30 years

Today is the 30th anniversary of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, the single worst atrocity of the Troubles, in which 33 people (one a pregnant woman) died. Despite the fact that police had identified the key suspects within 48 hours, to this day not a single suspect has been charged, arrested or even questioned over the attacks. Important files pertaining to the case have 'disappeared'.

Last year, Justice Barron's report into the bombings was published. I read the whole thing (you wouldn't want to drop it on your toes). A number of people were disappointed, and no doubt another number were relieved, that the report found no solid evidence of British collusion. But it did find that those witnesses who testified that collusion took place were credible and should be taken seriously, and moreover, that it wasn't possible to obtain all the evidence anyway because the Brits refused to hand over crucial files. Why wouldn't they? Well, I can only think of one reason.

Shortly after the report's publication an article appeared in Phoenix magazine (health warning, I know, but the article did cite its source, which I've forgotten) stating that in 1972 or 1973 the Irish Government had discovered a British spy in the Justice Department. The spy was sacked, of course, but given events at the time the Brits would almost certainly have tried to replace him. Remember those missing files I mentioned a couple paragraphs ago?

It's long past time for the Dublin Government to stop fannying around and insist on seeing the evidence. They've threatened on several occasions to take the British Government to court over this. What is stopping them? In the 70s it was said that they were reluctant to take action for fear of handing republicans a propaganda victory, but surely by now they should have copped on that that's precisely what they do by hesitating and that firm, decisive action is not only the right thing to do, it's also the politically sensible thing to do.

Anybody reading this who has a Fianna Fáil TD (or is willing to pretend to), please drop them an email and ask them to begin European Court proceedings. While you're at it, tell them you support - no, demand - a full public inquiry into the handling of the case by Gardaí and other Irish officials. If you really want to make an impression, tell them that Sinn Féin are the only party who seems to care about this issue - I guarantee that that will get their attention, and will probably be reported at the next Parliamentary Party meeting.

In the meantime, drop a note of support to Justice For The Forgotten (you can view their website here). The amount of work this group has done over the years is truly inspiring and when justice finally is done, they will be the ones to deserve most of the credit.


United Irelander said...

I'm pleased to see a fellow Irish person taking an interestinn this subject. I have too. Have you ever read 'The Dublin and Monaghan Bombings And The Murder Triangle' by Joe Tierney? It's excellent and uncovers some shocking truths about this whole affair. I have posted excerpts from the book on one of my blogs. You can read one such post here.

Wednesday said...

It's a good book all right. Though Tierney seems to sort of lose the plot toward the end. Also good coverage in it of a lot of deaths that haven't been given the attention they deserve.

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