Yesterday in Westminster I spoke to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Karen Bradley, regarding the need for the British Government to respond positively without further delay to the unanimous requests of Dáil Éireann to provide access to papers and files pertaining to the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 1974.
“It is not acceptable for the British Government to continue to deny access to these papers which are essential if we are ever to have a comprehensive investigation into these horrific atrocities”, stated Deputy Brendan Smith.
For Written Answer on : 15/05/2018
Question Number(s): 113 Question Reference(s): 21356/18
Department: Foreign Affairs and Trade
Question No. 113
Parliamentary Question – Oireachtas
To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the outcome of the most recent discussions he had with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in relation to the need for the British Government to respond positively without further delay to the unanimous requests of Dáil Éireann to provide access to papers and files pertaining to the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 1974; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
– Brendan Smith.
For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 15th May, 2018.
Ref No: 21356/18
In the week of the 44th anniversary of the Dublin Monaghan bombings, which saw the biggest loss of life in a single day during the Troubles, I think it is important to acknowledge 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 Government will be represented at the wreath-laying ceremony on 17 May to mark the anniversary of these tragic events by my colleague the Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan T.D.
The Programme for a Partnership Government highlights the priority that the Government attaches to the implementation of the All-Party Dáil motions relating to the Dublin Monaghan bombings. I recently met with Justice for the Forgotten to hear their views and update them on the Government’s continuing engagement on legacy issues, including with the British Government on the Dáil motions.
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 my Department. I recently raised the issue directly with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Karen Bradley on 16 April last and my officials were in touch with the British counterparts as recently as last week.
I have consistently underlined to the British Government 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 such a response.
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.