A secret behind a British Army log sheet that went ‘missing’ has been uncovered thanks to the detective work of an archive researcher.
An imprint of the document covering the aftermath of the McGurk’s Bar Massacre was found, showing the British Army did indeed record the car of the UVF bombers leave the scene of the attack.
The explosion in the packed city centre pub in December 1971 killed 15 civilians, including 2 children. Nevertheless, the British Army and Royal Ulster Constabulary colluded to blame the massacre on the innocent civilians in the bar, as an ‘IRA own goal’
The British Army publicised the lie despite the testimony of a witness who saw a bomber plant the bomb and escape in the car, and the report of a bomb expert who pinpointed the seat of the explosion in the entranceway where the witness saw the bomb planted.
Ciarán MacAirt, a grandson of two of the McGurk’s Bar victims, recently accessed heavily redacted battalion logs of the regiment in question. He found a copy of one military log file picked up the carbon copy of the missing file beneath. It has yielded critical new evidence proving that the British Army recorded the suspected bomb car escaping the scene of the attack.
The “ghost” copy of the log, recorded in the minutes after the atrocity, reads: “Black car with headlights on went into city centre with 3…”
This report corroborates witness testimony of a dark coloured car with three attackers in it escaping in the direction of Belfast city centre.
Mr MacAirt also recently found proof in another file that there was a covert, British Army operation in the vicinity of McGurk’s Bar on the night of the attack. The file refers to a covert British Army “ambush OP” [ambush observation post] near the escape route of the bombers, a fact which previous historic investigations had either failed to find or had covered up.
The new evidence was missed, or ignored, by previous historic investigations such as the Historical Enquiries Team, Police Service Northern Ireland and Office of the Police Ombudsman.
Mr MacAirt, who works for research charity ‘Paper Trail’, said the British Army was indeed in the area at the time of the explosion and, contrary to previous claims, had reported the explosion immediately.
“The description of the car with 3 attackers in it and its direction of travel after the bombers made their escape matches witness testimony of the paper boy and a witness who gave information to the British Army the following morning – which we never knew about until recently.”
“So, the British Army buried this absolutely critical evidence nearly half a century ago and has allegedly lost the log sheets today; but the missing page has given up its dirty secret anyway – the British Army watched the bombers flee, allowed them to escape and covered up for them afterwards.
“We have yet to receive a fair investigation.”