The families of those who died in the La Mon house hotel bombing by the IRA in 1978 have been told they will not be granted an independent review into the atrocity.
Secretary of State Theresa Villiers wrote to families on Monday telling them she would not be ordering a probe as she did not feel it would “reveal new evidence or reach a different conclusion from the investigations that have already taken place”.
East Belfast MLA Michael Copeland said the decision was a devastating one for victims.
Ms Villers, who on Tuesday also announced there would be no independent review into the Ballymurphy killings, said she was aware there would be disappointment at the news.
“After consultation and careful consideration, I have decided not to initiate a de Silva type review into the La Mon House bombing,” said Ms Villiers. “I have written to the families advising them of my decision.
“I understand that this is not the decision they were hoping for, but I do not believe that an independent review would reveal new evidence or reach a different conclusion from the investigations that have already taken place.
“I was very moved by my meeting with the families and I know that no matter how much time passes, the pain experienced by the victims of this shocking atrocity remains. I continue to offer my sincerest sympathy to the families for the loss of their loved ones and the injury they have suffered.”
Mr Copeland said anyone with information on the bombing should not be allowed to stay silent on the matter.
“When I met with the Secretary of State last year along with families affected by La Mon, we spoke of our disappointment at the lack of new information contained in the HET report into the bombing. Today’s decision will only serve to frustrate the victims who have had great patience in their wait for the truth of La Mon.
“There are people out there who know what happened that day, know why it happened and know who gave the orders for it to happen. It is disturbing that they continue to keep the families in the dark.
“Today will be hurtful for those families of the innocent people who were so disgracefully and unforgivably targeted on 17 February 1978. I will continue to help and support them in their fight for truth.”