Northern Ireland news

Shankill bombing families will ‘fight for truth'

Gary Murray with his mother Gina, mother of Shankill bombing victim Leanne Murray. Picture by Mark Marlow

RELATIVES of victims of the Shankill bombing have vowed to continue their search for truth following a meeting with First Minister Arlene Foster and DUP colleagues.

Mrs Foster, North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds and assembly member Nelson McCausland met family members privately on Thursday.

Last month, The Irish News revealed that the IRA commander at the time of the 1993 attack had been identified as a Special Branch agent known as 'AA'.

Gary Murray, whose 13-year-old sister Leanne was killed in the atrocity, said the victims will continue to fight to uncover the truth of what happened.

"My mother's been devastated for the last week and so have the rest of the families," he said. "It's brought back some terrible memories.

"All we want is the truth and to get justice. This is what I'm fighting for and I'll never give up."

He rejected Chief Constable George Hamilton's denial that police could have had advance warning of the bomb.

"I think they did know because there were touts all over the place," he said.

"With the files they stole from Castlereagh, how did he (Mr Hamilton) know what was in them? He wasn't even Chief Constable then."

Mr Murray added that the families, who met SDLP representatives last week, aim to meet other political parties within the next few weeks.

Charlie Butler, who lost three family members in the blast, told UTV: "I think the families need truth for closure. If it's truth that there was collusion, we need it. If there wasn't collusion, even better, but we still need it (the truth)."

Following yesterday's meeting, Mrs Foster said she would try to help the families as they push for a Police Ombudsman investigation.

She said the DUP will also ask Secretary of State Theresa Villiers to meet the relatives.

"I have been, and continue to be, a long time supporter of the RUC and the Police Service of Northern Ireland, but that doesn't take away from the fact there were a few bad applies around at that particular point in time, therefore we have to get to the truth of this," she said.

"I hear what the chief constable has to say in relation to the truth of these allegations but when you listen to the families and how they have been re-traumatised we have to give them beyond reasonable doubt the certainty that it didn't happen.

"If it did happen then we need to find that out as well."

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Northern Ireland news