Northern Ireland news

McGurk's Bar massacre relative calls for PSNI to accept ‘bias' in inquiry by RUC

Gerard Keenan has called on the PSNI to accept there was 'investigative bias' by the RUC during the original McGurk's Bar investigation
Connla Young

A MAN whose parents were killed in the McGurk’s Bar massacre has called on PSNI chief George Hamilton to accept that the RUC had an “investigative bias” during the original probe.

Fifteen people died 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 2011 a Police Ombudsman investigation found that there had been an "investigative bias" on the part of the RUC.

The ombudsman concluded that detectives had failed to properly probe loyalist paramilitary involvement because they focused on a theory that republicans were responsible.

However, relatives were angered when the PSNI's Historical Enquiries Team later produced a report claiming there was no evidence of bias.

They launched a legal challenge to that report which is due back in court later this week.

Gerard Keenan, who lost both his parents in the explosion, accused Mr Hamilton of "dragging our families through hell and back" instead of accepting the verdict of the ombudsman.

He said the chief constable must “acknowledge the overwhelming” evidence gathered by relatives.

“We will accept nothing less than the end of this charade and an admission that the RUC began the process of vilification against our loved ones," he said.

“They deserve the truth.”

Responding to the criticism, Superintendent Jason Murphy said on Tuesday night: “ The Police Service of Northern Ireland is continuing to seek to work constructively within the legal process framework to bring a resolution for all of those involved.”

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