Bomb victims' relatives want investigation

Relatives of those killed in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings today called on the British government to investigate claims of state collusion in the 1974 attacks.

On the 34th anniversary of the day 34 people lost their lives in four loyalist bomb blasts, victims’ families demanded to know why no-one has yet been brought to justice.

Relations made the call as they unveiled new granite memorials at the site of the three rush hour attacks in Dublin city centre, which claimed 26 lives.

A further seven people were killed in the fourth bomb at Monaghan on what was one of the Troubles’ bloodiest days.

Justice for the Forgotten, the group representing the families, has expressed disappointment at the Irish Government response to the findings of the Oireachtas Committee on Justice that there was evidence the British security forces had colluded with loyalist paramilitaries in carrying out the attacks.

The group claim the subsequent MacEntee Inquiry was too limited as it only focused on the Garda investigation.

The families are now calling on the Irish Government to urge British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to initiate a public inquiry into the attacks similar to the probes conducted by Canadian judge Peter Cory into other contentious Troubles’ killings.

“We want to see some action from the Irish Government,” said Justice for the Forgotten spokeswoman Margaret Urwin.

“They seem to think this is all at an end. We hope the new Taoiseach will bring a new effort to it. Bertie Ahern did quite a lot, he was the first Taoiseach to meet the families, but in the end it was fudged and nothing really came out of the debates which we had such high hopes for.

“We do have hope that we may find out the truth some day and we will certainly keep trying.”

The victims’ families have also lodged papers with the High Court challenging key aspects of the MacEntee Inquiry.

They say they are reluctantly taking the action after being refused access to evidence gathered in the probe but never published.

The report uncovered a catalogue of failures by the gardaí and the Department of Justice including missing files, lax procedures and evidence lost in the aftermath of the bombings.

Investigator Patrick MacEntee SC said it was not possible to fully account for how many files were missing, lost or destroyed from the original garda investigation.

While he could not confirm why the evidence was missing he refused to rule out unauthorised removal of the documents.

The probe could not substantiate one of the key concerns of the families of the victims that pressure was brought to bear on the gardaí to dump the investigation just three months after it began.

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