Archive discovery implicates British General Frank Kitson in McGurk’s Bar Bombing cover-up: families demand immediate arrest and questioning.
The McGurk’s Bar families have demanded that an independent police force immediately question British General Sir Frank Kitson under caution following the discovery of a secret British Army Log, which they believe proves that Kitson colluded with the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and disseminated lies about the McGurk’s Bar victims around 4 hours after the attack.
Author and activist Ciarán MacAirt, a grandson of two of the McGurk’s Bar victims, discovered an entry in a high-level British Military 39 Brigade Operations Log recorded at 1am on 5th December 1971 (Serial 12) which stated:
“RUC have a line that the bomb in the pub was a bomb designed to be used elsewhere, left in the pub to be picked up by Provisional IRA. Bomb went off and was a mistake. RUC press office have a line on it – NI should deal with them”.
The archive, discovered by MacAirt at the British National Archives in Kew, London, records that the order originated from “Bde Comd” which is the British military abbreviation for “Brigade Commander”. The Brigade Commander of 39 Infantry Brigade at the time was General Sir Frank Kitson, or Brigadier Kitson as he was then.
General Sir Frank Kitson
General Sir Frank Kitson (retired) rose to become Commander-in-Chief United Kingdom Land Forces (1982 – 1985) and Aide-De-Camp General to the British Queen (1983 – 1985).
Kitson is a renowned military author and counter-insurgency expert who oversaw Britain’s deployment, during the conflict in the North of Ireland, of in-depth interrogation techniques (including torture), psychological operations, pseudo-gangs and covert Special Force units like the Military Reaction Force (MRF) which murdered civilians with impunity.
Kitson also overhauled and re-developed the British Army’s information units which managed British information policy, propaganda and disinformation across the North of Ireland.
Family Demand Kitson’s Arrest
Ciarán MacAirt is author of the books, McGurk’s Bar Bombing: Collusion, Cover-Up and a Campaign for Truth, and, Trope: Essays and Articles, which put Kitson and his information units squarely in the frame for the McGurk’s Bar cover-up.
Ciarán MacAirt said:
“This is absolutely critical evidence relating to the genesis of the McGurk’s Bar lie which blamed our loved ones for the massacre and allowed mass-murderers to roam free and murder again. The secret British Army record appears to confirm that General Sir Frank Kitson himself, the architect of gangs and counter-gangs on our streets, colluded with the RUC and disseminated this lie throughout British Army Brigade and Headquarters. This heinous lie was then fed to British Government Ministers and was published in the media, becoming the pretext for the bombing in the RUC cover-up.”
“This archival evidence confirms our long-held suspicion that Kitson colluded with the RUC to cover-up the McGurk’s Bar massacre. We demand that General Sir Frank Kitson is arrested for questioning immediately by an independent police force as the PSNI has deliberately failed to investigate this high-level British Army and RUC conspiracy. The PSNI has proved yet again that it is more interested in covering up for a sectarian police force in the past rather than investigating the McGurk’s Bar Massacre fairly and upholding the basic human rights of citizens murdered, injured and bereaved in the attack.”
Niall Ó’Murchú of Kinnear & Co. Solicitors stated:
“We engaged the PSNI five weeks ago in order to ensure that independent investigators questioned Kitson under caution immediately but, so far, PSNI has failed completely to respond to any of our many requests to deal with this serious matter. Collusion in the aftermath of the McGurk’s Bar massacre has long been established by Ciarán MacAirt’s discovery of many secret British State archives; but this is the very first document which shows that Kitson was personally involved in the atrocity.”
“This new evidence has clearly passed the threshold required to justify Kitson’s immediate questioning under caution. Nevertheless, the PSNI should not be involved with this investigation for two reasons: firstly, as a matter of law, the PSNI is not independent when it comes to investigating legacy cases, following the recent Court of Appeal judgment in the McQuillan case; secondly, the PSNI’s treatment of these families in particular during the last 13 years has been utterly disgraceful and has done little except re-traumatise them and perpetuate the McGurk’s Bar cover-up.”
“We have initiated this legal process because the Chief Constable has thus far failed to refer this matter to independent investigators, or even respond to us in any way.”
Could all media requests be directed for the attention of Niall Ó’Murchú, Kinnear and Co. Solicitors, on either 028 90719171, or firstname.lastname@example.org
For contact with Ciarán MacAirt directly, please email email@example.com or telephone 07743339633.
Information for Editors
- The McGurk’s Bar atrocity, 4th December 1971, resulted in the deaths of 15 civilians including two children, Maria McGurk (14) and James Cromie (13)
- Ciarán MacAirt is a grandson of two of the victims. MacAirt’s grandmother, Kathleen Irvine, was murdered in the attack and his grandfather, John, badly injured.
- The file above is closed for public access for 84 years but was partially opened after a year-long battle via the Freedom of Information Act and after the application of a Public Interest Test by the British Ministry of Defence. Nevertheless, the MOD has exempted the disclosure of even more information relating to the McGurk’s Bar Massacre in the file so MacAirt has raised a complaint with the British authorities to secure the evidence.
- The families are in the middle of court proceedings against the police and the British state including a Judicial Review which the families commenced to force the PSNI to quash a report by the Historical Enquiries Team. The report sought to exonerate the original police investigation.