McGurk’s Bar Present New Evidence to the Attorney General

Application to the Attorney General pursuant to section 14 of the Coroners Act (NI) 1959) in relation to the McGurk’s Bar bombing on 4th December 1971. An application to the Attorney General to direct the Coroners Service to conduct a fresh Inquest into the deaths of those who died in the bombing of McGurk’s Bar […]

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Colin Wallace SLAMS Abuse Inquiry

So you think you live in a society that would never condone state cover-up of child rape and its use as a honey-pot for paedo-informants? Wrong. Colin Wallace slams the Historic Institutional Abuse Inquiry in a hard-hitting rebuttal and asks a few difficult questions – download. #Kincora: HIA report on former boys home condemned by ex-Army officer, […]

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Colin Wallace Statement on HIA and Kincora

Statement issued by Colin Wallace following the publication of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry Report. Although I initially offered to give evidence to the Inquiry, I later decided not to, mainly on the grounds that the Government repeatedly refused to give it the same legal powers as the corresponding Inquiry in London. I believe that […]

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December 4th marks the 45th anniversary of the #McGurks Bar Bombing

And its cover-up by the British state. Watch this space for the release of further ground-breaking archives soon #Collusion #PaperTrailPro. Read more here

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Titanic Towns

A day of firsts. For a start, my first cycle in Maigh Eo – from one Titanic town to another. I pushed out to Addergoole and swept down to the shores of Conn. I looped back to Leathardán which gave me the opportunity to stop for the first time at the memorials there. One commemorating […]

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Easter Lily on the Bus

Overheard on the bus. Seriously. “Have you got your Easter Lily yet?” “Nah. Not yet.” *pause* “You know why it’s shaped like a fanny, don’t you?” *pause* “What?” “The Easter Lily badge. You know why it’s shaped like a fanny?” “Shaped like a fanny? What are you talking about?” “It’s shaped like a vagina.” *pause* “What-ta […]

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New Lodge 6 Massacre

New Lodge 6: Assassination

New Lodge 6 Massacre The New Lodge 6 Massacre on 3rd February 1973 began with the assassination of two teenagers outside Lynch’s Bar at the top of the New Lodge Road in what seemed to be a random sectarian drive-by shooting. Secret British files, published here for the first time, provide evidence of assassination by state […]

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Secret Government Files – Protecting National Security or Hiding National Shame

Spotlight NI tonight (8th December 2015) investigates whether secret government files are hidden because of British national security or shame regarding Britain’s dirty war in the north of Ireland. The investigation features brave families whose loved ones were killed during the conflict, but whose stories have been covered up by the state for generations. They include the […]

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Politics, the Whore of English Language

The British media has outdone itself in its ongoing prostitution of the English language as the word “independent” rarely rings as hollow… unless, of course, the British government is involved. The British government has commissioned “an independent assessment of paramilitary organisations in Northern Ireland”, reports the BBC. The British government has announced “the creation of […]

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In Memoriam: Rifleman Robert Arthurs

What wonders he saw in the hours before he was killed. What horrors too. Rifleman Robert Arthurs of the 1st Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles died one hundred years ago today fighting at the Battle of Neuve-Chapelle. Robert is my great-great uncle. I woke up thinking about him in that weary no-man’s land of […]

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The “Dangers” of Reading The Irish News

British soldiers faced many dangers here and reading the local Irish News was one of them it seems.   Warmongering is a grave business but names like Colonel Maurice Tugwell and Brigadier Marston Tickell still make me giggle as if they were set adrift here by Captain Pugwash. Yes, puerile, I know, and these particular […]

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The Aden Gang

After Britain sounded the last post in Aden in 1967, many of its dusty warriors wound their way here in 1971. They dragged with them their attitude towards the native and many of the darker arts of warfare. They included the infamous Parachute Regiment which won its stripes in the north of Ireland by murdering […]

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Brian Nelson: Diminishing Responsibility?

Previously unseen archives expose the reason for Brian Nelson’s discharge from the British Army. The significant discoveries undermine recent reviews of the recruitment and career of Brian Nelson as a British Army agent within the Loyalist Ulster Defence Association. The secret files also raise serious questions regarding the British state’s responsibility for murder in the […]

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Make an End?

I have done my work in, friends: O, make an end// Of what I have begun Marc Antony had just fallen on his own sword when he said these words (1). It was just as dramatic and moving to watch Conall McDevitt  fall on his. The man made an abject mistake and was man enough […]

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HET – What Is Left?

