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The British queen must apologize to the Irish.

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Sceala Clann T.D.
Location: Belfast and Donegal.

Sceala Irish Craic Forum Discussion:     The British queen must apologize to the Irish.

The mentions of the British queen in another posting today was the inspiration. The poster is correct when stating that the British queen has never once condemned or repudiate those who carried out murder and evil in Ireland - war crimes in the name of the queen - in her name.
Not once has this woman with children of her own - spoken out against the murder of innocent Irish people by her cowardly and evil loyal subjects. British bigots and extremists are proud of their racism and sectarian hatred - they believe hatred in her name is right - they sing God save their Queen. Has this woman ever once condemned such evil British cowards - not once ever.
British loyalists claim she is their leader, they killed and maimed in her name.
This Queen of silence on Irish murders -has never expressed any regret or apologized for the - centuries of Crown led persecution and war crimes in Ireland. Persecutions and war crimes - that she and her ancestors benefited directly and greatly from.

David Cameron's apology - for events that he had no personal involvement in - has helped some more Irish people move on. Cameron's apology has helped to - improve general relations between the Irish and British.
It should not be forgotten that Cameron made that apology in isolation to a specific event of British state murder - even then it was tendered through political necessity - not from his own personal or caring insights. Regardless - Cameron's apology was well presented and received - and necessary.

Irish Community Video

The British Queen has a moral obligation to improve upon that specific apology in isolation. The far more powerful and symbolic *apology of the British monarch to the Irish nation - is long overdue.*

To help healing in Ireland - *the British Queen should apologize to the Irish nation as a whole*.
Before any visit to Ireland - the offices of the British Crown could make it clear that - a full apology is going to be made in Ireland.
If she wants better relations with the Irish people - then *the British queen must apologize to the Irish nation*. Apologize for the crimes committed by her colonial forces in Ireland - there have been many - and she is after all - the current Commander in Chief.
Only she can make the all encompassing apology - that is so necessary.
If she is just half the humane family woman that she likes to portray - then she will be well aware of the need for this apology in Ireland.
A full unequivocal apology must be tendered by this woman - who is currently held in low-or-no regard by the vast majority of the Irish people.
She must *apologize to those Irish historically forced to leave Ireland because of British colonial policy*.
If she can do this - then we can move on - Accept her visit as that of a gracious head of a foreign nation - view her with some respect.

If she does not make this apology - then she will remain in most Irish minds as second rate- and encouragement to loyalist sectarianism and racism. She will be viewed as someone - who was content for the wounds of innocents to fester - for hate to linger and root.
If she considers that no apology is due - then she will be viewed by most Irish as not even human.

She only has to read more of her own British newspapers - and not just listen to the BBC and read the Times. [read McGurks Bar reporting of the BBC and Times ]
How Britain created Ulster's murder gangs
Neil Mackay
Since the Sunday Herald was founded in 1999, it has led the way in exposing the 'dirty war' in Northern Ireland. Today, we report on the most shocking revelations to date. Our investigations show that far from merely 'turning' terrorists to work for the state, British military intelligency actually created loyalist murder gangs to operate as proxy assassins. They even cleared areas in which the gangs were operating of police and army, to allow them to carry out their hits and escape.

On Monday, the world was stunned by the release of a report by Nuala O'Loan, the police ombudsman for Northern Ireland, which stated that Special Branch officers in Belfast had "colluded" with loyalist terrorists working for the British state as informers. According to O'Loan, police failed to stop these paramilitary gangs, part of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) from killing an estimated 15 people in the 1990s. While this was seized upon by republicans as proof that security forces had aided a loyalist campaign of sectarian assassination, in reality O'Loan's findings barely scratched the surface of a 30-year history of criminality and murder orchestrated by the British army and the Ulster police.

HE INSISTS on being named only as "JB", a sick, ageing man, who fears that ill-health or a bullet from an assassin wishing to silence him will claim his life before he has the chance to tell the true story of his life and crimes. On Wednesday, JB passed a bundle of papers to the Sunday Herald, making up the bulk of his unpublished memoirs, which paint British military intelligence as a callous, murderous, criminal cabal. JB claims that he - and dozens of other members of the terrorist organisation, the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) - were trained and armed by military intelligence.

