Dublin-Monaghan move expected
Dublin-Monaghan move expected

The Dublin government is set to take the British government to the European Court of Human Rights if it fails to hand over files relating to the Dublin and Monaghan bombings at a meeting of the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference later today [Monday].

The Taoiseach will consult with Attorney General Rory Brady in the coming days if Blair does not hand over British intelligence documents on the loyalist car bombs that killed 34 people in May 1974.

The bombings represented the single biggest loss of life during the Troubles.

A report by Justice Henry Barron in 2003 found that it was “likely” there had been collusion between members of the British security forces and the loyalist bomb teams that planted the devices. Barron said that the British government had repeatedly refused to cooperate with his inquiry.

A joint parliamentary committee, which studied the findings of Barron’s report, recommended that if the British government did not cooperate with further inquiries, then the government should take action against it in Europe.

The Justice for the Forgotten group, which represents relatives of those killed in the bombings, has already filed complaints with the court in Strasbourg.

It alleges that the Ulster Volunteer Force was assisted by members of British army intelligence in planning and planting the bombs.

Tomorrow’s meeting in Downing Street will be the first joint government conference attended by both Ahern and Blair since 1999.

Ahern said he had raised the issue with British prime minister Tony Blair last Wednesday, but their discussions primarily concerned the European Council meeting.

“I told him that I expect the British position to be presented next week, when a full session of the British-Irish inter-governmental council will be held. I hope that they will co-operate and will change their stance. By doing so, they would make it much easier for the Government, the Oireachtas committee and the whole process. We have repeatedly stated our position and members have also. They understand the message from this House, which has entered their system.”

Tomorrow’s meeting in Downing Street will be the first joint government conference attended by both Ahern and Blair since 1999.

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