Governments indicted over secrecy on bombings
Governments indicted over secrecy on bombings

Families of victims of bombings in the 26 Counties in late 1972 and early 1973 have called on the British government to tell the truth about its involvement in the attacks.

A parliamentary committee in Dublin heard testimony from relatives of victims of car-bombs planted in Dublin and Belturbet, County Cavan.

In his report published last year, Justice Barron noted that the bombings had not reflected a traditional loyalist pattern and a strong case had been made for the involvment of British state forces. However, the British government had refused to co-operate with the inquiry.

Ms Monica Duffy-Campbell, whose husband Tommy Duffy was killed, told the subcommittee she was “quite astounded that the British government have not even had the courtesy to reply to letters for the Barron report when they were asked.”

The bombs facilitated the passage of tough anti-republican legislation under a weak Fianna Fail government by ensuring the co-operation of the opposition.

“On the night that Tom died, a couple of hours later, that Bill was passed,” Ms Duffy-Campbell said.

“I will believe until the day I die that the British government or British agents were involved in the death of my husband...

“The British government is supposedly a friendly nation. We are not at war with it. Why have they decided to stand totally back from this and not give any answers? What have they got to hide?”

Ms Duffy-Campbell said she had a daughter and was four months pregnant when her husband was killed.

“My life has changed beyond belief that night. My husband at the time was 24 years of age. He was a young vibrant, happy-go-lucky, hard-working, loving husband, went out to work, full of expectations in life, full of what the future might hold for us as a couple and family,” she said.

“The next time that I was to see Tom was in a coffin in North Strand following the bombings of the 1st of December, 1972.”

Other relatives were angry that they received no information from the two governments or the police.

Joe Douglas - a brother of Tommy Douglas, killed by a car-bomb in Dublin on January 20th, 1973 - said Jack Lynch, the then Taoiseach, gave an assurance that “there would be no stone left unturned to find the perpetrators, but there’s been nothing. We never heard a word.”

Earlier, Mr Cormac O’Dulachain, barrister for the Justice for the Forgotten group, said the bombings in 1972, 1973, and in 1974 in Dublin and Monaghan “had a confirmed cross-border dimension.

“In all cases the detection and prosecution of those responsible was dependent on the co-operation and actions of two police forces,” he told the sub-committee hearing this morning.

“No one has served one day in prison. And if anyone were to be convicted, the period of imprisonment they would now serve would under the provisions of the Good Friday agreement would in all probability be insignificant.”

He said the issue of the non-co-operation of the British government was “a grave political issue because it doesn’t concern the actions of a government 30 years ago, it concerns the actions of this current British government.”

A “pattern and a policy of non-co-operation” is emerging, he added.

Families of the victims of bombings also accused the police of failing to carry out a proper investigation and said the Department of Justice in Dublin had allowed a veil of secrecy to fall over its files on the investigations.

Cormac O’Dulachain, a legal representative for the relatives said: “Recent inquiries carried out by Justice for the Forgotten have revealed an extensive range of Department of Justice files that have not been disclosed and our concern is there may be good reasons for the non-disclosure.”

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