He also claims select UVF officers were ordered by military intelligence to carry out assassinations against both IRA figures and ordinary Catholics. Such soft targets as innocent men and women were pinpointed by military intelligence in order to psychologically undermine the nationalist population of Northern Ireland and cut the support base from beneath the Provisional IRA.

Martin Ingram, the false cover name for a former member of the covert British military intelligence outfit the Force Research Unit (FRU), has supported the claims made by JB. Ingram eventually turned whistleblower, disgusted at the deaths the FRU had caused by colluding with terrorists in Ulster. He later went on to write a book about the double agent Stakeknife - IRA operative Freddie Scappaticci - who had been "handled" by Ingram's FRU team and exposed by Sunday Herald investigators. Ingram says he is aware of JB's history, and believes his claims are "completely credible". Loyalist sources have also confirmed JB's credibility.

JB, who was convicted twice of terrorist offences, once in the 1970s and again in the early 1990s, says he carried out some 50 UVF operations sanctioned by his handlers in the Military Reconnaissance Force (MRF), the army team which gathered intelligence and ran agents in Ulster. He says he became a "killer, bomber, arsonist and robber". Of the 50 state-sanctioned operations he took part in, "not all were successful".Some, he says, "were aborted". So far he has refused to go into details of the actual murders he took part in on behalf of British military intelligence. Beyond admitting that killings took place, he will only talk about how the British army trained him as a terrorist proxy.

In JB's words, "military intelligence trained, armed and moulded squads of loyalists to put pressure on the IRA to abandon their campaign of bloodshed and carnage". JB was a young UVF member in the early 1970s when first approached by an MRF handler. JB says the military intelligence officer, whom he will name only as "Mike", told him that the then prime minister Edward Heath had sanctioned the "training of loyalists".Mike later added that "nobody, except at the very highest level of the British government and senior officers of the military" knew about the covert counter-insurgency operations.

Mike told JB that "London has ordered the war be taken to the IRA obviously this can't be done openly and must be done covertly. That's why we are looking for people like you ... We are enlisting men from all over the province to co-ordinate attacks, to convince the Catholic people that support for the Provos will only bring death and destruction to their own community."

As well as being trained in firearms at army barracks and firing ranges around Northern Ireland - primarily at Palace Barracks near Holywood in County Down - men like JB were also provided with intelligence on potential targets and given details about which targets to hit. JB knows of at least 30 loyalists who received similar training to him, but believes more than 120 could have been trained as proxy assassins. At times, he was given a British army uniform to provide him with cover while with his handlers. He even drank, on occasions, with his handlers in the Naafi - armed forces bars on military bases.

When proxies like JB were dispatched on a murder operation, military intelligence would impose an Out Of Bounds (OOB) order on the area in which the attack was to take place. In military terms, an OOB means an intelligence operation is under way and army and police are forbidden from entering the area. This gave loyalist murder gangs freedom to operate with impunity during such state-sanctioned attacks. At one stage, claims JB, Mike told him: "Mr Heath and the top brass have given the green light for this."

JB was trained by military intelligence, he says, in how to use a variety of hand-guns, machine guns and rifles, as well as bomb-making techniques. The UVF men working for military intelligence were also given consignments of guns and ammunition by handlers, sent on gruelling fitness courses and schooled in the arts of surveillance, counter-surveillance and intelligence gathering. Other classes included lectures on forensic science, how to avoid leaving incriminating evidence at the scene of crimes and how to steal cars for use in assassination operations.

JB also claims military intelligence instructed loyalists to plant explosives in a Catholic bar to make it look as if the IRA had accidentally set off the bomb. It was hoped such acts would drain Catholic support for republicans.

