‘Justice for the Forgotten’ funding is cut
The group which represents victims of the conflict in the 26 Counties has said it may be wound down within days because of a lack of funds.
‘Justice for the Forgotten’ was formed in 1996 with the aim of campaigning for truth and justice for the victims of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 17 May 1974.
34 people, including an unborn baby, died that day, leading to the greatest loss of life in a single day of the conflict. The bereaved families and survivors of the Dublin bombings of 1 December 1972 and 20 January 1973 are also members of the group.
However, the organisation had its government funding cut at its Dublin office last week. It costs around 145,000 euro to run the office, including the cost of an annual commemorative event for the Dublin-Monaghan bombings.
The group has said that unless funding is found, it will be wound down by the end of the month.
The 26-County Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern described the decision to discontinue funding as ‘difficult’.
Speaking in County Tipperary, Minister Ahern claimed the Dublin government no longer has the resources to fund the organisation.
Victims said the decision to discontinue funding ignored the Good Friday Agreement, which states that it is essential to acknowledge and address the suffering of the victims of violence as a necessary element of reconciliation.
Not a single person has ever been prosecuted in connection with the Dublin bombings of 1972 and 1973, or the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 1974. Indeed, an official silence was long mantained about the events of the day, widely believed to have involved high-level collusion and designed to erode support for the IRA in the south.
Dublin-originated inquiries have beens significantly restricted in their investigations by the non-cooperation of the British authorities. The response of the authorities in the 26 Counties to the call for justice has also been half-hearted and confused.
Sinn Féin TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said Taoiseach Brian Cowen should act and restore funding to the group.
Mr Ó Caoláin said “it is shameful that their funding was terminated in the first place. The work of Justice for the Forgotten must be allowed to continue and it is up to the Taoiseach to ensure that it does.”