ICO Accepts MOD Excuses for “Missing” Massacre Files

Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) Accepts British Ministry of Defence Excuses for “Missing” Massacre Files

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has accepted the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) excuses for the disappearance of British Army logs covering the hours after the McGurk’s Bar Massacre.

“Ghost” copies of the logs proved that previously undisclosed British Army units had overwatch of the bomb site and a British Army unit recorded a suspect car with three men in it leaving the scene.

McGurk's Bar MoD Missing File Imprint Cropped

The MoD alleged that scanning errors had occurred when copying the hard copy of the files, but the hard copies were no longer retained. MOD could offer no proof of their destruction.

The families complained to the ICO about the disappearance of the critical evidence, but ICO has ruled that:

1.      “The Commissioner is also satisfied… the MOD’s explanation as to why sheets… appear to be missing to be a reasonable one.” (Serial 64, ICO Decision Notice)

2.      “On the balance of probabilities the Commissioner is therefore satisfied that the MOD does not hold copies of the further log sheets identified by the complainant” (Serial 66, ICO Decision Notice)

We raised a complaint with the ICO against the MoD relating to the disappearance of significant historical records of 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (2 RRF).

The missing pages of the Battalion logs covered key minutes and hours in the aftermath of the explosion which claimed the lives of fifteen civilians including two children.

“Ghost” serials of the missing logs were imprinted on files we discovered after lengthy information battles from 2019.

These files proved that British Army units had oversight of the bomb site and reported a suspect car with three men in it leaving the scene. Previous historical investigations alleged that there were no British Army units in the vicinity, and they had not confirmed the testimony of the witness who saw a Loyalist bomber plant the explosive in the hallway of the bar and then flee the scene in a car.

This is chilling and very disturbing for our families.

We can prove that the British Ministry of Defence and its Armed Forces lied about the McGurk’s Bar Massacre in 1971 and colluded with the Royal Ulster Constabulary to blame our loved ones.

The Ministry of Defence knew the bar was attacked and the victims were innocent. The Ministry of Defence lied to the families, media, public and Coroner at the original inquest. The Ministry of Defence withheld evidence from our families and failed historic investigations for over half a century. The Ministry of Defence has admitted that it is withholding evidence from me up to this very day.

Nevertheless, we are expected to believe ‘on the balance of probabilities’ that the Ministry of Defence is telling the truth now even though we have caught it out again and proved that it has disappeared critical evidence in a mass murder. The Ministry of Defence cannot even prove that it destroyed this evidence, when it was destroyed and who ordered its destruction.

We may never know what other crucial information the missing British Army files record as the Ministry of Defence has disappeared them, but what is certain is that the British Ministry of Defence is not telling the truth about how it was involved in the murder of 15 civilians in the McGurk’s Bar Massacre and its subsequent cover-up.

Read "Missing" British Ministry of Defence File Surrenders its Dirty Secret

Review a "Ghost" Serial

A scanned copy of the file on top has also picked up the carbon copy of the missing file beneath. A single “ghost” serial yields critical new evidence proving that the British Army recorded the suspected bomb car escaping the scene of the attack.

Above Serial 40, Log Sheet 4, 4th December 1971, you can discern the “ghost” copy of Serial 52 of missing Log Sheet 5 recorded in the minutes after the atrocity, which reads:

“Black car with headlights on went into city centre with 3…”

McGurk's Bar MoD Missing File Imprint Cropped


The families believe that this report to 2 RRF Tactical Headquarters in Glenravel by Call Sign 19, which was logging reports of the bombing and the subsequent rescue efforts from the scene, corroborates witness testimony of a dark coloured car with 3 attackers in it escaping down Great George Street and turning right in the direction of the City Centre of Belfast.

Nevertheless, the British Army and Royal Ulster Constabulary colluded to blame the massacre on the innocent civilians in the bar [read General Sir Frank Kitson Implicated in McGurk’s Bar Cover-Up].

The British armed forces also publicized the lie despite the testimony of a witness who saw a bomber plant the bomb and escape in the car, and the report of a British Army bomb expert who pinpointed the seat of the explosion in the entranceway where the witness saw the bomb planted.

By Ciarán MacAirt

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