Sunday 17 December 2017

Families appeal for release of files on bombings

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

SURVIVORS and families of those killed in the Dublin-Monaghan bombings almost four decades ago have written an open letter to the queen urging the British government to open up secret files into the atrocity.

The bombings killed 34 men, women and children, and injured 300 on May 17, 1974 -- and Queen Elizabeth II will arrive in Ireland on their 37th anniversary tomorrow.

The Dail will also debate a Sinn Fein motion tomorrow repeating an all-party call made in 2008 for the British government to release all files on the bombings.

'Justice for the Forgotten', the group representing the families and survivors of the worst incident of the Troubles, asked British Prime Minister David Cameron, through the letter to the queen, to "pursue the truth with vigour -- make us all stronger -- open up the files".

LOYALIST

The Barron report into the bombings, published in 2003, found they were carried out by loyalist paramilitaries, and there were grounds for suspecting the bombers may have had assistance from members of the security forces. A Dail committee also said there was collusion with British security forces.

The letter, published today, tells the queen her visit "is a sign of improving relations".

"We are appealing, through you, to your Prime Minister David Cameron, to mark the occasion of this historic visit by a genuinely significant gesture of reconciliation," it says.

Justice for the Forgotten has advertised its letter in the national press, and asked for donations from TDs to pay for it.

Spokeswoman Margaret Urwin said they had received donations from Fianna Fail, Sinn Fein and were expecting some from Labour TDs.

Justice for the Forgotten is asking Taoiseach Enda Kenny to raise the issue with Mr Cameron when they meet this week, but a government spokesperson said the agenda for the meeting had yet to be set.

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