Man arrested over RUC officer’s murder released

Murder victim: Inspector Bill Elliott.
Murder victim: Inspector Bill Elliott.

A 57-year-old man arrested last week as part of a renewed investigation into the murder of a police officer in Newtownabbey almost four decades ago has been released.

Inspector Bill Elliott was shot dead while investigating a bank robbery in The Diamond area of Rathcoole in September 1974.

The 48-year-old RUC officer was driving on his own when he heard news that a robbery was under way at the Ulster Bank in the estate.

He raced to the scene and died after a shoot-out with members of the Official IRA who were armed with submachine guns and a pistol.

Inspector Elliott was posthumously awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for gallantry.

The PSNI’s Serious Crime Branch reopened the case last week after a review by the Historical Enquiries Team (HET) found potential new leads.

The man arrested in north Belfast on Wednesday (October 26) as part of the investigation was released the following day.

A PSNI spokesperson confirmed that enquiries into the murder are continuing and appealed for anyone with information to come forward.