The bomb was planted in McGurk's Bar in Belfast on December 4, 1971. It killed 15 men, women and children. The immediate blame was indeed placed on the IRA. However, seven years after the bomb, a UVF man received 15 life sentences for the atrocity. JB says he was told about the planned bombing two weeks before the attack and was with his handler at the time it happened. He also claims he saw his handler take pot-shots at republican youths on the streets of Belfast around this time.

A captain in military intelligence spelt out the reasons for the army creating these secret counter-insurgency cells during one discussion with JB. He said: "This type of war can't be won by conventional means. The only solution is to implement a counter-operation, to counteract the violence of the enemy by heaping more violence on them That's why we've chosen men like you to instil trepidation and pandemonium among the Provos and their support base, the Catholic community We will match whatever they do, and outdo them."

In the weeks leading up to the events of Bloody Sunday in Derry, on January 30, 1972, in which the Paratroop Regiment killed 13 people taking part in a civil rights demonstration, JB was informed by his handlers that the British army had been ordered by the Cabinet "to use whatever force and tactics necessary to put these troublemakers down". JB "concludes there were plans for mass murder to be committed that day The Bloody Sunday massacre was sanctioned by the government and top military chiefs." JB is sure that there was a preconceived plan to open fire on the civil rights demonstrators, with the full knowledge this would cause civilian deaths. He believes military intelligence thought this would shake the IRA. Instead, the massacre was a huge boost to IRA support and recruitment.

The day before Bloody Sunday, JB was taken for a training session at Palace Barracks, where he was given a pep-talk by a major who praised him for "having the courage and loyalty to participate in covert actions against the common enemy". The major told JB: "We are hoping to provoke a confrontation with the IRA in Derry, and give them an example of what to expect in future attacks." JB was then offered the chance, he claims, to accompany his military handler, Mike, to Derry to watch the operation to contain the demonstration. Military intelligence sources today say events such as this would help forge a bond, or esprit de corps, between agent and handler.

JB was provided with a British army uniform, a gas mask, camouflage face-paint and a rifle as cover for the time he would spend in Derry with his handler. During the events, JB watched from a military intelligence observation post as soldiers opened fire on civilians. He also claims to have seen members of military intelligence shooting at, and hitting, unarmed civilians from the gun nest in the observation post.

Another killing carried out by loyalists and facilitated by military intelligence by the imposition of an OOB order took place in February 1972 when a bomb exploded in a pub killing, one Catholic man and injuring five others.

Trained proxies such as JB were often taken on "dummy run" assassination operations by handlers to ensure the OOB system wasworking. An OOB order would be given on a specific area of Belfast and JB and his team would enter the area, locate the home of a target, recce it and then leave. If they met with no security force patrols, they knew the OOB system was effective.

Mike at one time told JB: "We don't expect every time an ASU active service unit of the UVF goes out, they will kill somebody. The mere fact an attempt has been made and shots fired, even if they wound or miss altogether, is all part of the terror tactics." The policy was meant to "scare the shit" out of Catholics. Mike also instructed JB on how to "extract information" from Catholics or republicans they kidnapped. The techniques were "gruesome", JB said. Mike made clear that torture should be used, and referred to the victims as "Taigs", a derogatory term for Catholics. Mike also advised on the best shot to use to dispatch a victim of a backstreet execution.

WHILE refusing to give a statement about the actual operations in which he took part, JB said he knew about a number of high-profile loyalist atrocities, sponsored by the MRF. These included the shooting of three members of the Miami Showband, a popular Irish group, in July 1975. The band's bus was flagged down by members of the UVF dressed in army uniforms at a fake military checkpoint. Another MRF-sponsored atrocity, says JB, was the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of May 17, 1974, which killed 33 people and injured 250.

JB lists a series of killings by loyalists which were facilitated by military intelligence putting out OOB orders on the location where the target lived, including the murder of a taxi driver, an eight-year-old girl, various men walking alone in Catholic areas and a Catholic woman in a bomb blast at public toilets in Lurgan. Referring to the last killing, JB says: "As long as it was a Catholic killed, fear would be creeping into Catholic minds - who would be next?'"