No Faith! Here is a before and after photo from yesterday’s Policing Board meeting which affirmed that it had no faith in the Historical Enquiries Team (HET). The Board pressed the Chief Constable of the so-called “reformed” Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) to suspend all HET cases which have “investigated” – for want of […]

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Britain’s Man in Maynooth

 The Irish Monsignor and the British Propagandist Whilst studying previously secret files in Kew National Archives, London, as part of my on-going research into my grandmother’s murder in the McGurk’s Bar Bombing of 4thDecember 1971, I came across a very interesting archive. At first glance it is a brief, quite non-descript information report from one […]

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HET – How Little Has Changed

Last night I attended an information-sharing event in the Balmoral Hotel hosted by Relatives for Justice and attended by families whose loved ones were murdered during “the Troubles”. Specifically, under discussion – if not close scrutiny – were the Historical Enquiries Team (HET), the Office of the Police Ombudsman (OPONI) and inquests. Experiences with these as […]

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Get On It Like A Car Bonnet

Karen has been busy after baby’s beddie-bye-byes.

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Official Belfast Launch of the Book

On Thursday 15th November 2012 Clifton House hosted the official Belfast launch of my book, The McGurk’s Bar Bombing: Collusion, Cover-Up and a Campaign for Truth. http://storify.com/ciaranmacairt/official-belfast-launch-of-the-bookie-wookie

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Content Development: What’s the Storify?

Over the past few weeks I have been offered the great opportunity to write for different sources… and very different audiences.

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Storify… Interesting

Storify

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Band Culture and a Campaign for Truth

Last weekend I had the pleasure to join my peers in the McGurk’s Bar Campaign for Truth on a trip to meet our great supporters, Cairde na hÉireann in Glasgow, Plains and Coatbridge, Scotland. This was my first visit but the other family campaigners have been many times. Nothing prepared me, though, for the warmth […]

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New Police Service, Old Story

Today is the 10th anniversary of the murder of North Belfast teenager, Gerard Lawlor, who was shot in the back as he walked home from the Bellevue Arms. He was shot for no other reason than he was a Catholic and he was a defenceless target. His killers were never charged even though their names […]

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Press Release: CJI to investigate how PSNI deals with Ombudsman Findings

The Policing Board is to ask the Criminal Justice Inspectorate (CJI) “to carry out an investigation which will examine the relationship between the PSNI and the Police Ombudsman” following a complaint against the Chief Constable lodged on behalf of two NGOs, British Irish Rights Watch and the Pat Finucane Centre. The two Human Rights organisations had […]

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McGurk’s Bar Commemoration Committee Give Thanks

The McGurk’s Bar Commemoration Committee wish to extend their great thanks for the support that they have had in realizing Ireland’s newest piece of art, an astonishing mural-relief that recreates the actual bar. Without your help we doubt if the mammoth project could have been completed. As well as those we thanked on the night, […]

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Speech for the 40th Anniversary Commemoration

Dia daoibh agus fáilte romhaibh, welcome to the families and thank you very much for joining with them tonight to commemorate the lives of those we lost in the McGurk’s Bar Massacre, 4th December 1971. My name is Ciarán MacAirt. I am a grandson of John and Kathleen Irvine. I am especially glad to speak […]

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McGurk’s Bar: 40th Anniversary Commemoration

The families of those killed and injured in the McGurk’s Bar Massacre will be holding a a series of events to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the bombing on Saturday 3rd December (the attack occurred on Saturday 4th December 1971 though). This is a public, cross-community event so please feel free to pay us a visit […]

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McGurk’s Mural Fundraiser

If you pass along North Queen Street you will notice that work on the mural to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the McGurk’s Bar Massacre is at an advanced stage and already attracting great interest. The families have been busy raising funds and have already hosted a very successful event in the Dockers’ Club last […]

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Forum for Victims, Wednesday 26th October

A Victims-led Forum has been organised for Wednesday 26th October in Conway Mill from 1 pm – 5pm. Family representatives from victims’ campaigns will be in attendance, including: The McGurk’s Bar Massacre, The Loughinisland Massacre, The Ballymurphy and Springhill Massacres, Raymond McCord, Paul McIlwaine, and over 20 families represented by solicitor, Patrick Murray. The event […]

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McGurk’s Mural Fundraising Event

This Friday, October 7th, the families of the McGurk’s Commemoration Committee have organised a fundraising event in the Docker’s Club, Pilot Street Belfast. Sponsored by the North Belfast News , the event promises to be a great night of live music and craic. You might just be lucky enough to win one of the cash prizes […]

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Blinkered Eye of the Newt

I would agree with Newton Emerson’s header that “We need [an] ombudsman who’s prepared to bite” (Thursday 8th September 2011) and that includes telling victims’ families their claims can in no way be substantiated. Nevertheless, with regards to the McGurk’s Bar Massacre campaign, I find his copy flippant at best and grossly misleading at worst. […]

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Families Demand To See Original McGurk’s Report

Below is piece by myself that featured in an article by Kieran Hughes in the North Belfast News (17th September 2011). Last Thursday (8th September 2011) some of the McGurk’s campaigners visited Stormont to hear what the Police Ombudsman, Al Hutchinson, had to say for himself in front of the Justice Committee. He was answering damning criticisms from […]

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Press Release: McGurk’s Families Attend Assembly Justice Committee

