Fianna Fáil T.D. for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has once again called on the British Government to remove all obstacles to a full and proper investigation into the bombings and the murder of innocent people in Monaghan and Dublin in May 1974.
Today marks the 42nd anniversary of the atrocity, in which 33 people died and almost 300 were injured.
“Over the past number of years in meetings that I had with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Theresa Villiers and also with the British Ambassador I raised each time with them 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. Motions were unanimously passed in Dáil Éireann in 2008 and 2011 calling for such co-operation. I have repeatedly called 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”, explained Deputy Smith.
“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. The least the victims and the families of all these atrocities deserve is the truth about who carried out these murderous deeds 42 years ago.
“I have tabled further Parliamentary Questions in Dáil Éireann regarding the need for the Government to constantly pursue with the Secretary State for Northern Ireland and with the British Foreign Secretary to initiate the necessary co-operation to have full investigations undertaken”.
- Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the outcome of recent discussions he had with the British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Ms Theresa Villiers, or with the British Foreign Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Mr Philip Hammond, regarding the need for the British Government to release files and papers pertaining to the Dublin and Monaghan bombings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6130/16]
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Dealing with the legacy of the past relating to the conflict in Northern Ireland has been a major priority for me as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade. I am particularly conscious of the two all-party motions of this House on the Dublin Monaghan bombings and I hope that we will continue to work collectively to advance their implementation in this new Dáil term. In relation to Dublin/Monaghan, 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 14 January with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. The Taoiseach has also raised this issue with Prime Minister Cameron emphasising the Government’s continued support for the Dáil motions. I am disappointed to report that despite our urging, the British Government is still considering how to respond to the Dáil motions. However, I have received assurances from Secretary of State Villiers that the issue remains under consideration by the British Government. I have made clear to the Secretary of State that there is a pressing need to provide answers to the families of the victims and underlined the fact that this will remain firmly on the political agenda of the Irish Government given that there is an all-party agreement as set out in the Dáil motions of 2008 and 2011. I met Justice for the Forgotten on 27 January and updated the group on the Government’s more recent discussions with the British Government. I agreed that the Government will consult the group on any response from the British Government to the Dáil motions. Given the All-Party nature of the Dáil motions, it will also be important to consult the parties in this House on any such response.