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27 November 2003 Edition

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Barron Report to be published next week

The report of the inquiry by Justice Barron into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings is expected to be published next week. This was confirmed in the Dáil by the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in response to a question from Cavan/Monaghan TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin.

The inquiry into the bombings, which killed 26 people in Dublin and seven in Monaghan in May 1974, was begun by the late Justice Liam Hamilton in January 2000 and continued by Justice Henry Barron from October of that year. The Government received the report at the end of last month. The Taoiseach stated that the Cabinet will consider the report next week and refer it to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence and Women's Rights. The Committee will publish the report and consider it in public session.

Ó Caoláin pointed out that due to a judgement in the courts, Oireachtas committees no longer have the power to compel witnesses to attend hearings. He asked if there would be legislation to rectify this and if the Committee would call witnesses and would it be properly resourced. "I envisage that the report will be considered in public session and we need to provide for whatever is necessary to achieve that. We need to get this report past Cabinet to the committee, published and discussed in public session in the Committee," replied the Taoiseach.

The Barron Inquiry has also examined a number of other attacks, including the Dublin bombings of December 1972 and January 1973, in which three bus workers were killed. A report will issue on these "in a matter of weeks", according to the Taoiseach.

Other incidents promised to be covered in a report early in the New Year include the bombing of Belturbet, Co Cavan, in December 1972, in which two teenagers were killed, the killing of John Francis Green in County Monaghan in January 1975, the Dundalk bombing of December 1975 in which two people were killed, the Castleblayney bombing of March 1976 in which one person was killed, and the killing of Séamus Ludlow in County Louth in May 1976.

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