My name is Ciarán MacAirt. This is my story. Now is the Time for Truth.
On the 4th of December 1971 my grandmother, Kitty Irvine, was murdered in the McGurk’s Bar Massacre.
A bomb exploded in McGurk’s Bar in the New Lodge, killing fifteen civilians. Two of the dead were children as the McGurk family had their home upstairs.
Pro-state loyalists planted the bomb, but the state’s Security Forces’ claimed it was an IRA “own-goal”. Instead of defending the basic human rights of the victims, the Orange state and its sectarian police force criminalized innocent civilians. They buried the truth as we buried our loved ones.
So, from the moment the bomb exploded, our families have had to fight to clear the good names of those we loved. We have campaigned constitutionally and with great dignity for over 46 years.
We have had to fight the sectarian state through numerous High Court battles for even a modicum of truth and justice; and I have had to devote most of my adult life to uncovering dirty secrets which the British army and the RUC have buried in archives.
Their lies are laid bare for all to see and yet they still deny and delay our campaign for truth even though many of my peers are aged and frail. Over the last few years we have lost a number of our family campaigners. This is the game that the British authorities and police play.
On Sunday 25th February I am calling on you all to walk with us. Now is the Time for Truth.
The assembly points are the McGurk’s Bar Memorial and Divis Tower at 12pm with both parades meeting at Castle Junction to proceed to Belfast City Hall.
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 charity and social enterprise which offers legacy archive research services and helps families unearth the truth hidden in public records.