Tóibín calls for public apology for Dublin and Monaghan Bombings victims and families

Padraig Conlon 15 May 2024

On May 17, 1974 four car bombs detonated without warning in Dublin and Monaghan killed 33 people.

It remains the greatest loss of life on any single day of the Troubles.

No-one has ever been convicted over the bombings, however the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) admitted responsibility in 1993.

Aontú Leader Peadar Tóibín has called on the Government to apologise to the victims and families of the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings.

Speaking today as the Justice for the Forgotten campaign attended the Dáil, the Meath West TD said that he believes there are two reasons for the denial of justice.

“The Dublin and Monaghan Bombings were the worst single atrocity of the troubles,” he said.

“It was unique in its severity. That’s not to reduce the pain and heart ache suffered daily by all survivors of all the killings that happened.

“The Dublin and Monaghan bombings destroyed innocent lives and damaged the lives of all the survivors.

“Families were left homeless. Fathers were killed and families were left without an income.

“Incredibly, Families never received any compensation.

“They killed 34 civilians and injured almost 300. There has been no justice. I believe that there are two reasons for denial of that justice.

“33 Irish citizens were killed by the Glenanne Gang.

“This was an alliance of Loyalist terrorists and the British military.

“The British state is responsible for the murder of these Irish people.

“The British government do not want the truth to be known.

The Glenanne Gang killed 120 people in the 1970s and 1980s.

“I want to mention Barney O’Dowd, who survived an attack on his family home in 1976.

“His two sons, 24-year-old Barry and 19-year-old Declan were murdered by the Glenanne gang as was his brother Joe were killed in the attack which was carried out by the UVF on 4 January 1976.

“Barney died just a month ago at the age of 100 years without ever receiving Justice for his family.

“The British government do not want the truth.

“The latest manifestation of this cover up is the Legacy Act.”

Deputy Tóibín also accused the Irish state of blocking the truth about the bombings.

“The Legacy Act is part of the process of cover up,” he said.

“The Legacy Act gives an amnesty to murderers.

“In the past Downing Street sought to distance themselves from collusion and coverup. But the Legacy Act locates the cover up at the heart of the British establishment.

“I think there is also a second barrier to the truth. The Irish state.

“This was the worst single atrocity in the history of the troubles in this State, yet there was never a proper investigation into these crimes.

“The garda investigations were closed after 10 weeks.

“Incredibly the first police to knock on the doors of many of the families was an English Policeman Jon Boucher.

“My understanding most of the families or survivors of the bombs were never interviewed by the Garda. That’s a scandal.

“Garda files has gone missing.

“Forensics that were key to the investigation were sent north 11 days afterward.

“Much of the forensic evidence withers away in less than 48 hours, yet they did not get to where they needed to go for 11 days.

“The Commission of Information Act has blocked the families in seeing the documents in the McEntee report.

“That’s a scandal. The government should be using every effort possible to achieve justice for these families.

“All information should be made available to the families now. This is a scandal.

“The north and the south did not work together at all.

“This is a scandal and the Irish Government should offer those victims and their families a public apology.

“The Dublin and Monaghan bombs I understand does not appear in any school books. Why?

“There is a feeling by many that there has been a purposeful airbrushing of the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings – hat it has been buried.

“Nearly 30 Ministers of Justice later and not one of them have allowed the families see the investigative material.

“Why would you want to block the families seeing the materials of McEntee.

“The state failed the families.

“The Government has never apologised for the disaster of. There was no compensation The Irish Government took away the funding for Justice for the Forgotten.

“If we are to get to the truth for the victims and their families, indeed if we are to demonstrate our disgust at the British Legacy Act and its outworkings, we must take the opposite approach, allow access to all information in the State’s possession, and apologise to the families for the Government’s shortcomings.”

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