The Dublin and Monaghan Bombings

The Dublin and Monaghan Bombings, by Don Mullan
Reviewed by Liam O Ruairc (for The Blanket)

In May 1974, at the height of the loyalist Ulster Workers Council strike, bombs went off in Dublin and Monaghan killing 33 people and injuring hundreds more. The UVF was blamed for planting those bombs, but there is a controversy about whether or not British secret services were also involved. This huge number of casualties makes the Dublin and Monaghan bombings the most deadly incident of thirty years of Irish war. This fact today seems to be ignored or forgotten. There is an official amnesia both in the North and the South of Ireland. It is worth comparing the official and media reactions to the Dublin and Monaghan bombs with those to the 1998 bomb in Omagh. The two incidents have many things in common. But official and media reactions to the two incidents have been quite different. The media presented it as the worst incident of the Troubles. The media has given extensive coverage and support to the campaign of the relatives of the Omagh bomb victims, whereas the campaign for a public inquiry into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings remained isolated for more than two decades. The BBC aired a television programme naming individuals allegedly responsible for the Omagh bomb asking the public to help the police bring those individuals to justice, whereas a campaign of witch hunt and prosecution was lead against a 1993 Channel Four programme about the Dublin and Monaghan bombings because it alleged British intelligence were involved. There is extensive police work trying to catch those responsible for the Omagh bombs, and in comparaison little has been done to bring those responsible of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings to justice. ``Omagh'' has entered the discourse of the British, Irish and American government, while the very few references to the Dublin and Monaghan bombings makes it look as if they never happened.

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