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17 January 2002 Edition

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Reid finally meets Barron

On the eve of a meeting between British Secretary of State John Reid and Justice Henry Barron, chair of the Independent Commission of Inquiry set up by the Dublin government in January 2000, the families of those killed in the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings have expressed their deep concern at the lack of cooperation by the British despite many requests.

Thitry-three people died in the bombings, widely believed to have been carried out by loyalists aided by British security services.

In a statement, the Justice for the Forgotten group said: "The British authorities have furnished no information or documentation of any kind to the commission, 11 months after its chair made his first formal request. The constant refrain since March 2001 has been that the process of searching old files is difficult and time-consuming and that 'a single coordinated response' will be made when the process is complete."

The bereaved families and survivors said they believed this response to be "profoundly inadequate". They said there was "a huge onus on the British government to provide the fullest and most candid disclosure. This is the minimum that the families and survivors have a right to expect. Already justice has been delayed for far too long."

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