McGurk’s Bar Families Protest the Office of the Police Ombudsman

Families of those killed and injured in the McGurk’s Bar Massacre protested the Office of the Police Ombudsman (OPONI) on 18th August 2021.

The McGurk’s Bar families protested to highlight Police Ombudsman Marie Anderson’s:

  1. Failure to complete a timely and effective investigation of the families’ complaint against currently serving police officers of the Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI) and the PSNI’s deliberate mishandling of the McGurk’s Bar Massacre historical investigation;
  2. Failure to investigate critical, new evidence discovered by the families in secret British state files relating to the massacre of 15 men, women and children in the McGurk’s Bar bombing of 4th December 1971.

The new evidence which the families will re-present to the Office of the Police Ombudsman at the protest includes archival proof that:

This critical, new evidence which the families will re-present to the Office of the Police Ombudsman at the protest includes archival proof that:

(A) There was a high-level, coordinated and sustained plot by senior members of the RUC, British Army and Civil Service to deceive two Parliaments about the true circumstances of the bombing and the pro-state perpetrators of the mass-murder.

(B) The British Army and Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) knew within hours that the seat of the explosion was in the hallway of McGurk’s Bar and not in the main bar (meaning the bar was attacked as witnesses testified);

(C) The McGurk’s Bar lie which blamed the explosion on the innocent civilians in the bar was a result of collusion between the RUC and then Brigadier Frank Kitson;

(D) There were British Army units in the vicinity of McGurk’s Bar comprising also a covert British military operation and “ambush OP” [Observation Post]. British Security Force presence in the area was denied by successive investigations including the Office of the Police Ombudsman.

(E) The British Army recorded suspect cars reported to have been involved in the attack including the bomber’s car leaving the vicinity;


Family campaigner and researcher, Ciarán MacAirt said:

“We are protesting Marie Anderson’s office today as the Police Ombudsman wilfully failed to investigate critical evidence in the police cover-up of the mass murder of our loved ones.”

“The Police Ombudsman has also wilfully failed to investigate serious allegations we raised over 5 years ago regarding chronic failures in today’s Police Service of Northern Ireland.”

“In August 2020, the Police Ombudsman told the media that ‘the public must have confidence that the police provide my Office with all the information it asks for’ and that she and the Chief Constable ‘agree such disclosure is central to confidence in both organisations.’”

“I find those statements pathetic considering our families have been forced to find critical evidence of the police cover-up ourselves; her Office has failed to investigate this information; and refused to retrieve closed files not made available to OPONI in its original investigation.”

“Either PSNI and OPONI failed to find this critical evidence or found it and buried it again. So, we do not know where collusion ends, and incompetence begins. What we do know is that the Office of the Police Ombudsman – as it is managed by Marie Anderson and resourced by the British state – is not fit for purpose.”

Download the Reports

The McGurk’s Bar Bombing: Post-Script

The McGurk’s Bar Bombing and the Plot to Deceive Two Parliaments 

The families were joined

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