Irish Republican News · February 5, 2005
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: British silence testifies to guilt - Donlon
British silence testifies to guilt - Donlon

The former secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Sean Donlon, said “certain conclusions” would have to be drawn from the refusal of the British authorities to provide documents sought by the inquiry into bombings in in 1972/73.

British forces are believed to have colluded with unionist paramilitaries to carry out the deadly attacks in the 26 Counties with the goal of turning Irish public opinion against the IRA.

The inquiry into the bombings by Justice Barron was told by the British authorities this time last year that they had not been able to begin “a further major and time-consuming search” for documents.

However, the former departmental secretary told the committee that this was not credible because the British authorities would already have sifted through their records from the early 1970s for release to the public archives under the 30-year rule.

The committee also heard that, on one occasion in 1972, the Fianna Fail government in Dublin stationed hundreds of armed troops at the rear of the parliament in fear of a rising up by republicans.

Former cabinet minister Des O’Malley said that his government gave the soldiers orders to shoot to kill if they came under attack.

“At one stage during the passing of the Offences Against the State Act [an oppressive anti-republican measure passed following one such bombing], 7,000 or 8,000 people were outside the gates, in a fairly violent frame of mind a lot of the time.

“There were 300 troops here, at the back of Leinster House, at the back of the Department of Agriculture,” he said.

Mr O’Malley said the soldiers had orders to shoot to kill, if necessary, and that this was the only basis on which the military authorities would permit them to be there.

He said that the government in Dublin was facing three separate “subversive organisations” and that it was a time of “great tension and fear”.

© 2005 Irish Republican News