Northern Ireland

McGurk's families to meet Policing Board

The families of those killed in the 1971 McGurk's bar bombing are to meet with the NI Policing Board on Thursday.

In a statement they said: "The key issue which remains to be resolved centres on the actual findings of the Police Ombudsmans report".

The families want to know if the chief constable accepted the reports findings in relation to the failings of the RUC investigation and its bias.

The bomb exploded at McGurk's in north Belfast killing 15, and injuring more.

Two weeks ago the Police Ombudsman published a report into the attack claiming the original police investigation was "biased".

In the aftermath, RUC officers briefed politicians and the media that the atrocity was an IRA 'own goal' when in fact loyalists were responsible.

In 1978, UVF member Robert Campbell was convicted of his part in the attack.

After the Ombudsman's report was published last month, the families hit out at the chief constable for failing to apologise for the RUC investigation.

Afterwards, PSNI chief Matt Baggott said he believed all lines of enquiry had now been exhausted.

Different conclusions

When the report was published, Police Ombudsman Al Hutchinson, said the RUC was so focused on the idea that the IRA was responsible that it did not properly probe loyalist involvement.

In response, Mr Baggott said that several other reports had reached different conclusions from Mr Hutchinson.

However, he added that it was the police's "unequivocal view that none of the victims were in any way involved in causing this atrocity" and passed on his sympathy to survivors and the victims' families.

"In conclusion, no investigation is ever closed whilst there remains the possibility of new evidence," he said.

"Sadly, however, it is my view that there appear to be no further investigative opportunities available.

"At present, all lines of inquiry have been exhausted but we will discuss any future opportunities with the ombudsman."

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