02 December 2005

McGurk’s families meet Ombudsman


BBC photo

FAMILIES of those killed in the McGurk’s Bar atrocity this week met a representative from the Police Ombudsman’s office as part of their campaign to have the conduct of the security forces reinvestigated.
Pat Irvine said the meeting, which came just days before the 34th anniversary of the outrage, had been “constructive and meaningful”.
The meeting came on the same week that a member of the McGurk’s campaign group, Alex McLaughlin, travelled to Dublin for a high-profile meeting today with the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern.
Pat Irvine said the meeting with the investigation team had dealt with many issues surrounding the explosion on December 4, 1971 at the family-run bar in Little Georges Street.
A total of 15 people, including two children, were slaughtered in the atrocity, which was the biggest single loss of life in the conflict until the Omagh bombing.
“This was a very hopeful meeting and a very constructive one,” said Pat. “This is part of the process of reinvestigating events of bombing and we are looking forward to more meetings with the Police Ombudsman’s team. We need to get to the truth because our loved ones were labelled as bombers when the RUC and even a Stormont Minister at the time said it was a IRA own goal,” she said.
Questions remain unanswered as to how, despite high security force presence on the day, the UVF bombers got through to plant the bomb at McGurk’s Bar. At the time of the explosion the security forces were nowhere to be seen despite an intensive hunt in the area for IRA jail breakers from the Crumlin Road prison. Witnesses have been coming forward in the past weeks including a man, then a young boy, who saw the UVF plant the bomb in the doorway of McGurk’s.
“The case is opening up and the truth must be exposed,” added Pat.

Journalist:: Staff Reporter

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