Dublin/Monaghan victims remembered
Dublin/Monaghan victims remembered

Relatives of those who lost their lives in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings marked the 35th anniversary of the atrocity with a wreath-laying ceremony in Dublin this week.

The wreath-laying took place in Talbot Street, where one of the bombs exploded, followed by Mass in the Pro-Cathedral.

A total of 33 people including a pregnant woman died when four car bombs went off in Dublin and Monaghan on May 17 1974.

The first three bombs exploded in Dublin at the same time, killing 26 people. Ninety minutes later, a bomb planted in Monaghan detonated resulting in the loss of seven lives.

The UVF claimed responsibility for the massacre in 1993 but allegations of British intelligence collusion have surrounded the attacks for three and a half decades.

Members of the Justice for the Forgotten group -- which was set up in 1996 to establish the truth about the bombings -- are using today’s event to back the creation of a legacy commission by both the British and Irish governments in equal terms.

“At this stage of our campaign, we believe this to be the best way to access information and to resolve the outstanding question in relation not only to the Dublin and Monaghan bombings but also to all cross-border bombings of the 1970s,” she said.

However, Ms McNally stressed that, contrary to the recent Eames-Bradley proposals, there is an absolute need for such a commission to be set up by both the British and Irish governments in equal partnership.

“The bilateral approach was crucial to ensuring the success of the peace process and, as so many atrocities have occurred on both sides of the Border, it will again be vital to ensure the success of any truth process,” she added.

“Justice For The Forgotten will be urging the Irish Government to actively engage with the British government on this issue prior to the final decisions being taken in September.”

In July 2008, the Dublin parliament unanimously passed a resolution calling on the British government to allow access by an independent, international judicial figure to all original documents held by the British government relating to the massacre.

The request continues to be denied by the British government. Sinn Féin has called for the Dublin government to be “more pro-active” in pursuing the British government.

Speaking in the Dublin parliament this week, Dublin TD Aengus O Snodaigh called on the Taoiseach Brian Cowen to impress upon the British Prime Minister the unacceptability of his government’s refusal to co-operate with a request for access to documents in its possession relating the Dublin Monaghan Bombings of 1974.

Deputy O Snodaigh said, “Last Sunday 17 May marked the 35th anniversary of the bombings of Dublin and Monaghan in which 33 people died.

“The Taoiseach will recall that the British government refused to co-operate with the series of Oireachtas investigations on the Dublin-Monaghan bombings and other fatal attacks in this State. Those investigations concluded:

“The spectre of collusion was raised in our first report and we now have enough information to be fully satisfied, not only that it occurred, but that it was widespread.’

“What has the Taoiseach done to impress on the British Prime Minister the importance of this matter and the total unacceptability of his Government’s refusal to act on the request of the Oireachtas?

“Has the Taoiseach devoted any time to addressing this issue with the British Prime Minister?

“Has the Taoiseach recently discussed with Gordon Brown the need for the transfer of policing and justice powers from London to Belfast as soon as possible, given that this very important outworking of the Good Friday Agreement is so long overdue?”

Sinn Féin has also pointed out that two of the dead were citizens of France and Italy, and that international pressure could be applied through the European Union or the United Nations.

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