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 will be lodged by the families at the office of the Attorney General on Thursday 9th March, at 11am.

Pádraig Ó Muirigh commented on the application to the Attorney General:

‘There remains uncertainty as to how the deceased in the McGurk’s Bar bombing met their deaths and, in particular, whether collusion between the security forces and loyalist paramilitaries was a feature of the bombing.

It is now well established that the rumours of an IRA own goal were entirely untrue. In addition, the recently discovered HQ NI log sheets of the 4th and 5th December 1971, discovered by family member Ciarán McAirt of Paper Trail (Legacy Archive Research),  provide clear evidence that the Ammunition Technical Officer who examined the scene was convinced from the outset that the bomb had been placed in the entranceway of the pub.

The original inquest, the criminal conviction of Robert James Campbell, and the reports of the Historical Enquiries Team and Office Police Ombudsman NI have failed to determine the facts and circumstances of these deaths, and thereby allay rumours and suspicion as to how the deceased met their deaths.

These allegations are so serious as to require proper investigation to establish the facts and circumstances of these deaths despite the passage of time. The appropriate way to investigate these deaths and to provide a comprehensive public account of these deaths is through a fresh inquest.’

Author Ciarán MacAirt, grandson of McGurk’s Bar victim, Kathleen Irvine, said: 

On Thursday 9th March at 11 am we will present the Attorney General with all the new evidence painstakingly gathered by myself, the Pat Finucane Centre and Rights Watch UK.  None of this evidence was ever presented at the original inquest in June 1972.  

In fact, forensic and witness statements were withheld from the original Coroner.  We are hopeful that this new evidence, which includes an ATO report proving the bomb was placed in the entrance-way, will be enough for the Attorney General to order a fresh Inquest.  

All we ever wanted was an opportunity to present our case in an open court.  We have always known our loved ones were innocent and the British State tried to bury the truth along with our dead relatives.  A fresh inquest allows us that chance to finally hear the truth told after 45 years of campaigning.



Family members will be available for interview outside the Attorney General’s Office, Windsor House, Bedford Street, Belfast. Otherwise, contact family member, Robert McClenaghan, on 07752 500513 for comment; or solicitor, Padraig Ó Muirigh on 028 9023 0222.

McGurk’s Bar families are to present new evidence to the Attorney General

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