Families welcome court quashing of HET report into McGurks Bar Bombing

A CONTENTIOUS police report into the McGurk’s Bar bomb atrocity is to be quashed in its entirety, a High Court judge has ruled.


Mr Justice Humphreys ordered the complete binning of the Historical Enquiries Team (HET)’s review because findings within it of no bias in the original RUC investigation were irrational.


He said: “It is not possible to remedy this legal wrong by mere excision.”


The verdict represents victory for relatives of those killed in the loyalist attack on the pub in north Belfast – one of the bloodiest in the history of the Troubles.


Pat Irvine (Sister of the Applicant – Brigid Irvine)


I was 14 at the time of the explosion in McGurks Bar.


I attended the scene not knowing that both my parents were lying under this scene of total destruction.


I cannot even begin the describe the horror of what I saw


My mother (Kathleen (Kitty) Irvine) was killed.


My father (John Irvine) was pulled from the rubble and survived.


Our lives were totally destroyed by this


All the family members of those killed in McGurks not only suffered the loss of their loved ones, but this loss was compounded by the stigma of having their family members labelled as being responsible for the explosion.


All the families have endured over 50 years of suffering along with the lies, the denials and the delays in finding the truth


We are delighted with the Courts judgment today.


The HET report into McGurks has now been quashed, but this could have been done much earlier.


The Chief Constable has continued to defend this case for almost 8 years, and stood over a HET report that he must have known could never have been acceptable to the families of those killed in McGurks.



Paul Pierce – Solicitor at KRW Law


We welcome this important judgment from the Court today.


It is now established that the HET failed to properly conduct a full and comprehensive review of the RUC investigation into this atrocity.


The HET ignored fundamental concerns raised by the victims’ families over ‘investigative bias’, which from the outset attempted to blame those killed in McGurks as being responsible for the explosion.


The challenge brought by the Irvine against the Chief Constable of the PSNI family has succeeded, and represents an unprecedented outcome in which a HET report has been quashed in its entirety.






HUM11888 - Bridget Irvine - Judgment dated 29 06 2022