Bombers may escape justice - Ahern

Nobody will be brought to justice as a result of the long-awaited report into the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings, the 26-County Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has said.

The findings, which were compiled by barrister Patrick MacEntee, are still being studied by the Attorney General in Dublin.

Bertie Ahern told the Dublin parliament he had read a large part of the report but he didn’t think it would result in prosecutions.

“I haven’t got through all of it yet, but I’ve read a substantial amount of it.

“It will be help the overall debate. It has to be taken in the context of the Nuala O’Loan (North’s Police Ombudsman) collusion reports and previous reports by Justice Barron and Justice Hamilton.

“There is no doubt that around some of the issues investigated by these reports, collusion did take place.

“But how much light can we throw on evidence at this remove, I don’t know.

“It will help us in our understanding but my own view is that I don’t think it will help in the area of prosecutions.”

Thirty-three people died and 300 were injured when four car bombs exploded in Dublin and Monaghan on May 17, 1974.

No organisation claimed responsibility but unionists paramilitaries working in collusion with British forces are widely blamed for the attacks.

Mr Ahern still hopes to publish the findings before Easter but families of the victims must first receive copies.

Following publication, the Justice for the Forgotten group wants a debate on collusion in parliament before the general election.

Mr MacEntee and his officials are believed to have travelled outside the 26 Counties to interview individuals with crucial evidence.

The terms of reference of the Commission of Investigation were to undertake a thorough investigation and make a report on specific matters, including why the garda police in the 26 Counties wound down their investigation into the bombings in 1974 and why they did not follow up a number of leads.

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