Commenting after the families of the victims of the McGurk’s Bar Bombing spoke before the the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality, Sinn Féin Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile said:
“The McGurk families were very welcome to the Oireachtas today.
“Their accounts of the massacre of their loved ones in December 1971 and the treatment of the atrocity by the British government of the time and successive British governments is appalling.
“Fifteen people, including two children, died in the outrage.
“Within hours of the massacre the British government deliberately spread lies that the IRA was responsible for the bombing and that those who died were also involved despite the fact that an eye-witness gave RTE an interview, which was broadcast saying he saw the bombers fleeing the scene.
“These lies were based on reports from the British Army and the RUC that were willingly accepted and promoted by the British and unionist governments.
“A British Army scenes-of-crime assessor submitted a report to the British Army Headquarters in which he stated that the bomb was placed in the entrance to the bar.
“This contradicted the public account by the British government and the soldiers report was marked ‘Not for PR’.
“The lie was publicly supported by Reginal Maudling, British cabinet minister, Brian Faulkner, the North’s prime minister, John Taylor, unionist cabinet minister, Graham Shillington, RUC Chief Constable and Sir Harry Tuzo, British Army GOC among many others.
“The lie continued for decades until the families uncovered the truth themselves from the British government’s own files in Kew Gardens.
“The Historical Enquiries Team (HET) and the police Ombudsman failed to find these files.
“The families are seeking justice and the truth.
“I support the calls they made today for a new investigation, a new inquest and the scrapping of the HET report into the massacre.
“It is time the families of the bereaved were given the truth after 46 years of lies and deceit.”