When UVF proxies were targeting republicans or IRA men, nearly all the intelligence used in planning hits came from the British army's intelligence wing.

Perhaps the most horrible of all hits facilitated by military intelligence, says JB, was one that involved the infamous Shankill Butchers murder gang. An OOB was put in place, allowing the UVF to put up an illegal roadblock at which they abducted a Catholic man and took him to the head of the Shankill Butchers - a UVF psychopath called Lenny Murphy. The gang tortured their victims for hours with knives before finally executing them. Sometimes the torture sessions took place in front of baying crowds in loyalist drinking dens. At least 19 people died at the hands of the gang. JB states: "I verify and confirm what I have written is a true and very accurate account of events."

BBC and Times disgraced.
Irish Community Images
Collusion and Cover-Up
Britain, the Outlaw State
Collusion: Secret agreement or cooperation especially for an illegal or deceitful purpose.
Sir John Stevens, the former Metropolitan Police Commissioner who was charged with uncovering collusion between the RUC, British army and loyalists, gave this definition:

"Collusion is evidenced in many ways. This ranges from the wilful failure to keep records, the absence of accountability, the withholding of intelligence and information, through to the extreme of agents being involved in murder"

We shall leave it to you to decide, once you have read our story below, whether the British authorities' modern-day dirty war has its genesis in the McGurk's Bar Massacre.

British state collusion with their loyalist death squads has been well documented in several high profile cases from the late eighties such as the murder of the Human Rights lawyer, Mr. Pat Finucane, and the Brian Nelson affair. State collusion, though, has been institutionalized from the start of the conflict when Britain trained, armed and directed their paramilitary gangs for use against the Catholic minority in the north east of Ireland. The McGurk's Bar Massacre of the 4th December 1971 was to be the first bloody signpost of this collusion on a road that leads directly to Bloody Sunday, the New Lodge Six, the Dublin and Monaghan bombings and beyond.

The McGurk's Bar Massacre was Britain's declaration of war.

The War Before the McGurk's Bar Massacre

Proof that the Irish Question could not be solved by military and legal means alone came early in the conflict but was not heeded for another generation. Far from quelling what the British portrayed as localized unrest, the introduction of internment on the 9th August 1971 plunged the north of Ireland into an all-enveloping spiral of violence, destruction and death. The story of its failure is told conclusively in the death toll in the months prior to and following its introduction. Ten people (four British soldiers, four civilians and two Republican Volunteers) had died in the four months leading up to internment. One hundred and twenty eight died in its four-month aftermath (sixty nine civilians and fifty nine combatants - thirteen Republican soldiers and forty six British army, RUC, UDR and Loyalist personnel).

The Provisional IRA had rightly sensed British strategic weakness and launched such a devastating onslaught that it seemed certain that the Orange statelet, under unionist misrule, would crumple. Britain, though, in the spring of 1970 had installed one Frank Kitson (below right) as Commander of their armed forces in Belfast. Brigadier Frank KitsonSuch was his perceived skill in so-called counter-insurgency that, even though he was only a Brigadier and was to become the youngest Commander in the British army, he held its most difficult post for two years until April 1972. During this critical time he had tirelessly prepared the framework for how the British army was to wage its war in the north of Ireland. Indeed, his book, Low Intensity Operations: Subversion, Insurgency and Peacekeeping, which was published in 1971, became the blueprint for the British modus operandi in this theatre of war. It had been formulated and honed by British paramilitary forces in places as far-flung as Kenya, Malaya, Aden and Cyprus as the empire began to crumble. Nevertheless, Britain, like its blundering generals in the First World War, had not learned from any of these conflicts. Their methodology each and every time had been unsuccessful, resulting in long-term military failure and territorial loss. History will judge whether the North of Ireland is the same.

