‘TECS ARREST PENSIONER OVER 1971 MCGURK’S BAR MASSACRE

The aftermath of the McGurk's bar atrocity in Belfast in 1971

The aftermath of the McGurk’s bar atrocity in Belfast in 1971

DETECTIVES from the PSNI’s Terrorist Investigation Unit have arrested a pensioner in relation to the McGurk’s bar massacre over 40 years ago.

The 69-year-old man was arrested this morning in Co Antrim under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act.

He has been taken to the serious crime suite in Antrim for questioning.

The UVF left a holdall packed with explosives in McGurk’s Bar off North Queen Street killing 15 people on December 4, 1971.

Police have recently reopened the case following a critical report into the original RUC murder investigation by the Police Ombudsman.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, the IRA was blamed for placing the bomb.

In February 2011, the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman published a report claiming the original Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) police investigation was “biased”.

Following the publication, the Historical Enquiries Team, and more recently PSNI detectives in Serious Crime Branch, began a review of the case.

Today’s arrest is the second since the investigation was reopened.

In March, detectives arrested a 75-year-old man in east Belfast, but following questioning he was released unconditionally.

To date, only one man was convicted of all 15 murders in 1978 and was sentenced to life in prison.

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