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Why won’t British government release files on Dublin/Monaghan bombings?


This was the question on all party lips yesterday in the Dail as British Prime Minister David Cameron was accused of stonewalling repeated requests to open the files on the indiscriminate murder of innocent people.

More than four decades after the May 17th, 1974 bombings, in which 34 people were killed and 300 injured, the Dáil has renewed its appeal for the documents “with the aim of assisting in the resolution of these crimes”.

The Dáil first passed the motion in July 2008, and again in May 2011 before yesterday’s third passing which families hope will put pressure on the British establishment to cooperate with the investigation into how and why their loved ones died.

Members of the campaign group Justice for the Forgotten were in the visitors’ gallery during the debate on the atrocities.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the case was central to ongoing reconciliation.

“Access by an independent international judicial figure to all original documents related to the Dublin/Monaghan bombings would bring substantial progress to the investigation of the atrocities so far.

“It would give the families of victims and survivors the surety at least of transparency and full disclosure.

“Without that, those affected understandably cannot come to terms with the suffering inflicted on them.”

Mr Kenny, who has repeatedly raised the case with his Downing Street counterpart, said it must be “adequately addressed if we are to achieve a genuinely reconciled society.”

The attacks, which also injured hundreds, were blamed on the Ulster Volunteer Force.

Michael Martin said a number of previous inquiries raised serious concerns about the non-cooperation of the British authorities.

“It is clear from the evidence that loyalist paramilitaries undertook the bloody deed, however the sophistication and co-ordination of the attacks raise serious issues around the potential orchestration of the explosions by elements of British security forces,” he said.

Mr Martin said Mr Cameron was “stonewalling” calls for information on “indiscriminate slaughter” that extinguished entire families with the pain still felt in silent homes across the country today.

“The ongoing refusal of Prime Minister Cameron to release the relevant documents is a fundamental barrier to achieving real closure,” he said.

“How long do we have to wait for a meaningful response from the British Prime Minster?”

“The whole truth is needed.”

Gerry Adams, Sinn Fein leader, said Britain has never been open and honest about the role its intelligence services played in working with “unionist death squads”.

“It is now accepted that as a matter of fact that collusion was policy and administrative practice.

“This isn’t just a passive British government.

“This is an active effort to thwart efforts to get to the truth.”