Friday 20 July 2018

McGurk's bar bomb ruling welcomed

Police Ombudsman Al Hutchinson, whose findings on the McGurk pub bombing have been welcomed by victims' families
Police Ombudsman Al Hutchinson, whose findings on the McGurk pub bombing have been welcomed by victims' families

Families of those killed in the McGurk's pub bomb have welcomed findings of investigative bias by police but said the force has more questions to answer.

They maintained there was Royal Ulster Constabulary collusion in the atrocity.

But they said reputations of their loved ones had been restored after Ombudsman Al Hutchinson ruled out the security force theory that an IRA own-goal inside the north Belfast bar was responsible for the accidental death of 15 people.

The relatives have campaigned for years to have the police's handling of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) attack reopened and to clear their loved ones' names.

Pat Irvine's mother Kitty Irvine, 53, died in the blast.

Almost choking with emotion at times during a press conference at a Belfast hotel on Monday, she said she had waited a long time for this day but more questions need to be answered by the RUC. However, she said: "Today is a victory for all the families of all the victims throughout Northern Ireland."

She said the findings represent "the truth, exoneration of the victims, the survivors and all of the families - they were completely innocent".

Her brother Sam Irvine said: "We are not out for revenge or to avenge, we just want the truth."

The collective family statement said: "They were innocent victims whose memory was besmirched for many years by the slur that they were bombers. We are relieved that today their memories are vindicated."

Patrick McGurk, son of bar owner Philomena McGurk, said Prime Minister David Cameron should make a Bloody Sunday-style apology to the families.

Press Association

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