New evidence shows RUC put blame for McGurk’s on IRA, campaigners say

Posted By: November 13, 2018

Connla Young. Irish News. Belfast. Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Relatives of people killed during the McGurk’s Bar atrocity have accused the RUC of creating the false claim that the IRA was responsible for the deadly bomb attack.

Fifteen people were killed when the UVF detonated a bomb in the North Queen Street bar in north Belfast in December 1971.

At the time, security forces blamed the IRA but this was later shown not to be true.

Until recently, it had not been established if it was the RUC or British army which was responsible for creating the false account.

However, campaigners now say that they have found evidence pointing the finger at the RUC.

Ciarán MacAirt, right, who runs the Paper Trail charity and whose grandmother Kitty Irvine was killed in the blast, says an entry in the British army’s Brigade Operations Log on December 5 reveals that: “RUC have a line that the bomb in the pub was a bomb designed to be used elsewhere, left in the pub to be picked up by Provisional IRA.

“Bomb went off and was a mistake. RUC press office has a line on it – NI should deal with them”.

Mr. MacAirt says that military documents also confirm that the British army set up a checkpoint within three minutes of the bomb attack in a bid to snare a suspicious car believed to have been involved.

Notes show that the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers initially considered that loyalists might have been involved.

Mr. MacAirt said that the PSNI and Police Ombudsman has failed to respond to the new information.

“Yet again, it has been left to the family of victims to discover this significant evidence,” he said.

Niall O’ Murchú of Kinnear and Co Solicitors said that the PSNI and Police Ombudsman had been informed that unless there are a “prompt and proper response legal proceedings may be launched.”