The bedrock of this counter-insurgency strategy is "the working of the triumvirate: civil, military and police as a joint and integrated organisation from the highest to the lowest level of policy-making, planning and administration" (from Counter-Revolutionary Operations, volume three of Land Operations, the army's secret training manual, obtained by the Time Out magazine in 1969). Therefore, legislative and judicial powers have to be weighted and local police militia bolstered towards an obdurate support of military strategy. These steps in isolation are not enough, though, if a covert surveillance and intelligence-gathering network is not in place.

Kitson's subversion of insurgency theory and psychological warfare went even further with its creation of gangs and counter-gangs to off-set revolution within a particular community. Keeni-Meeni black ops in KenyaIn other conflicts British Special Forces would don local garb or blacken their faces to execute illegal operations in the guise of indigenous gangs (see photo on left). They would also fund and instruct native militia, directing them against shared quarry. Their hand need not have been so well-hidden in the north of Ireland as the dress and skin colour was usually their own. In conjunction with these death squads, the British military had also had been training and arming protestant militants for such a juncture in the war. Loyalists, in the two and a half years prior to the McGurk's Bar Massacre, had only been responsible for ten deaths (or thirteen deaths in the five and a half years prior to the pub bombing). Now was the time for the British to unfetter these paramilitary dogs of war and direct them against ordinary, Irish civilians. Their success, in British military terms, is calculated in the death count of innocents that rose sharply from, and began with, the McGurk's Bar Massacre of the 4th December 1971. A war that lasted for two generations, though, testifies to their abject failure.

The Week Prior to the McGurk's Bar Massacre

On Saturday the 27th November 1971 the north reeled from a major IRA offensive and bomb blitz throughout the city of Belfast and the counties of Derry and Fermanagh. Beginning at 9 a.m., there had been nine explosions over a half hour period and, within thirty hours, a further twenty blasts. Maliciously-started fires raged as custom posts, check points and army patrols were attacked. Two custom officers (Jimmy O'Neill and Ian Hankin) and one Scots Guardsman (Paul Nicholls) were killed. The tempo of bombings, shootings and death was maintained vigorously throughout the week and rose to such a crescendo that another weekend blitz was guaranteed. The British military, therefore, swamped the streets of all major towns across the statelet and dug in in anticipation.

In North Belfast, the prison services had been caught napping once more on the day before the McGurk's Bar Massacre when three high profile Republican prisoners, Martin Meehan, Anthony "Dutch" Doherty and Hugh McCann, simply scaled the wall of Crumlin Road jail and jumped to freedom. As this escape followed on the coattails of the highly embarrassing breakout of nine inmates on the 16th November from the very same jail, it was imperative that these latest escapees were immediately caught. Therefore a ring of steel was thrown around North Belfast so that the potential movements of these men would be hampered until their capture. Press reports speculated that the prisoners were bundled swiftly over the border but the British authorities continued to believe that they had been quick enough to contain them within their cordon area.

The Day and Night of the McGurk's Bar Massacre

On the fateful night of the 4th December the Belfast Telegraph reported:

In a massive clamp-down operation, hundreds of troops today saturated Belfast's city centre... in an effort to prevent a repetition of last Saturday's IRA terror campaign... More than 4000 men in nine regiments are stationed in and around Belfast, and today each regiment was told to keep a lookout for trouble in its own area... All this was in addition to the massive search which has been mounted for the three IRA jail breakers. Road blocks on all roads leading into and out of the city are being manned round the clock.

The McGurk's family pub was on North Queen Street, one of North Belfast's main thoroughfares, five minute's walk away from both the commercial hub of the statelet and the jail in question.

Cordon and search on the New Lodge Road.Witnesses (see Joe Graham's account in our Guest Book) recall that there were cordons and searches at every turn and yet it was in this area that a loyalist death squad felt confident to linger and act. The military on this one major road had somehow vanished to allow a carload of men with a 30-50lb bomb in the backseat into their target zone.

