Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan and Party Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade Brendan Smith has, once again, called on the British Government to remove all obstacles to full and proper investigations into the bombings and the murder of innocent people in Belturbet in December 1972 and in Monaghan and Dublin in May 1974.
Speaking to Northern Sound Deputy Smith outlined the need for a full investigation into the bombing in Belturbet on the 28th December 1972.
“Nobody has ever been brought to justice for this atrocity, which resulted in the deaths of Geraldine O’Reilly and Paddy Stanley. This horrific bombing should be referred to the Historical Investigations Unit which will be established following the signing of the Stormont House Agreement last December and the current All Party Talks which are underway at Stormont”, said Deputy Smith.
The Cavan-Monaghan Deputy tabled further Parliamentary Questions to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and to the Minister for Justice and Equality regarding the bombings in Belturbet, Cavan and Monaghan. He has repeatedly called for the the British Government to deal with the motions passed unanimously in Dáil Éireann on two occasions calling on the British Government to give access to an eminent legal person to all papers and files relating to the Dublin-Monaghan bombings of the 17th May 1974 which resulted in the deaths of 33 innocent people.
“Both the Fianna Fáil Party Leader, Deputy Micheál Martin and myself met with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Teresa Villiers and also with the British Ambassador and we raised again the need for the British Government to respond positively to the unanimous call of Dáil Éireann for British co-operation in a full and a proper investigation of the Dublin-Monaghan bombings. The least the victims and the families of all these atrocities deserve is the truth about who carried out these murderous deeds more than 40 years ago.
“Every obstacle must be removed by the British Government to ensure full and proper investigations are undertaken in respect of these bombings and the perpetrators of such crimes need to be brought to justice,” concluded Deputy Smith.
Replies to Parliamentary Questions by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and by the Minister for Justice and Equality attached.
QUESTION NO: 339
DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald)
by Deputy Brendan Smith
for WRITTEN on Tuesday, 10th November, 2015.
* To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality the progress made in relation to a full investigation into the bombing in Belturbet in County Cavan in December 1972, which resulted in the death of two young persons; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
– Brendan Smith
The Deputy will share my view that the bombing at Belturbet on 28 December 1972 which took two innocent young lives was a tragic and unjustifiable act of brutality. There are no words to describe the suffering and grief that the families have endured.
The bombing and two murders in Belturbet were the subject of a thorough investigation at the time by An Garda Síochána, with expert assistance provided to the investigation by the Army. The investigation also involved close liaison with the authorities in Northern Ireland in an effort to bring the perpetrators to justice. Although every avenue of inquiry which was open to the investigation was pursued at that time there was no evidence to bring those responsible to justice. It remains a source of disappointment that no one has yet been brought to justice for these murders.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that the investigation into these murders remains open and should any new or additional evidence emerge from any source, it will be pursued fully by An Garda Síochána.
The Deputy will also be aware that dealing with the legacy of the troubles on this island is difficult and complex challenge. The Stormont House Agreement provides for a number of initiatives that will establish an overarching framework to address the past. The Government is fully committed to playing its part in implementing those measures and I hope they may provide an opportunity for the families of persons killed during the troubles to access further information.
Question No. 135
Parliamentary Question – Oireachtas
To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the outcome of any recent discussions that he had with the Northern Ireland Secretary of State and/or with the British Foreign Secretary, in relation to the need for the British Government to release files/papers pertaining to the Dublin/Monaghan bombings; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
– Brendan Smith.
For ORAL answer on Tuesday, 3rd November, 2015
Ref No: 36933/15
The Government fully supports the all-party Dáil motions of July 2008 and May 2011 urging 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. I have raised this issue with the British Government on a number of occasions, including most recently on 8 October, and have received assurances from the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland that the British Government is actively considering how it can respond to the Dáil motions.
The Taoiseach has also raised this issue with Prime Minister Cameron, most recently on 18 June, emphasising the Government’s continued support for the Dáil motions.
Cases, such as the Dublin-Monaghan bombings, must be adequately addressed if we are to achieve a genuinely reconciled society. Successive Irish Governments, in our ongoing bilateral relations and through the European Court of Human Rights at Strasbourg, have raised the issue of collusion with the British Government.
Many families, including those bereaved by incidents in which collusion has been alleged, continue to deal not only with the awful pain of losing a loved one, but with the struggle for answers decades after these traumatic events. I understand and acknowledge the frustration of families who for too long have had to contend with inadequate mechanisms for addressing their cases. For that reason, the establishment of a new comprehensive framework for dealing with the past, as envisaged in the Stormont House Agreement, remains a priority of the Government. We believe that these mechanisms offer the best hope of helping the thousands of families touched by the Troubles – including those affected by collusion.
These institutions will include a Historical Investigations Unit (HIU) to take forward investigations into Troubles-related deaths, as well as an Independent Commission on Information Retrieval (ICIR) to enable victims and survivors seek and privately receive information about Troubles-related deaths. Good progress is being made in the current political talks on the establishment of these institutions which I believe will assist all victims, including the victims of collusion, in their quest for justice and the truth.