Kelly's Bar bomb families 'want answers'

Published Sunday, 13 May 2012
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Forty years after a car bomb exploded outside Kelly's Bar in west Belfast, the families of those killed are calling for a fresh investigation into the attack.

Kelly's Bar bomb families 'want answers'
Gerard Clarke and John Moran died after the Kelly's Bar bombing. (© Family pictures)

The no-warning device went off on 13 May 1972 outside the packed pub on the Springfield Road, where locals were watching a football game between England and West Germany.

Sixty-three people were injured in the explosion, eight of them seriously, and 20-year-old barman John Moran died 10 days later.

During the violent gun battles in west Belfast which followed the bomb, a second barman, Thomas McIlroy, was shot dead.

Security services reported that the device was an IRA bomb that had exploded prematurely but 40 years later, victim's relatives say they want answers.

"The British government are still saying that this was an IRA bomb and they still maintain that position," said Lisa McNally, whose uncle and father died after the bomb.

"To add insult to injury the HET have concluded in their report that they have no evidence to say that there was any loyalist involvement in it."

"On that day there was a Lance Corporal saying that the people who were involved in this were, in fact, the people who carried it out, so they were basically saying that my father and uncle were the ones that carried out this attack.

"We want their names cleared," she added.

Paidraig Ó Muirigh is acting as a solicitor for the Kelly's Bar families, who he said have never been told exactly what happened.

"In the immediate aftermath of the explosion the British security services put forward a theory that this was an IRA own goal. The whole community and the families were well aware that this was a loyalist attack on their community," he explained.

The families are calling for an independent investigation into the attack and have asked the incoming Police Ombudsman Michael Maguire to examine the role played by the RUC.

Mr Ó Muirigh said they have also applied to the Attorney General to look at the inquests, as "the inquests at the time were as flawed as the investigations that were carried out" he commented.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Paris in Belfast wrote (986 days ago):
Does this mean that the Springfield Road is going to be renamed?
Ulysses32 in Belfast wrote (988 days ago):
I'm still waiting on my comments, UTV. What is it? Factual history to good for this site now?
lynne green in belfast wrote (990 days ago):
the dogs in the street know that it was a loyalist attack witnesses from 40 years ago remember what happened that day why cant families just get answers without lies being told about loved ones
liam in belfast wrote (990 days ago):
this is exactly why there will never be a truth commission. The british have too many dirty secrets. Good luck to the families.
Jamesbelfast in Belfast wrote (991 days ago):
Yes Ryan in Belfast. Can you offer any viable evidence regarding your claims? And if so have you reported this evidence to anyone in authority or even a political party? If indeed you have hard evidence by not disclosing it you are in effect causing further hurt to the victims and their community.
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