:::u.tv:::
1 May 2012

**Video onsite

A street in north Belfast is to be renamed McGurk’s Way in memory of the 15 people killed when a bomb exploded at a bar 40 years ago.

The motion at Belfast City Council to change the name of Fishers Court was backed by Sinn Féin, SDLP, Alliance, UUP and PUP councillors.

Only the DUP voted against the change at Tuesday evening’s council meeting, saying a name change could increase division in the area.

Gerard Keenan’s parents were among the 15 people who died in December 1971 when a UVF bomb ripped through McGurk’s bar, injuring a further 17 people.

“It’s a great tribute and a reminder of what happened here 40 years ago and should never happen again,” he said welcoming the change.

“The people in this area know who was in that bar that night. There’s still family members living here,” he added.

A previous motion brought before the council last year was defeated, but on Tuesday it passed 33 votes to 11.

People will now ask what is the significance of McGurk’s, whereas before we’ve always felt that McGurk’s was one of the forgotten massacres.”

Robert McClenaghan

Robert McClenaghan’s grandfather was the oldest person to be killed in the bombing. He said the name change was a “relief”

“Finally Belfast City Council has come to a decision, a proper decision and a right decision,” Mr McClenaghan explained. “It shouldn’t have been a contentious issue in the first place.”

The bombing had initially been wrongly presented by the RUC as an accidental ‘own goal’ by the IRA but a Police Ombudsman’s report into the bombing found police bias meant the atrocity was not properly investigated.

Families of those who died said they were disappointed that it fell short of identifying collusion.

In December 2011 a recreation of the bar was unveiled where it once stood in North Queen Street in Belfast.

Advertisements