Kinnear & Co. Solicitors: New Documents Confirm Police Spread Deliberate Disinformation about McGurk’s Bar Bombing
Kinnear & Co. Solicitors act for a number of the families who lost loved ones in the December 1971 bombing of McGurk’s Bar, in which 15 people, including two children, were murdered and many more badly injured.
Researcher Ciarán MacAirt, whose grandmother Kathleen Irvine was killed in the atrocity, has recently discovered further new archive information about the bombing, which shows that the RUC deliberately blamed the victims on causing the explosion, despite knowing who was actually responsible.
An entry in a high-level Headquarters 39 Brigade Operations Log at 1am on 5th December 1971 from 39 Brigade Command states that:
“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”
Mr. Gerard Keenan, who lost both his parents, Edward and Sarah Keenan, in the bombing, stated;
“This new material shows that the RUC knew the bar was attacked by pro-British loyalist extremists (the UVF) immediately after the blast. Yet in these archives they are talking about “having a line on it” to deal with the press. And then, six hours later, they deliberately put out the story that my parents and the other victims were in the IRA and had blown themselves up by accident. The RUC were working “hand-in glove” with the UVF (Ulster Volunteer Force) and British Army to protect those responsible and cover-up the bombing. I have instructed my lawyers to initiate proceedings against both the PSNI and the Office of the Police Ombudsman, both of whom have, in my opinion, deliberately failed to investigate this atrocity in any meaningful way. In particular, we challenge the Chief Constable to substantiate and provenance this ‘line’ as this is proof that the lie originated from the police just hours after the attack”.
Speaking for Kinnear and Co. Solicitors, Niall Ó’Murchú said the following:
“We have today contacted the offices of the Police Ombudsman and the PSNI and notified them that we have been instructed to initiate proceedings against them in respect of this new information, unless there is a prompt and proper response to the concerns our clients raise. For far too long both offices have refused to investigate this matter properly. This new information uncovered by Ciarán MacAirt conclusively puts to bed, once and for all, the nonsense peddled by both the PSNI and OPONI that the RUC did not know who bombed McGurk’s Bar. The onus should not be on families to uncover information, it should be on the British Government to initiate an immediate and independent fresh investigation.”