Northern Ireland

McGurk's bar street name back on Belfast agenda

Fifteen people were killed and more than 16 injured in the McGurk's bar bomb attack in December 1971
Image caption Fifteen people were killed and more than 16 injured in the McGurk's bar bomb attack in December 1971

An attempt to name a north Belfast street in memory of 15 people killed in a loyalist bombing is back on the agenda, despite unionist opposition.

Residents of Fishers Court want it renamed McGurks Way, after the bombing nearby of McGurk's Bar in 1971.

The move was passed by a Belfast City Council committee, but on a split vote.

DUP councillor Brian Kingston opposed it. "Is this the route we want to go down, renaming streets in Belfast after atrocities of the Troubles?", he asked.

"This would set a dangerous precedent. We would end up with a whole series of such applications."

The issue will be considered at a full meeting of the council on 1 May.

It is the second time the council has considered the name change.

A year ago, unionists forced through the existing street name.

However, since then residents have signed a petition in favour of the name McGurks Way, which is across the road from the scene of the bombing.

Frank Dempsey of St Patrick's and St Joseph's Housing Committee said: "We are not talking about remembering acts of terrorism.

"We are about honouring innocent victims. What is the harm in that?"

Unionists said the name change has the backing of Sinn Fein, the SDLP and Alliance.

Fifteen Catholic civilians died in the bombing.

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