Northern Ireland news

Attorney General John Larkin rejects McGurk's Bar inquest request

The aftermath of the bomb blast at McGurk's bar in North Queen Street, Belfast, in 1971
Connla Young

Attorney General John Larkin has rejected a request to hold a new inquest into the McGurk's Bar bombing, it has been reported.

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.

In recent years research carried out by relatives and campaigners uncovered new evidence not heard at the original inquest in 1972.

They say some of this evidence confirmed that the British army bomb squad knew the bomb had been placed at the entrance to the bar and was not inside, as was claimed.

In a statement last night relatives said: "The multiple investigations to date have failed to determine the facts in relation to the circumstances of the McGurk's Bar bombing.

"The families believed that a new inquest could do this and they are disappointed with the decision reached by the Attorney General."

Christopher Stanley from KRW Law, who represents some of the McGurk's Bar relatives said: "The families are unhappy with the decision given the serious difficulties they have faced in establishing the truth concerning the death of their loved ones in The McGurk's Bar Bombing 1971.

"There is on-going public law and civil litigation being pursued before the courts in Northern Ireland but the decision of the Attorney-General is unwelcome and his response will be carefully analysed."

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