Belfast Bar Bomb Kills 15

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Belfast Bar Bomb Kills 15

Belfast, Belfast The 4th of December 1971 AD

During the Troubles the terrorist ‘soldiers’ on both sides were not often the ones killed in the attacks. Thus it was at McGurk’s Bar in the largely Catholic North Queen Street, Belfast , where a bomb placed by the doorway demolished the building and killed 15 people in it, three of them children.
At the time speculation suggested that this could have been an attack by one IRA faction on another; or a device being prepared that went off by mistake. Eventually the driver of the getaway car for the bombers confessed – this was an Ulster Volunteer Force attack, apparently in retaliation for IRA bombings of Protestant bars.
The victims were just people going about their normal business, having a drink, looking after the pub or living in it. Their lives almost tokens in a seemingly endless murderous game over a rather hypothetical subject, the nature of our government and state. For those ordering the attacks, however, it was perhaps about power, and for those carrying them out about hatred. Patrick McGurk, the bar owner whose wife and daughter died in the atrocity, showed remarkable forgiveness for those involved, and begged that there be no further retaliation: for decades his example was largely ignored.

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