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I am still haunted by what I saw in the morgue after the Dublin bombings

Last Saturday hundreds of people attended a commemoration ceremony to mark the 41st anniversary of the Dublin-Monaghan bombings.

The Dublin bombs - which exploded during rush hour - and the explosion in Monaghan 90 minutes later, killed 34 people and injured and maimed 300 others.

The no-warning car bombs on May 17, 1974 went off in three areas in Dublin city - Parnell Street, Talbot Street and South Leinster Street. This brutal atrocity remains the biggest unsolved murder case in the history of the State.

Incredibly not a single person has ever been charged or even arrested in connection with this mass murder.


Author Don Mullen revealed in his book, The Dublin and Monaghan Bombings, that a letter from the Royal Irish Constabulary sent to the solicitors acting for the relatives of the victims and dated August 28, 1996, stated that they had interviewed suspects in connection with the bombings.

In this letter they stated that they had passed on "details arising from the interviews as well as other material to gardai at various stages of the enquiry".

Despite those reports, and other vital information gleaned during investigations in this state that identified most of the UVF terrorists who carried out these bombings, no attempt was ever made by our government or by An Garda Siochana to extradite them.

Even more incomprehensible was the decision by the authorities to wind down the investigation in August - barely three months later - although officially the case remained "live and open".

A report on the bombings published by John Wilson on August 5, 1999 states that "the garda investigation had identified the probable suspects very quickly but had run in to difficulties".

He did not elaborate what those difficulties were, but later in his report, he makes the damning statement that "agents of a friendly government may have had a hand in planning and executing the crime".

That indeed would explain the "difficulties" in investigating this mass murder. I have always been convinced that there was active participation by elements of the British security services in the planning and execution of this appalling crime.

The failure of successive British governments to fully cooperate or provide vital information to the Irish government about this is truly an outrage.


As a young garda I witnessed first hand the devastation and horrors on that fateful Friday evening all those years ago. I'm still haunted by what I saw in the city morgue.

I support the Dublin and Monaghan victim support group Justice for the Forgotten in calling on the British government to hand over all the information and documents in their possession to an independent commission of enquiry.

Our government must row in and support these demands as well.