Northern Ireland news

New evidence about McGurk's Bar bombing to be revealed

New evidence suggests covert British army presence in North Queen Street in vicinity of McGurk's Bar the night bomb went off Picture by Hugh Russell.

CRITICAL new evidence suggesting the McGurk's Bar bombing was "foreknown and preventable" is to be made public during an online commemoration.

It is the first time the annual event to mark the December 5 1971 attack which claimed the lives of 15 civilians - including two children - and wounded 17 more, has been held online instead of at the north Belfast site of the former pub.

Researcher Ciaran MacAirt, whose grandmother Kathleen Irvine was killed and grandfather John badly injured, said he will reveal information proving there was a covert British military operation in place in the vicinity of the North Queen Street bar.

He said this "overturns the previous historic investigations" by PSNI/HET and Police Ombudsman.

"All of our loved ones were civilians and we have proved their innocence and the British state has been forced to admit their innocence," he said.

"It should be noted that none of the historic investigations into the atrocity by Police Service Northern Ireland, Historical Enquiries Team or Office Police Ombudsman found any of this critical evidence."

Robert McClenaghan, whose grandfather Philip Garry could only be identified by a key, said the lollipop man "had just gone into the bar for a pint of Guinness".

"I heard the explosion and remember opening the window. We were living just off the Springfield Road [in west Belfast]," he said.

"The next day we were watching soccer on ITV when they said they had to interrupt it for a special update. We watched the names go across the screen and that's how my father found out his father was dead, when he said the name Philip Garry on the TV."

He said the families are hopeful that the new information will be enough for the interim Attorney General Brenda King to order a fresh inquest.

The event can be viewed here.

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