Irish Republican News · April 28, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Inquests reopen into Dublin and Monaghan bombings

The inquests into the deaths of 34 people in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings 30 years ago were reopened yesterday by the Dublin City Coroner, Dr Brian Farrell.

Families of the victims of one of the worst atrocities in modern Irish history were the first witnesses to give evidence.

Some 11 relatives, including members of the Justice for the Forgotten group, gave harrowing accounts of the last known movements of the victims of the bombs at Parnell Street and Talbot Street, Dublin.

The husband of one the victims of the 1974 Dublin bombings told the court yesterday of the “confusion” and “horror” on the streets of Dublin the night his wife was killed.

“We looked for my wife for several hours. There was confusion about where the bodies of the people were, if they were in Jervis Street Hospital or the morgue. We didn’t know what to do, “ Mr Timothy Grace said.

“My son was a year old, he never knew his mother.”

Mr John Dargle, known as Jack, had fought in and survived the first World War, “but couldn’t survive a stroll down his own city in the afternoon without being bombed to oblivion”, his grandniece Ms Peggy Watchford said.

Mr Michael McCarthy told how his 20-year-old sister Ms Collette Doherty had gone into town with her two-year-old daughter Wendy.

Ms Doherty, who was due to give birth to her second child two days later, was killed on Talbot Street. “We never found out what happened to the unborn baby. Wendy was found wandering around the streets hours later.”

Another relative, Gertie Shields, asked the jury to remember that each of the 34 victims was part of a loving family and not just part of the number of people who died on a certain day. “I want to say how happy I am to come to this day where there is an actual inquest after all these years.”

The families of those killed in the Monaghan bombing are expected to appear before the Coroner’s Court this morning, followed by evidence from eyewitnesses.

Witnesses to any relevant events prior to the bombings would then be heard followed by those who led the forensic investigation and the police and Garda inquiries.

Empanelling the jury, Dr Farrell, said it was necessary to have a full and thorough inquiry into the deaths of the 34 people including one unborn child and reminded the jury that they were inquiring into the deaths of their fellow citizens.

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© 2004 Irish Republican News