The Dublin & Monaghan Bombings – Irish Revolutionaries
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The Dublin & Monaghan Bombings

The Dublin & Monaghan Bombings

On May 17th 1974 MI5 with the assistance of members of the UVF detonated four bombs in Dublin & Monaghan, killing 34 people.

The bombings were carried out to put pressure on the Irish Government to take a more hardline approach on Irish Republicans which is exactly what they did.

It's also worth remembering that Merlyn Rees, the British government's 'Northern Ireland Secretary', believed at the time that his policies in pursuit of peace in 1974 had been undermined by a faction in British Army Intelligence.

The inference was that the bombings were intended to wreck the Sunningdale Agreement and to make both governments take a stronger line against the IRA.

Instead of trying to find out who committed this atrocity the Irish Government instructed the Gardai to wind down their investigation and focus on harassing the families of the victims who had set up a justice for the forgotten group.

The Irish Government at the time refused to hold a day of mourning for the victims and had to be persuaded to lower the flag on public buildings, for 25 years what happened on May 17th 1974 was deliberately forgotten by the establishment in Ireland.

After years of campaigning by the justice for the forgotten group, the Irish Government finally agreed to hold a public inquiry in the year 2000, but the British Government refused to hand over files relating to the bombing and still does refuse to this very day.

The Barron Report was published in December 2003. The report said it was likely that British security force personnel were involved in the bombings but had insufficient evidence of higher-level involvement. However, the inquiry reported that it was hindered by the British Government's refusal to release key documents.

It also criticised the Garda investigation into the bombings and the reaction of the Fine Gael/Labour government of the time and that most of the Garda files on the bombings were missing.

An Irish government sub-committee was then established to consider the Barron Report and make recommendations. These recommendations were published in March 2004.

It recommended the Irish Government bring a case before the European Court of Human Rights to force the British Government to hold a public inquiry into the bombings.

In June 2005, the Irish Government said it would consider bringing the British Government to the European Court of Justice, to force the release the files on the bombings.

Two motions were passed unanimously by the Irish parliament (Dáil Éireann) in 2008 and 2011, urging the British Government to make the documents available to an independent, international judicial figure for assessment.

In 2012 and 2013, Justice for the Forgotten met with the British Ambassador to the Republic of Ireland and proposed the documents be assessed in Britain by an agreed assessor. However, a further meeting to move the process forward was cancelled by the British side in November 2013.

In May 2014, the victims' families announced that they were taking a civil action against British government agencies including the British Ministry of Defence, the Northern Ireland Office and the Police Service of Northern Ireland.


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