LET DOWN AGAIN
Relatives and survivors of the 1974 Monaghan and Dublin bombings
have accused the Irish government of a "betrayal of trust" over
a continued failure to set up a full public inquiry into the
The 26-County government has announced only a private inquiry is
to be held into 1974 Monaghan and Dublin bombings, angering
relatives and survivors of the attacks in which state collusion
Following an examination by a parliamentary subcommittee of an
inquiry by Justice Henry Barron, Dublin said it had agreed "in
principle" to establish a "Commission of Investigation"
examine the original police investigation and missing
The bombings, which killed 33 people including an unborn baby,
was the worst atrocity in the conflict. The previous
investigations by Justice Barron and the Oireachtas subcommittee
have been hampered by the continuing refusal of the British
government to co-operate.
Terms of reference and establishment procedures for the new
commission are to be brought to the cabinet when it returns
following the summer break in September.
Justice for the Forgotten, the group representing the bereaved
and survivors, expressed bitter disappointment at the
government's decision to hold only a private inquiry.
The group said it had stated that the "time for private
inquiries was over" following the publication of the Barron
report in December.
"It was never envisaged that any further inquiry would be behind
closed doors and immune to public scrutiny," the group said.
"Justice for the Forgotten called on the government to rescind
its decision and during the forthcoming Northern Ireland peace
talks, to gain agreement from the British government to
establish a joint public tribunal of inquiry into the bombings.
"We have had five long years of partial and fragmented
inquiries. It is now long past the time that the government
lived up to its commitment to bring the truth of the Dublin and
Monaghan bombings into the open."
Sinn Fein TD Sean Crowe said the relatives had been misled by
the country's premier. He said: "At the 30th anniversary of the
Dublin & Monaghan bombings, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern turned up at
the memorial on Talbot Street and listened to relatives of those
killed speaking about the pain they still feel and heard how
only a fully independent public inquiry into the deaths of their
loved ones could bring an end to that pain.
"Having supported the families in this way, Mr Ahern should now
give these people the inquiry that they deserve and this state
owes them. He can no longer allow people to hide behind private
"While the garda investigation has to be examined, the collusion
surroundings these bombings does not stop there, as the
government well knows. By failing to open a full inquiry into
the atrocity, is the government saying it finds it acceptable
for a foreign government to collude in the bombing of its
"The government has spent 30 years prevaricating on this issue.
The families don't need another private inquiry. They don't need
an interim inquiry. They need one efficient and effective
inquiry with the power to compel outside elements to comply with
it. An inquiry lacking these essential elements will not win any
support from these families. Mr Ahern's predecessors have let
down the victims of 1974 too many times. He has now joined their