As we know from the testimony of the one convicted bomber, Robert James Campbell, the gang even waited for over an hour to have clear access at their original target, the Gem bar, which had perceived allegiances to the Official Republican movement. The British war machine planned to stir up internecine strife between the two Republican wings with the no-warning and devastating bomb at this pub. As one wing blamed the other, both would be deflected from their war against the Crown forces and their community support networks rent asunder by recrimination and infighting - the classic formula for divide and conquer that the British military and its agents had perfected over centuries of misrule. As it happened, though, the Gem had men outside it, so, after waiting for an hour and a quarter, with no apparent concern for being accosted by security forces, the loyalists decided that any Catholic pub would suffice. What mattered was that it was a softer target to hit - the loss of innocent civilian life was irrelevant. The McGurk's family pub was their fateful choice.

Afterwards, as the death squad raced towards the nearby Cathedral Quarter where they had arranged to dump their car and get picked up, the bomb they had left behind ripped through the small pub and the innocents within. A couple of minutes later they abandoned their car as all around Belfast sounded to the squeals of the emergency services speeding towards the carnage. At this moment, in an apparent act of cowardice, their pickup fled the area and abandoned his cronies (no loyalist was punished for this treachery, as would be expected, which leads us to assume that the gang member was attached directly to British Intelligence). Instead they had to phone their controllers and arrange a second team to collect them which meant another half an hour in the immediate vicinity of their atrocity. Yet still, the three men were not stopped, questioned or arrested as they skulked suspiciously in the shadow of St. Anne's Cathedral and the ring of steel closed once more with thousands of troops flooding into the area. Eventually they were picked up and driven the couple of miles back to their drinking dens, through roadblocks and past army posts. Indeed, the British did not even recover the original transport they abandoned a few hundred yards away from McGurk's.

The Aftermath of the McGurk's Bar Massacre

As surely as what happened in the McGurk's family pub was a massacre of innocents, the British authorities' handling of the case in the generations thenceforth has constituted nothing less than an atrocity and an abasement of basic Human Rights.

The original plan was to have their loyalist death squad hit an establishment frequented by Official IRA members to fan the flames of the split with the Provisional movement. This feud would spill onto the streets of their own community and sap the very support that each needed to survive. When McGurk's family pub, the softest of innocent targets, was hit instead, the British machinations for misinformation were firmly in place. The recently formed Psychological Operations (PSYOPS) section in Palace Barracks and GHQ Lisburn, known as the Information Research Department, within minutes had begun to propagate the lie that the bomb was an IRA own-goal in order that the objective of their original plan was realised and the local power-base of the IRA drained. This heinous and groundless document was lodged in an RUC Duty Officer's Report and released to the ministry of Home Affairs before being leaked to John Chartres of the Times. As ordinary people emptied onto North Queen Street to claw at rubble and debris, British officers were debriefing journalists with the lie spun by their Intelligence superiors: bombers were being trained in the bar or the bomb was waiting to be transported to its intended target. The IRA were to blame and the people in the bar were guilty by association if not legally culpable through complicity.

A breakthrough document was uncovered by the victims' families in July 2009. Prepared for the General Officer Commanding the British forces in the North of Ireland at the time, Lt. General Sir Harry Tuzo, this Director of Operations Brief starkly shows that the Army Technical Officer on the scene minutes after the explosion believed, in his expert opinion, the bomb "to have been planted outside (author's highlight) the pub". This is diametrically opposed to the lies that Palace Barracks and the RUC promulgated thenceforth and lays bare collusion and cover-up.

The impact of this lie was dependent upon its longevity and its life span upon the synchronicity between the administrative powers, the police and the media. The British military, therefore, swung the full weight of each behind their deception. As neighbours dug feverishly for survivors, police and army personnel descended upon the New Lodge community and began an intensive house-to-house search operation. Ignoring the highly accurate testimony of young Joseph McClory, they used the McGurk's Bar Massacre as a thinly-veiled excuse to turn whole streets upside-down in a hunt for intelligence, prison escapees or arms. They even swooped on the family home of Edward Kane in the vain hope that they might upturn some incriminating evidence that they could use to back their spurious claims concerning the victims. Mrs. Kane, a young mother to young children, watched as her home was ransacked and her neighbours were dragged onto the street. She recounts how a local informant, hidden from view behind a screen in an army vehicle, could be heard telling his paymasters whether his neighbours were connected to the Republican movement. She had not been told at this moment in time that her partner, the father of her babies, had been murdered.

