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17 May 2013

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Dublin and Monaghan bombings by UVF and British state forces remembered

• Relatives, friends and members of the public take part in a minute's silence to remember the victims of the bomb attacks

The loyalist Ulster Volunteer Force claimed responsibility for the attacks, which were carried out with the assistance of British state forces

CAMPAIGN GROUP Justice for the Forgotten held a commemoration on Talbot Street, Dublin, on Friday to remember the victims of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of May 1974.

Thirty-four people were killed, including an unborn child, and almost 300 injured when three no-warning car-bombs exploded during rush-hour in Dublin and a fourth in Monaghan town on 17 May 1974.

The loyalist Ulster Volunteer Force claimed responsibility for the well-co-ordinated attacks which were carried out with the assistance of British state forces. No one has been convicted of the attacks.

Speaking at the commemoration, artist and activist Robert Ballagh noted recent moves by Justice Minister Alan Shatter regarding pardons for Irish Defence Forces deserters during World War Two. Ballagh said he welcomed such moves as signs of reconciliation between Ireland and Britain but noted: “Reconciliation is a two-way street.”

He called for pressure to be put on the British Government to release its own files on the attacks, something he has consistently refused to do.

He said the British Secretary of State for the North, Theresa Villiers, must make archive documents relating to the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, the Miami Showband massacre, the murder of Pat Finucane and other incidents of British state collusion with unionist death squads available for scrutiny.

Present at Friday's event were family members of those killed in the blasts, victims who were injured, and public representatives, including Mayor of Dublin Naoise Ó Muirí; Sinn Féin TDs Gerry Adams, Seán Crowe and Dessie Ellis; and Independent TD Maureen O'Sullivan.

Wreaths were laid at the Talbot Street memorial by Justice for the Forgotten, family and friends of the victims, and members of the public. The names of those who were killed in the attacks were read out by survivor Marie Sherry and was followed by a minute's silence and prayers.

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