Press Release: McGurk’s Bar Commemoration Committee

McGurk’s Bar Families Petition the Northern Ireland Policing Board on the Anniversary of the Atrocity
Protesting Baggott's Intransigence
The late Alex McLaughlin protesting at a previous meeting of the Policing Board, with former Chief Constable, Matt Baggott (right)

Date: Thursday 4th December 2012 (the 43rd anniversary of the atrocity)

Time: 2pm

Place: Northern Ireland Policing Board, Waterside Tower, 31 Clarendon Road, Clarendon Dock, Belfast BT1 3BG

Families of those murdered in the McGurk’s Bar massacre are petitioning the Policing Board for the third time on the 43rd anniversary of the atrocity.

Family members will gather at 2pm outside the Policing Board to hand over a letter detailing that:

(1) The families are still seeking the Policing Board’s help in ensuring an Article 2 compliant investigation into the McGurk’s Bar attack

(2) The families are seeking an examination by the Policing Board of contact between very senior members of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), including Deputy Chief Constable Drew Harris, and the Northern Ireland Retired Police Officers’ Association, during so-called “Legacy Information Seminars”

Thursday 4th December 2014 is the 43rd anniversary of the attack on McGurk’s Bar which resulted in the death of 15 civilians: men, women and children. More than a dozen more were lucky to escape with their lives. At the time it was the greatest loss of civilian life in any murderous attack in Ireland since the Nazi Blitz.

The families’ appeal to the Policing Board coincides with a Judicial Review brought by the families and their legal representatives, KRW Law, against the Police Service of Northern Ireland and its former unit the Historical Enquiries Team for irrational findings in a fourth report into the bombing. The next sitting of this Judicial Review is in the High Court next week.

Ciarán MacAirt, grandson of victim Kathleen Irvine:

“We believe that senior members of Police Service of Northern Ireland continue to suffer from corporate memory of their time in the Royal Ulster Constabulary – an institutionally sectarian force which now has no place in our society. We are asking the Policing Board to examine whether the continuing intransigence of the PSNI regarding the McGurk’s Bar bombing is nothing more than former members of RUC making one last stand to defend the atrocious reputation of that organisation.

“Reported comments of the likes of Drew Harris during briefings to the Northern Ireland Retired Police Officers’ Association confirm these fears.”

“This amounts to a defence of the indefensible and a continuing cover-up into the deaths of our loved ones begun by RUC 43 years ago. The PSNI is perpetuating that crime today.”

Family members including Robert McClenaghan, grandson of the oldest victim of the bombing, Philip Garry (73), will be present outside the Policing Board.
Information for the Media: For further information, telephone Robert McClenaghan 07752 500 513 or email Ciarán MacAirt at
The families are represented by KRW Law and their solicitor, Kevin Winters can be contacted 028 9024 1888

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.