During police interviews, the main Greysteel gunman Stephen Irwin initially refused to admit his role in the attack or to express any remorse.
Eventually, as he learned how his accomplices had admitted their parts in the slaughter, he stated in his eighth police interview that he had murdered the people in the bar.
Court documents relating to the length of sentence he was to receive reveal how he later cried and claimed that he wished the attack had never happened. However, it was determined that his “distress” was more likely to have come about as a result of his own plight rather than “authentic regret” for his actions.
The court documents state: “In his first police interview on 2 November 1993 the prisoner did not admit his involvement in the murders. He told police that on Saturday 30 October 1993 he had been in the house at 4 Bonds Place where he got drunk, got a Chinese take away with Deeney between 9pm and 9.30pm and then they went for a walk some time after 11pm. He said that after the walk they returned to the house at Bond’s Place, sat for a while and then went to bed. He continued to deny his guilt during subsequent interviews.”
The court documents continue: “During his fourth interview, the prisoner was informed that McNeill and Deeney had admitted their roles. He continued to deny involvement in the murders. In the fifth interview on 3 November 1993, it was put to the prisoner that he must have realised that the others were being interviewed about this massacre and that some had decided to tell their part in it. When asked why he could not admit his part he made no reply. The questioning continued but the prisoner remained silent with his head bowed. He was asked at length about his involvement but his response was either, ‘I’ve nothing to say’ or ‘I didn’t shoot them’.
“In his seventh interview, he was told that his alibi witness, Deeney, had admitted his part. The prisoner made no reply to most of the questions in this interview.”
It is also revealed in the documents how, during his ninth interview, he was shown “a number of exhibits including the boiler suits, shot gun cartridges, the guns, the woollen masks, ammunition and other exhibits.” Asked if he recognised what he had been shown, Irwin replied: “Nothing to say”.
By the time of the seventeenth police interview, on 5 November 1993, Irwin was to claim that he wished the attack had never happened: “The prisoner was taken to Torrens Knight’s interview room where he asked his accomplice: ‘Are you admitting?’ Knight replied, ‘Aye I had no other option unfortunately’.
“The prisoner was taken back to his own interview room and he then agreed to tell about the part that he had played but again indicated that he would not sign the interview notes. He only admitted his role and did so without providing full details on the basis that the other defendants would already have told the police these facts. He would not explain what he was doing before 9.30pm on 30 October 1993. In the eighteenth police interview Irwin stated that he was the gunman who had murdered the people in the Rising Sun Bar but would not go over his role again as he had done this in the previous interview. The prisoner did not wish to talk about it any further and said, “…It sickens me. I can’t talk about it. I wish to God that it had never happened…”
During the twenty-second police interview, Irwin admitted to membership of the UFF and that the attack was carried out under orders “in retaliation for the bombing on the Shankill Road.”