The families of those killed in the McGurk’s Bar Massacre of December 1971 are to attend today’s hearing of the Assembly Justice Committee at Stormont. The Justice Committee will be questioning the Police Ombudsman, Al Hutchinson following a report by Michael Maguire from the Criminal Justice Inspectorate into the running of the Police Ombudman’s Office. […]

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The Crunch of Leather Jackboots

Below is a short post on the back of a conversation on Twitter between myself, @EdSimpsonNI and @yeronlyman. Sometimes the 140 characters are just not enough. It began with a tweet regarding an interview I gave to the North Belfast News (I have included the link to the piece which was not included in the […]

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Leaks, Sneaks and Corporate Memory

This features in an article by Gemma Burns of the North Belfast News 18th August 2011. I will link the full article when it is online. It regards the “leak” of the Criminal Justice Inspection report into the “independence” of the office of Police Ombudsman and the influence of those it investigates. Only in a Kafka novel or Northern […]

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Gerry Kelly, Sinn Féin, and the PONI Malady

Below is a press release by Gerry Kelly, Sinn Féin MLA for North Belfast. He is party spokesman for Policing and Justice. He sits on the Policing Board which holds the police accountable – unlike the Police Ombudsman’s office it seems. Commenting after leaks of the Criminal Justice Inspectorate Report into the operation of the […]

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What We Said About PONI Fiasco in July 2010

Below is a posting from I first made in July 2010 with relevant news pieces when the Police Ombudsman aborted his first so-called investigatory report into the McGurk’s Bar Massacre. I re-published it today with the release of an historic article by Barry McCaffrey (The Detail and Irish News) regarding an independent review by the Criminal Justice Inspectorate which says the office […]

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McGurk’s Presentation at Féile an Phobail

My name is Ciarán MacAirt. I am a grandson of John and Kathleen Irvine. Kitty, as her friends and family called her, was one of fifteen innocent civilians, women, men and children, who were slain in the McGurk’s Bar Massacre, 4th December 1971. Over a dozen injured were lucky to escape with their lives. It […]

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Shared Experiences and Dealing With the Past

Belfast Féile and the Ballymurphy Campaigners have given me a great honour: they have kindly asked me to attend and present at an event that they have organized tomorrow: Shared Experience and Dealing With the Past. Also represented with be the families of those killed in the Shankill Bombing and the New Lodge 6. Victims’ groups, VAST and WAVE […]

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1971: Missed Opportunities and Ceding the Maiden City

Whilst researching the McGurk’s Bar Massacre within British Governmental and military archives, I discovered secret documents that give a startling insight into how the British élite actually viewed the worsening situation in Northern Ireland in late 1971. Document 1: Central Policy Review Staff (30th September 1971) Sourced from the National Archives, Kew Shocking facts emerge, […]

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Counting the Cost of the Culture Club

As with every July before it, this July has descended into dispute, counter-protest, violence and thuggery. In the eye of this yearly maelstrom is the Orange Order and their “right” to parade. Rioting, destruction to property and near-death aside, this year has been particularly portentous. Politicians – of all shades – have scrambled over each other to pacify paramilitaries in East […]

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Flogging A Dead PONI

This week the Committee for the Administration of Justice (CAJ), a leading independent, Human Rights group, published a review of the office of the Police Ombudsman Northern Ireland (PONI). Once more, we are presented with a searing indictment of Mr. Al Hutchinson’s management of this crucial statutory body. The CAJ report was initiated in the […]

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Meeting, Minutes and Commemoration

On Saturday past (11th June) the families met to mull over artefacts we have for exhibition and plans to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the McGurk’s Bar Massacre on 4th December 2011. Everything was brought to the table: hand-carved Celtic crosses, opinions, much-loved photographs, old newspaper clippings, concepts and, of course, many, many now-not-so-secret archives. […]

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What’s in a Name?

Last year the community in the shadow of St. Patrick’s church wished to bestow on us a grand tribute to the lives that were lost in the McGurk’s Bar Massacre of 4th December 1971. They wished to name a street in the newly developed area of Lancaster Street and Great George Street “McGurk’s Walk” in […]

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The Suitcase That Never Was

We protested the private meeting of the Policing Board on Thursday (2.6.11), delivered a press statement to the waiting press pack and handed over a suitcase to the newly elected Chairman, Brian Rea. It was a suitcase that was loaded with archive evidence and was weighted with symbolism. It represented the suitcase that the RUC fabricated […]

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Chief Constable Baggott’s Statement

Below is a statement from the Chief Constable’s office forwarded to me by a BBC reporter. As far as I am aware this is it in totality. Please note that this is my own  opinion and does not represent the views of the families. In March, following the publication of the Ombudsman’s report into the […]

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McGurk’s Families’ Press Statement

Following the publication in February of the Police Ombudsman’s report into the RUC investigation of the McGurk’s Massacre, the Chief Constable, Matt Baggott, rejected key aspects of the Ombudsman’s findings. He tried to suggest that the hurt caused to the families was as a result of ‘confusion’ and was not the direct result of a […]

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