Northern Ireland news

Relatives of McGurk's Bar victims hand over new evidence at lecture

Barrister Michael Mansfield QC with some of the relatives of the 15 people killed in the 1971 McGurk’s Bar bombing, during a lecture at St Mary’s College in west Belfast. Picture by Cliff Donaldson
John Monaghan

RELATIVES of those killed in the McGurk's Bar massacre have handed over documents containing recently uncovered evidence to leading barrister Michael Mansfield, at a lecture to mark the 45th anniversary of the bomb attack.

Mr Mansfield delivered the memorial lecture at St Mary's University College on the Falls Road on Tuesday night about the UVF bomb attack at the North Queen Street bar that claimed the lives of 15 innocent men, women and children on December 4 1971.

In the hours after the attack security forces wrongly blamed the IRA, with a Police Ombdusman report finding that RUC officers had shown an "investigative bias" towards the 'own goal' theory.

Last week Mr Mansfield urged Chief Constable George Hamilton to attend and consider apologising for police actions following the massacre.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton, who heads the PSNI's Legacy and Justice Branch, was present in place of Mr Hamilton, who the PSNI said was unavailable due to "other commitments".

Mr Mansfield told the crowd: "There has got to be disclosure...The truth will come to those who persist."

He added: "North of Ireland, no such thing as coincidence, collusion yes, coincidence no."

Last month campaigner Ciarán MacAirt, author of The McGurk’s Bar Bombing, Collusion, Cover-Up and a Campaign for Truth, revealed that the British army knew the bomb was placed at the entrance of the bar as opposed to inside.

Mr MacAirt, whose grandmother Kitty Irvine died in the bombing, also received correspondence that a British army file relating to the attack will not be made publicly available until 2056.

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