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5 September 2002 Edition

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Brits block Dublin-Monaghan inquiry

BY MICHAEL PIERSE


The British government is refusing to cooperate with the inquiry into the Dublin-Monaghan Bombings, despite a pledge of assistance from British Prime Minister Tony Blair, a report in last week's Ireland on Sunday reveals.

Quoting a 'sernior Irish government source', the report claims that there is increasing evidence that the British government intends to frustrate the inquiry, headed by Judge Henry Barron, into the single worst atrocity of the 30-year war.

"It is accepted in senior government circles that the British government will not cooperate in any meaningful way with Barron's inquiry," the source told the newspaper.

The British Ministry of Defence, the paper reveals, has also instructed current and former employees not to respond to to requests for information from Justice for the Forgotten, which represents the families of the 33 people killed and many others maimed in the attacks.

A letter sent by a British MoD official to the campaign group last month stated that individuals contacted by them "have been advised not to provide a personal response to your request". The official claimed that the Barron Inquiry was the "proper focus for any investigation" and any correspondence outside this was "inappropriate".

While both Blair and British Secretary of State John Reid have assured Barron that the British administration will respond positively to any requests for information, this assertion has been rubbished by sources close to the Barron Inquiry.

Solicitor Greg O'Neill and Cormac ó Dualacháin BL, representing the families, however, have managed to gather vital information "which appears to confirm the participation of members of the British Army in the attacks", the paper states.

"They have also discovered evidence which indicates British military involvement in incidents in the South during this period."
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