Smith receives confirmation that Dublin-Monaghan bombings will be raised with new Northern Ireland Secretary of State

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith says he has received confirmation from the Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade that he will be raising the Dublin-Monaghan bombings directly with the new Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Karen Bradley MP.

Deputy Smith explained, “I have been calling on the Irish government to increase pressure on the British government to provide access to papers and files relating to the 1974 Dublin-Monaghan bombings. The Dáil has debated this issue many times and passed three motions calling on the British government to release this documentation.

“In reply to a Parliamentary Question on the matter, Minister Simon Coveney confirmed that he “discussed the matter with the former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Brokenshire, and will likewise be pursuing the issue directly with the new Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Karen Bradley”.

“This is a welcome development, but the Minister must ensure a more focused effort is made to progress the issue. The matter has been raised with successive Secretaries of State, with no result. I along with members of my party have been working along with the families and support groups to continue to shine a light on this awful atrocity. The 17th May 1974 marks the darkest day in the legacy of the Troubles – 34 people were killed and 300 were injured.

“It is shocking to think that more than 40 years after this horrific event, we appear to be no closer to the truth. I am urging Minister Coveney to work with Karen Bradley to secure the release of these British government files, which could shine a light on this appalling massacre”.

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For Written Answer on : 18/01/2018 Question Number(s): 45 Question Reference(s): 2710/18 Department: Foreign Affairs and Trade

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QUESTION

REPLY

Question No. 45 Parliamentary Question – Oireachtas To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his plans to discuss the need for the British government to provide access to papers and files pertaining to the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 1974 with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland as requested in motions passed unanimously in Dáil Éireann on three occasions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Brendan Smith. * For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 18th January, 2018. Ref No: 2710/18

REPLY

Dealing with long-outstanding issues relating to the legacy of the conflict in Northern Ireland are of the utmost importance to the Government. The Programme for a Partnership Government highlights this priority, with specific reference to implementation of the All-Party Dáil motions relating to the Dublin Monaghan bombings. I acknowledge also those across the House who work on a cross-party basis with the Government on this issue and the tireless efforts of Justice for the Forgotten. The All-Party motion on the 1974 Dublin Monaghan bombings that was adopted by the Dáil on 25 May 2016 has, like those adopted in 2008 and 2011, been conveyed to the British Government. These motions call on the British Government to allow access by an independent, international judicial figure to all original documents relating to the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, as well as the Dublin bombings of 1972 and 1973, the bombing of Kay’s Tavern in Dundalk and the murder of Seamus Ludlow. The Government is committed to actively pursuing the implementation of these all-Party Dáil motions, and has consistently raised the issue with the British Government. I am actively engaged with the British Government on an ongoing basis on this issue, as are officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. I discussed the matter with the former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Brokenshire, and I will likewise be pursuing the issue directly with the new Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Karen Bradley. As part of this engagement, the Government underlines that the Dáil motions represent the consensus political view in Ireland that an independent, international judicial review of all the relevant documents is required to establish the full facts of the Dublin Monaghan atrocities. I have also advised that the absence of a response from the British Government is of deep concern to the Government and indeed this House, and I have emphasised the urgent need for a response from the British Government. The Government will continue to engage with the British Government on the request in relation to the Dublin-Monaghan bombings, and pursue all possible avenues that could achieve progress on this issue, consistent with the request made by this House.

 

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