A Dublin parliamentary committee has accused the British government of breaching the Good Friday Agreement by refusing to co-operate with an inquiry into the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings.
Dozens were killed in the bombings and earlier attacks by unionist paramilitaries alleged to have acted with the aid of official British forces.
The committee said “it seems impossible to reconcile the stance of the Northern Irish or British authorities” with a requirement under the 1998 accord for all parties to address “the suffering of the victims of violence”.
It also criticised British Direct Ruler Paul Murphy, whose argument against the release of official documents had been “totally undermined”.
Mr Murphy had defended the non-release of documents on the basis that it would require “a further major and time-consuming search”. However, it has become clear that such documents would have already been searched and processed during the release of the 1974 papers under the 30-year rule.
The committee called for the Minister for Justice to establish a Commission of Investigation into the early termination of the Garda police investigations and missing Gara files in relation to the Dublin and Monaghan bombings.
Justice for the Forgotten, the group representing relatives of victims of the bombings, welcomed the sub-committee’s findings, describing them as a “ringing endorsement” of its concerns.
Greg O’Neill, solicitor for the group, said: “It is now clearly a matter for the Irish Government and for the Taoiseach to come out publicly and declare that a Taoiseach of this sovereign nation is going to vindicate the rights of the lives of those who were taken in 1972, 1973 and 1974, by moving every diplomatic process that is available to him, and by taking the proceedings which this committee has recommended.”
Bernie McNally, the group’s chairwoman, said: “Enough time has been wasted over the years, and we just hope to see these recommendations implemented as soon as possible.”
Ms Monica Duffy-Campbell, whose husband, Tom, was killed in a bomb attack in Dublin in December 1972, said she was pleased. “This is not what I thought it might be at the beginning - just [ something] to appease the families. I am really pleased that this is going to go on.”
Speaking at the publication of the report, Senator Jim Walsh said the British government’s “concealment and non-co-operation” sustained suspicions regarding collusion in the bombings.