19 July 2001 Edition

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Britain hampers Dublin/Monaghan Bombings probe

A delegation of surviving victims and relatives of some of the 33 people killed in the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings were at 10 Downing Street in London on Wednesday to protest Britain's hampering of the inquiry into the atrocity.

They were in London to hand in a letter to the British prime Minister highlighting delays on the part of the British government and its Departments of State in responding to requests for information from the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the bombings.

On 23 February last, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern wrote to the Secretary of State requesting the full cooperation of the British authorities with the commission. A reply confirmed that all requests would be treated sympathetically but five months on, the Indepenfdent Commission has still not received any information from the British government.

In their letter to Tony Blair, the bereaved relatives stress that it is 27 years since their loved ones were maimed and killed. In the past year, two members of their Justice for the Forgotten committee have died and many are in advanced years. It has taken many years to achieve an inquiry, and the relatives believe it is imperative that all relevant parties assist the Indepoendent Commission of Inquiry without delay. They are seeking an assurance from Blair that the commission has the full support of the British government.

The delegation also met with a number of MPs to seek their support an questions relating to the British government's response to requests for assistance are to be raised in the House of Commons.

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