Irish Republican News · June 14, 2014
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Action campaign on the past holds Dublin event
Action campaign on the past holds Dublin event

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Relatives of those killed or injured during the conflict will call on the Dublin government to begin a process of tackling the past during an event in the capital this Saturday, 14th June.

More than 200 people will line O’Connell Street with shoes symbolising the victims. The families will be met in Dublin by the city’s new mayor, Christy Burke.

The day of action is part of a campaign, called ‘In Their Footsteps’, which aims to pressurise the Dublin and London governments into setting in place “an acceptable means of dealing with the past that can achieve the results these families need”.

Organiser Julieann Campbell, whose uncle Jackie Duddy was the first fatality on Bloody Sunday in 1972, said she hoped the event would give families “a rare opportunity to engage with the interested public and tell their story”.

The author and journalist also revealed that the organisers, a coalition of groups and individuals on both sides of the border, planned to hold similar days of action in Belfast and London.

Among victims’ shoes to be placed on O’Connell Street will be the bloodstained plimsolls worn by Derry schoolgirl Annette Mcgavigan when she was shot dead by a British soldier in September 1971.

The 14-year-old had been standing in the street on which she lived, still wearing her school uniform, when she died. No proper investigation was ever conducted and no-one was ever charged with the killing.

DUNDALK PRESSURE

Meanwhile, at a meeting in Dundalk this week, the family of a County Louth forestry worker murdered by loyalists asked the Dublin government’s justice minister to launch a fresh inquiry into the 1976 killing.

During an hour-long meeting with Minister Frances Fitzgerald in Dundalk, the family of Seamus Ludlow said they wanted a new probe to focus on the failure of Gardai police in the 26 Counties to act on information that could have brought the killers to justice.

Mr Ludlow died after being lured into a car shortly after leaving a pub in Dundalk. His body was found dumped in a ditch on a bog road, close to his Mountpleasant home, on May 2 1976. Gardai police in the South initially blamed the Provisional IRA for the murder, winding up the investigation after just four weeks.

Twenty years later, a Sunday newspaper reported that by 1979, Garda detectives had become aware of the identities of a four-man Red Hand Commando/UDR gang suspected of being involved in the murder. The Ludlow family also revealed at the time they had been told by the RUC that the force did not act on relevant information because they had never been requested by the Gardai to do so.

In February 1998 four men were arrested in Belfast but no prosecutions followed.

Mr Ludlow’s nephew Jimmy Sharkey said Ms Fitzgerald had been “very familiar” with the Ludlow case and that she had left relatives with “a veneer of hope” that progress could be made as a result of the meeting.

He previously said that the Taoiseach’s willingness to support a probe into the 1971 Ballymurphy massacre should make him equally amenable to an inquiry into the north Louth killing.

“If he is willing to tell the Ballymurphy families that they should have an independent inquiry then there can be no reason why he would not support us,” Mr Sharkey said.

The Border Relatives Group is a collective of those families who were bereaved in cross-border attacks. Collusion is suspected in seven such attacks.

In a positive development this week, the Police Ombudsman in the Six Counties said it is to investigate allegation of RUC collusion in another such attack.

Hugh Watters and Jack Rooney, both in their sixties, died after a car bomb exploded outside Kay’s Tavern on December 19 1975.

The campaign group, Justice for the Forgotten, has accused the RUC of failing to properly investigate their deaths, despite the fact that the attack was planned, and the bomb was built, in the north of Ireland.

© 2014 Irish Republican News