Nothing could be found or planted by the British military to connect any family member to illegal activity but still the lies of the state grew.

Control of the Media, Politicians and the Police

The British media, to its eternal shame, breathed life into the lies of Military Intelligence due to either subjective, deliberately misdirected or extremely lazy reporting. John Chartres in the Times (5th December 1971) devoted a complete article to the debriefing of the British army. He recorded, without heeding any of the witness accounts:

"Police and army intelligence officers believe that Ulster's worst outrage, the killing of 15 people, including two children and three women... was caused by an IRA plan that went wrong."

It should be noted that Chartres was the only so-called non-military witness to nail bombs being found on the body of one of the victims of the Bloody Sunday murders. In fact, we know this to be a fabrication. Chartres was actually a Territorial Army Colonel at this time and was a good friend of Hugh Mooney, Information Adviser to the General Officer Commanding, Tuzo. When this author asked a well-placed British military source why Chartres would publish such lies, he simply said "Sure he was one of ours".

BBC Radio 4 News reported the afternoon after the blast that RUC sources had confirmed that forensic scientists believed that the bomb exploded inside the building.

The BBC's "Scene Around Six" programme later that night reported that police were remaining non-committal as to who planted the bomb. Nevertheless, John Taylor, minister of state for home affairs in the Stormont government, is quoted as saying that it was unlikely to have been the work of loyalists.

An article the following day, 7th December, by Mervyn Pauley examines Taylor's speech in Stormont more vigorously. The minister felt assured days later to tell the world from the statelet's parliament that "forensic evidence supports the theory that the explosion... took place inside the building". He went on to say that the Provisional IRA was on the defensive and in retreat. If nationalist opinion was enflamed against the Protestant community, then nothing would aid them more. Portentously, Taylor went on to warn the Catholic community to think again before believing any of the Republican propaganda that would be fed to them regarding this incident particularly and others to follow.

The families would obviously like to know whether Taylor, with security as his remit, was an instrument of British Intelligence or duped by them. To date, even though he is supposed to be a servant of the public, he has not made this information available either to the bereaved family members (see our open letter that he has ignored until recently), the ombudsman's investigation or the belated police inquiry. The minutes of a secret military briefing (ref. MG/71/1338 55/20/6) on the 14th December 1971, buried in archives, discussed how the lie was to be further propagated at governmental level:

"Findings which indicated that that the explosion in the McGurk's Bar had been the result of a bomb in the bar (by implication, in transit there) should be publicized, possibly by means of a written parliamentary question."

It was left to the Guardian to produce the most profligate and dissolute article on the 24th December:

"Security men and forensic scientists have finished the grisly investigation of the explosion in Paddy McGurk's Bar, which killed at least 15 Belfast Catholics earlier this month. If they are to be believed - and in this case they probably are - this figure will have to be revised upwards. They claim to have established that five men were standing round the bomb when it went off inside the crowded bar in North Queen Street. All five were blown to pieces.

The scientists have been able to identify one of them as a senior IRA man who was an expert on explosives and was on the government's wanted list.

Of all the conflicting theories about the explosion, the security men are now convinced that the bar was a transfer point in the IRA chain between the makers and the planters of the bomb. Something went wrong and the bomb exploded."

Dr. Robert Alan Hall was the Forensic Scientist in charge of the case and he could not produce a definitive report until 11th February 1972 due to the scale of the atrocity. He concluded that the combined findings, including the pathology reports, did not support the theory that a group of men were standing over or near the bomb. Tests for shrapnel or parts of the detonating device upon the victims' clothing proved negative. No debris at all from an explosive device was found upon any of the victims' clothing. In fact those nearest to the seat of the blast had splinter injuries which indicated that furniture, probably a door, was in between them and the bomb when it exploded.

