It shows starkly how quickly military decisions to misinform and to collude are made, unless, of course, those decisions were pre-planned.
With the Director of Operations Brief as its template, this police report was obviously written minutes after – eleven named victims are recorded in the same order, along with required corrections, and four victims, including my own grandmother, are still to be identified. Nevertheless, the police report’s recording of the bomb’s placement is diametrically opposed to the truth within the original military brief. In fact, not only is it flagrantly at odds with the expert and first-hand evidence of an Army Technical Officer to the General Officer Commanding, Lt. General Sir Harry Tuzo, but also with each and every one of the dozens of witness statements that the R.U.C. were already beginning to gather.
A cursory examination of the heinous lies within this police report casts a pall over the so-called professionalism of twenty detectives working under Chief Inspector Abbott. Whilst there are no corroborating statements to support their tale of a man who “entered the licensed premises and left down a suitcase, presumably to be picked up by a known member of the Provisional I.R.A.”, the R.U.C., again without evidence, even record that the “bomb was intended for use on other premises”.
We have two simple questions that are imperative to any examination of collusion and cover-up:
1. Who benefited from the disinformation?
2. Who, therefore, created these lies?
Only the British army and their U.V.F. counter-gang benefited from the promulgation of these lies. The Intelligence services wished to stir up internecine strife between the competing wings of Irish Republicanism and/or decimate the support each may have had within the Irish, Catholic community. The massacre and the British authorities’ handling of the atrocity thereafter was a showcase for the potency of British terrorism in collusion with her loyalist counter-gangs.
In fact, the U.V.F. murderers directly responsible for the slaughter in McGurk’s Bar were allowed to kill dozens and dozens more than died that cold night in December 1971, accounting for some of the most gruesome sectarian killings perpetrated throughout all of the war.
Once more we have put Colonel Maurice Tugwell and his section of the Information Research Department squarely in frame for managing this disinformation from the Director of Operations Brief onwards.
Otherwise, the R.U.C. will have to explain the lies within this report to the Ministry of Home Affairs as being of their own making and not from a military briefing (a good start would be to question the four duty officers named as authors of the police report).
What they and, consequently, the Historical Enquiries Team will definitely have to account for thenceforth is an unprofessional, botched and misdirected investigation that abased the basic Human Rights of our loved ones.
Sir John Stevens, the former Metropolitan Police Commissioner who was charged with uncovering collusion between the RUC, British army and loyalists, gave this definition in his third inquiry:
Collusion is evidenced in many ways. This ranges from the wilful failure to keep records, the absence of accountability, the withholding of intelligence and information, through to the extreme of agents being involved in murder.
With this as a benchmark, therefore, the difference between the truthful, expert witness testimony of an A.T.O. as recorded within the Director of Operations brief and the unqualified lie within the R.U.C. report is striking. It is salient evidence of collusion and cover-up.
What remains for the campaigning families to discover is the depth of this collusion among British terrorists. Without fear of being repetitive, we demand that specific members of the British military whom we have named on our campaign website are questioned regarding British information policy and black ops at this time. We would also like to ask the H.E.T. where this leaves their flimsy desk-top review and empty praise of an R.U.C. investigatory team.
Ciarán MacAirt, 27th October 2009
Ciarán MacAirt is an Irish writer and author of The McGurk’s Bar Bombing: Collusion, Cover-Up and a Campaign for Truth.
He also manages Paper Trail, an innovative social enterprise which offers legacy archive research services and helps families unearth the truth hidden in public records.
Ciarán – who has written 92 posts on The McGurk's Bar Bombing: Collusion, Cover-Up and a Campaign for Truth.
- Behind the Mask and the McGurk’s Bar Massacre July 14, 2017
- McGurk’s Bar Families Meet With Fianna Fáil Justice and Equality Spokesperson March 21, 2017
- Britain Lied to the European Commission about the McGurk’s Bar Massacre February 22, 2017