The families of victims of the McGurk’s Bar massacre have again been refused a meeting by the PSNI.
The latest disappointment comes after a previous request to meet the police in December on the 50th anniversary of the pub slaughter was refused.
Fifteen people were killed in the UVF bomb attack, including two children, on the night of December 4, 1971. The police (then known as the RUC) falsely blamed the IRA for the blast.
In a recent letter to Ciarán Mac Airt, a grandson of two McGurk’s Bar victims, a representative of the PSNI Chief Simon Byrne turned down the request for a meeting.
Instead, it was confirmed that the PSNI is refusing to divulge the source of the wrong information disseminated by the force.
Previously, the PSNI “neither confirmed nor denied” it had the information but now tells the families that it has the information, but they are simply not letting the families have it.
The letter stated: “In that revised response we are no longer relying on ‘Neither Confirm nor Deny’ exemptions in relation to intelligence information you have requested.
“We are, however, still exempting this information under other provisions of the Freedom of Information legislation as we have obligations in our handling of such information, which is incumbent upon us a police service and we must consider, under that legislation, what can lawfully be released into the public domain.”
Mr Mac Airt said: “This is a simple request to the Chief Constable: substantiate the police lies about our loved ones or admit that the police fabricated them.
“Instead, Chief Constable Simon Byrne chose the damaging route of his predecessors.
“I have traced the police lies back to a secret agreement between General Sir Frank Kitson, British Army Commander, and the RUC hours after the bombing,” he said.
“Kitson is a living witness to the British Army and RUC cover-up, but the PSNI has failed to question him under caution despite our urgent requests.
“Half a century after the McGurk’s Bar Massacre and police cover-up, it is shameful that Chief Constable Simon Byrne chose to withhold critical evidence rather than meet with us and offer our families a modicum of truth.
“Many of our family members are old and infirm, but we will have to battle even longer as yet another Chief Constable chooses to protect a sectarian police force in the past rather than upholding the basic human rights of our families for truth, justice and acknowledgement today.”