Families of Dublin and Monaghan loyalist bomb victims want truth – campaigner

The victims of one of the worst days of atrocities in the Troubles should be told the truth, a campaigner has said.

A wreath-laying ceremony took place today in Dublin for 33 people killed by loyalist bombers and their families want the British Government to release classified security files relating to deaths in which state collusion is suspected.

It marked the 44th anniversary of the blasts when paramilitaries detonated four no-warning bombs in Dublin and Monaghan on May 17, 1974.

The Justice for the Forgotten lobby group has fought a long-running campaign for an open inquiry into allegations that British security agents colluded with the terrorists to plot the co-ordinated and sophisticated attacks.

Spokeswoman Margaret Urwin said: “When people talk about justice they are often meaning prosecutions and so on.

“We have been campaigning now for 25 years, since 1993 basically.

“What the families have always asked for, demanded, is for the truth rather than prosecutions.

“I don’t think they ever expect justice in that sense but what they really want to get is as much of the truth as possible.”

The British Government has begun consulting on measures to address Northern Ireland’s conflict past, including mechanisms to reinvestigate past wrongdoing and many unresolved killings.

They were originally agreed in 2014 as part of the Stormont House Agreement involving political parties in Belfast and the British and Irish governments.

Political paralysis at Stormont delayed full implementation of the deal.

Ms Urwin added: “We hope that the mechanisms of the Stormont House Agreement will soon be established. That may also help in freeing them up a bit more to release these documents.”

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Micheal MacDonncha, the Cathaoirleach of Monaghan County Council Cathy Bennett and Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan took part in today’s ceremony at a memorial on Talbot Street.

Mr Flanagan said: "We will persevere in our efforts to seek out the truth behind those events and, hopefully, to secure some measure of comfort for you.’’

He told those gathered that the Government has worked consistently to implement the previous all-party Oireachtas motions which call on the British Government to allow access by an independent international judicial figure to all original documents in their possession relating to the Dublin-Monaghan bombings.

He said: "I know you are frustrated that these motions have not yet been responded to and I share your frustration. However, I want to assure you that we will not give up in our efforts."

The Minister also spoke about his determination to achieve progress through the Stormont House Agreement.

He said: "The Irish Government is determined to play our part in ensuring that the Stormont House legacy bodies are established in a way that will meet the legitimate needs and expectations of all victims and survivors. The Tánaiste continues his work with the British Government and the Northern Ireland parties to achieve this.

‘’Dealing effectively with the legacy of the past will be one way to honour the memory of all those killed and injured in the dark days of the troubles, including those victims of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings who are foremost in our thoughts today.’’

A fiddle-player and guitarist provided music.

- Press Association

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