THE MCGURK’S BAR BOMBING: PSNI CONCEDE ON BIAS FINDING IN RUC INVESTIGATION
It is now over 43 years since the McGurk’s Bar Bombing in Belfast in 1971 in which 15 innocent civilians were killed and 17 were injured. This was the highest death toll from a single incident in Belfast during the Conflict. The families of the victims of the McGurk’s Bar Bombing returned to court today in another stage in their quest for truth, justice and accountability.
KRW LAW LLP is instructed by the relatives of the victims of the McGurk’s Bar Bombing in issuing legal actions against a number of British government agencies including the PSNI, the Ministry of Defence and the Northern Ireland Office, who, we submit, all bear responsibility for the on-going delays and failures to investigate whether the McGurks Bar Bombing could have been prevented and in deliberately failing to effectively investigate it at the time by the RUC and in using counter-insurgency methods to spread disinformation about the perpetrators of the bomb and the innocent victims through the British security forces.
In the High Court in Belfast today George Hamilton, the Chief Constable of the PSNI, accepted that he will not contest the finding of investigative bias demonstrated by the RUC in the original investigation as found by the Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland in 2011. This finding was not accepted by the then Chief Constable of the PSNI Matt Baggott which led to the challenge being taken. The findings of OPONI were contested by the discredited PSNI Historical Enquires Team (HET).
Commenting on the Chief Constable’s decision, Solicitor Paul Pierce of KRW LAW LLP said: “We believe he has made a significant decision today, and the right one. All too often we have seen how the state will seek to protect itself against any allegation of wrongdoing to ensure they avoid any liability in the criminal or civil courts. We can only hope that today’s announcement by the chief constable marks a departure from the policy of delay, deny and defend at any cost, which is a feature now of so many conflict-related cases.”