British cover-up reaches across the border
British cover-up reaches across the border


Relatives of two teenagers killed in a loyalist bomb in the 26 Counties have said the Dublin government must take an international case against London at the European Court of Human Rights over its efforts to end investigations into conflict attacks.

The Belturbet bombing in County Cavan in 1972 killed 15-year-old Geraldine O’Reilly and 16-year-old Patrick Stanley. Nobody has been convicted of the attack.

“We are going to be affected by a British law, and the Dublin government should stand up for its citizens and stand up for their rights,” said Anthony O’Reilly, whose sister Geraldine was killed.

Paddy Stanley’s sister Susan said it was “devastating” that “finally we had some hope, and that hope is being taken away from us” by the new English law.

“Our appeal is 100 per cent that the Irish government needs to take this interstate case, because we have been failed so much, and how much longer will the Irish Government fail their citizens?”

She added: “I live in a small town, I’m far removed from what happens in the UK, but they [the London government] don’t know the devastation they’ve caused in me, and the hurt and pain.

“To think all these people have been working so hard to find out who killed Paddy, and now they’re just going to take it away from us. It’s just not right.

“As Irish citizens, we have a right to know who killed Paddy and Geraldine. If they [the Dublin government] don’t take this case, and do it quickly, well, they’ve failed us.”

The families’ lawyer, Kevin Winters of KRW Law, said he was “very concerned” the so-called Legacy Act might be used to try and shut down investigations across the island.

He urged the Dublin authorities to “take cognisance of the current impasse” whereby agencies in the North had failed to provide information to the Garda reinvestigation into Belturbet, which he said “ought to inform decision-making by the Irish Attorney General on an interstate challenge against Britain”.

Mr Winters said his understanding was that Gardaí had identified “up to 80” information requests, including some of an intelligence nature, and submitted these to the Six County authorities in June, but as of Friday had not received a response.

He said the reinvestigation was “now at a critical point and cannot meaningfully progress in the continued absence of a substantive response from Northern agencies” and warned that “failure to exchange critical information with their Southern counterparts could impede all unresolved Troubles investigations in the Republic”.

He said he was “very concerned this doomsday legislation will have an insidious impact on all legal cases in the Republic of Ireland because it could inhibit cross-jurisdictional exchange of information, especially of an intelligence nature”.

He added that the Belturbet reinvestigation has now “ground to a halt”.

“Gardaí need the full cooperation of the PSNI and others in the north, but for whatever reason they aren’t getting it.

“Senior Irish politicians are on record as saying that the entire process must have a ‘victim centric approach’.

“To that end the families of the murdered children of Belturbet are stuck outside a victim centric approach because UK agencies, for whatever reason, wont send critically important information to the Irish DoJ.

“We call upon the British government to confirm immediately they aren’t hiding behind the Legacy Act as a reason not to respond to the Irish government on Belturbet.”

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