20 May 1999 Edition

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Garda link to Dublin/Monaghan bombs raised

By Mícheál MacDonncha

Caoimhghín O Caoláin TD raised in the Dáil last week the question of alleged Garda links to the Dublin/Monaghan bombings of 17 May 1974, the 25th anniversary of which occurs next Monday. The Cavan/Monaghan TD asked the Taoiseach:

``It is reported, I am advised, that there was a direct association with some of those responsible for the Dublin/Monaghan bombings by one and possibly other members of the Garda Síochána. This is a most serious claim and one surely that of itself merits a full inquiry in order to establish the veracity of this claim or to put it to bed once and for all. Is there more to the official Garda line of the time and since, regarding evidence available. After 25 years of waiting, can the Taoiseach now act to establish a judicial inquiry into the Dublin/Monaghan bombings in order that the full truth can be established?''

Bertie Ahern replied that there had been ``rumours'' for many years but he ``did not know'' anything about alleged Garda links. He confirmed that he has set up a Departmental committee to work with the Justice for the Forgotten group which represents the injured and the relatives of those killed in the bombings.

The Sinn Féin TD also asked the Taoiseach if there would be any proposals forthcoming for giving Dáil representation to citizens in the Six Counties, arising out of the recommendations of the All-Party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution. The Taoiseach kicked for touch on this, saying that they were still waiting for the Committee's report.


1974 bombings probe demanded

Calls for an immediate and independent inquiry into the 1974 Dublin/Monaghan bombings have grown in the past week as ceremonies were held to mark the 25th anniversary of the massacre.

Speaking on Tuesday after two days of commemorative ceremonies in Dublin's City Centre, local Sinn Féin Councillor Christy Burke said: ``The Taoiseach Bertie Ahern made time to attend Mass in Marlborough Street on Monday but the relatives of the victims want actions from him rather than sympathy.

``The dogs in the street know that the British were involved in planning and executing this murder. It is time the truth was exposed and nothing less than a full, independent inquiry will suffice.

``This state has spent millions on tribunals to investigate beef and offshore accounts. Surely, after 25 years of suffering, the relatives of the greatest mass murder ever perpetrated during the conflict deserve some truth and justice also''.

The Dublin Council of Trade Unions at their monthly meeting also called for a sworn public inquiry into the 1974 bombings. Council President Des Bonass said: ``The information which has come to the attention of the relatives is that there is a possibility that those suspected of the outrage may be residing in Britain and Northern Ireland. My Council is asking the question why has no positive action been taken by the gardaí to apprehend these people since the day of the carnage on 17 May 1974.''

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