impartial Reporter:

The phone call no mother wants as Ruby Brown tells of the moment she learned of the death of son Richard in a motorbike accident. Read her in-depth and moving interview.

Social: Comments0 comments

23 Apr 2014 21:30

Late Breen strike sends Town into final

Enniskillen Town Utd came from a goal down to book their place in the final of the Impartial Reporter Mulhern Cup with a 2-1 win over Kesh at Ferney Park tonight.

Social:

23 Apr 2014 15:35

Car stolen in "creeper burglary"

A car was stolen during a so-called “creeper burglary” at Raceview Court near the Cornagrade Road in Enniskillen.

Social:

23 Apr 2014 13:15

Castle Archdale hosts Dawn Chorus event

LOCAL people are invited to meet at Castle Archdale at 5am on Saturday, May 3, to listen to the birds welcome the new day in fine voice.

Social:

23 Apr 2014 11:30

Radio DJ includes Fermanagh stop in marathon challenge for charity

A radio DJ will bring her fundraising marathon challenge to Fermanagh this June in aid of Cancer Research UK.

Social:

23 Apr 2014 09:30

Arsonists responsible for 15 gorse fires since beginning of April

Arsonists are being blamed for starting around 15 gorse fires in the Garrison and Belcoo area since the beginning of April.

Social: