Police were 'biased' in Ulster bomb inquiry

Police in Northern Ireland failed to carry out an effective investigation into a pub bombing in Northern Ireland which left 15 dead, including pensioners and children, the Police Ombudsman said yesterday.

"Investigative bias" in the Royal Ulster Constabulary misled the Government into thinking that the IRA was behind the attack on the Catholic's McGurk's bar in north Belfast in 1971, Al Hutchinson added.

The atrocity was carried out by the loyalist paramilitary Ulster Volunteer Force, but had initially been presented by police as an accidental "own goal" by the IRA. Police gave "selective" and "misleading" briefings to officials and the media.

Pat Irvine, whose mother, Kitty Irvine, died, said: "This is the total exoneration of the victims, the survivors and all of the families, they were completely innocent."