Dr. Hall concluded that the explosion "had occurred at or about the entrance door from the porch leading off Great Georges Street".

As surely as the authorities managed media disinformation after the massacre, they deliberately mismanaged any serious investigation into it.

Under the misdirection of Detective Chief Inspector Abbott, a team of twenty so-called professionals doggedly chased a line of enquiry that laid the blame for the blast on the PIRA for two tenuous reasons alone:

1. An Alleged "Crossed-Line" - during which a mother and daughter who were never traced were overheard discussing several of the victims as bombers. A number the "mother" gave was not even listed or issued to the north of Ireland.

2. An Alleged Statement Made By An Ambulance Driver To A Warrant Officer - that "the man taken to the hospital on Saturday 4th December 1971 from McGurk's explosion was heard to say whilst semi-conscious 'I told him not to plant it there'". This insinuates that the PIRA deliberately bombed McGurk's. Of course, no ambulance driver's statement has ever surfaced.

Dozens of witness statements that corroborated the victims' innocence were either ignored or lost. No lines of inquiry were ever followed, other than those that misdirected the focus of the investigation towards the Republican "own-goal" theory. Nobody was ever arrested or questioned, until U.V.F. gang-member, Robert James Campbell, confessed to his part in the massacre on the 28th July 1977. He also admitted his role in the murder of Mr. John Morrow on the 22nd January 1976. Mr. Morrow, who happened to be a Protestant, heroically saved the life of five Catholic colleagues, thwarting what would have been another sectarian mass murder (this was an attempted loyalist replay of the Kingsmill atrocity of the 5th January 1976). Readers may wonder why the RUC, renowned for their brutality during interviews of Republican suspects, were content to accept the flimsiest of confessions in this instance (we are still waiting for the transcripts of the tame questioning in totality). Less than a page and a half was deemed sufficient to shelve the murder of fifteen innocent men, women and children and the attempted murder of sixteen more Bombers then went for a drink in their Orange hall (see his confession here).

Nevertheless, the families and society in general were lucky that this career criminal and mass murderer, active from July 1971 to July 1977, was ever brought before the courts at all...

In March 1976, sixteen months before his eventual arrest, an RUC intelligence source named Campbell and four others as being the McGurk's bombers. The police review of the case would not divulge the source and could not reason why there was such a delay in arrest. In fact, it has been noted by the review that it is strange that there is no record of why there were no arrests. Furthermore, they cannot explain why the other four were not arrested, especially after Campbell's confession proved the intelligence correct.

The families have obviously asked the police how many of these men were run by Special Branch or the army. We are still waiting for a response.

Post Script

Robert James Campbell was sentenced on the 6th September 1978. He was released on the 9th September 1993, serving less than one year for each of the sixteen civilians he admitted murdering.

On the 14th July 2008, thirty six and a half years after the McGurk's Bar Massacre, the British government was forced to apologize for their black propaganda that perverted the course of justice and abased the human rights of innocent civilians. A weak apology, though, for "such perceptions and pre-conceived ideas" (N. Ireland minister Paul Goggins in the British House of Commons, 14th July 2008) is not enough.

We, the families of the innocent victims killed and injured in McGurk's Bar, will not rest until the British government confesses before the world that the Massacre was their operation, their bomb and their war crime. To that end, we have called for two leading members of the MRF to be questioned regarding British black ops at this time.

Their names are James (Hamish) Alastair McGregor and Clive Graham Williams.

Irish Government - shameless.
The Irish government wants to spend millions to protect the visit of a foreign queen - they invited. A foreign queen the vast majority of Irish - to put it mildly- currently have no regard for.
The Irish government awarded 250,000 to Orange lodges based along the Border. Eamon O'Cuiv awarded sectarian bigots 250,000 of Irish tax incomes - to help British loyal protestants - continue to promote sectarianism in Ireland.
Bombers then went for a drink in their Orange hall
Orange order get grant from Irish tax payers
The same Irish government that is - cutting back on Irish children with special needs - and assistance to other vulnerable Irish.

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