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 […]

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 […]

Ciarán MacAirt featured image

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, […]

Ciarán MacAirt featured image

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. […]

Ciarán MacAirt featured image

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 […]

Ciarán MacAirt featured image

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 […]

Ciarán MacAirt featured image

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. […]

Ciarán MacAirt featured image

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 […]