Victims Commissioner ignores families
John Wilson, Dublin's Victims Commissioner, ignored the wishes of relatives of those who died in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings in recommending a private rather than public inquiry.
On the commissioner's recommendation, the government is to opt for a private inquiry into the 1974 bombings, which killed 35 people and left hundreds more maimed and injured. The attacks are believed to have been carried out by loyalists with British collusion. The inquiry will also consider the case of Dundalk man, Seamus Ludlow, killed in 1976.
Justifying his decision, Wilson has claimed that the families had never requested a public inquiry. It ``wasn't mentioned at all'', said Wilson. This is contradicted by documents presented to the commissioner by Cormac Ó Dualacháin, the barrister representing relatives of the victims last December, calling for a ``public judicial inquiry''.
O Dualacháin writes: ``The victims and relatives of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings believe that a sworn public tribunal of inquiry is the existing mechanism that can address their substantive needs in the absence of a formally constituted Truth Commission.''
In the Dáil on Wednesday, Sinn Féin TD Caoimhghín O Caoláin challenged the taoiseach Bertie Ahern on John Wilson's comments:
``Is the taoiseach aware of the anger among families and campaigners in the Dublin/Monaghan bombings case at the statement of former tánaiste John Wilson, who claimed that they had not sought a public inquiry? Can the taoiseach confirm that a senior official in his department was told the same by Mr Wilson, despite the fact that the demand of Justice for the Forgotten has always been for a public inquiry?''
While Ahern acknowledged that it was a public inquiry which Justice for the Forgotten was demanding, he would not respond to the Sinn Féin TD on Wilson's claim.