BOMBINGS COMMITTEE CALLS FOR FRESH INVESTIGATION
An Irish parliamentary committee has called for another
investigation by an international judge on the 1974 Dublin and
Monaghan bombings after it concluded hearings on a previous
inquiry by Ireland's Justice Barron.
The proposal for another interim inquiry has brought a mixed
reaction amid fears that it could only delay a full, properly
Thirty-three people died in bombings in Dublin city and Monaghan
town which have been linked with elements of the British Crown
The forces in the 26 Counties have also been accused of colluding
in the atrocities themselves in order to erode support for the
IRA. The Dublin government of the day has been heavily criticised
for its disinterest in the subsequent investigation.
The committee held open hearings into these allegations and the
failures of the Garda police investigation into the bombings.
A majority of the committee recommended the Irish and British
governments agree terms of reference of a new investigation based
upon the Weston Park proposals -- in other words, a further
report along the lines undertaken by Canadian judge Peter Cory in
other cases of alleged collusion.
A majority of the committee recommended an investigation by an
international judge within a set time limit under British law.
The judge could recommend further action, including a public
inquiry in either jurisdiction, and the relevant government would
be obliged to implement any such recommendation.
The Committee said that in the event of the British government
failing to set up such an investigation, the Irish Government
should consider instituting proceedings in the European Court of
The Committee said they were also "very concerned" about the
manner in which a number of documents relating to the bombings
appear to have gone missing over the years. It said that two
other, separate investigations should be carried out in the 26
Counties into why the garda police investigation into the
bombings was wound up so quickly, and to ascertain the
whereabouts of missing police files.
Solicitor Greg O'Neill, acting for families of those murdered and
injured in the bombings, said his clients had won the argument.
"Today the debate is no longer about whether a further inquiry is
needed, but what form that inquiry should take."
Calling on the 26-County government to ensure full cooperation
from the British Government in any public inquiry, O'Neill said:
his group was willing to work with any international independent
inquiry, which met recognised standards.
"It must be speedily established and properly resourced;
independent; have legal powers in both jurisdictions; have the
committed support of both governments; be transparent, ie. can
and will take and test evidence in public, and report in public;
and be fully involved and engaged with the victims and their
He added that any inquiry lacking these features would not win
the cooperation or confidence of the victims.
Bernie McNally, of the 'Justice for the Forgotten' group, said
some of the demands of the families had beewn met, "but the form
of investigation does not have the hallmarks of being public."
McNally was dismayed that the Committee had proposed a separate
investigation into the issue of files that went mysteriously
missing from the Department of Justice and from Garda
"We want one effective and efficient inquiry," she said. "Whilst
the issue of the missing files is worrying and important, we
don't see the efficacy of multiple inquiries on selected aspects
of the Dublin and Monaghan case."
Sinn Fein Dail leader Caoimhghin O Caolain TD expressed "deep
disappointment" that the report of the committee failed to
recommend a public inquiry covering both jurisdictions on the
island of Ireland.
"When the Report recommends a Cory-type investigation, it states
that the judge conducting the investigation could recommend
further action including whether a public inquiry in either
jurisdiction should be held or not," he said. "Yet in Judge
Barron's report the Committee had more than enough evidence to
call, in its own right, for a public inquiry covering both
jurisdictions. The majority of the Committee have failed to do
"The Report removes much of the onus for action from the
shoulders of the Irish Government. That is deeply disappointing.
"Nothing short of a full public inquiry carried out on a
cross-jurisdictional basis is acceptable. Justice Barron has
already carried out an investigation and the Committee has had
its deliberation on his Report. We do not need another Barron