69-year-old man held over McGurk's bar bombing
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69-year-old man held over McGurk's bar bombing

A 69-YEAR-OLD man has been arrested in connection with one of the worst atrocities of the Troubles.

Fifteen people were killed when loyalist paramilitary group the Ulster Volunteer Force exploded a bomb outside McGurk’s bar in Belfast on December 4, 1971.

It was the most deadly incident to take place in the North during the armed conflict prior to the 1998 Omagh bombing.

Detectives from the PSNI’s Serious Crime Branch revealed today that they have detained a man in connection with the attack.

He is being questioned at Antrim police station.

Police re-opened their investigation into the attack following a highly critical into the initial investigation by the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

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In the years after the bombing, the IRA was blamed for placing the bomb in what was dubbed an “own goal” attack on a bar that was popular with the Catholic community.

In 1978, UVF member Robert Campbell was convicted of his part in the attack.

A 2011 investigation by the Police Ombudsman concluded that the RUC investigation was biased because detectives were so focused on claims that the IRA was behind the bombing.

Following those revelations, the Historical Enquiries Team and PSNI have begun a review of the case.

Officers arrested a 75-year-old man in east Belfast earlier this year, but he was released unconditionally after questioning.