Tánaiste Simon Coveney has insisted he will pursue the Government’s demand for Britain to release documents on the Dublin-Monaghan bombings with new Northern Secretary Karen Bradley.
Mr Coveney, who met Ms Bradley shortly after her appointment to the role earlier this month, said that “dealing with long-outstanding issues relating to the legacy of the conflict in Northern Ireland is of the utmost importance to the Government”.
Three bombs exploded in Dublin and one in Monaghan in May 1974 killing 33 people, and injuring almost 300, becoming the deadliest attack in the Troubles and in the State’s history.
Fianna Fáil TD Brendan Smith, chairman of the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs committee, asked Mr Coveney of his plans to discuss the need for Britain to provide access to papers and files relating to the bombings. And he noted the three resolutions passed unanimously by the Dáil between 2008 and 2016.
Mr Coveney replied by way of a written statement that the all-party motions in 2008, 2011 and 2016 call on the British government to allow access by an independent, international judicial figure to all original documents relating to the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, as well as the Dublin bombings of 1972 and 1973, the bombing of Kay’s Tavern in Dundalk and the murder of Séamus Ludlow.
“The Government is committed to actively pursuing the implementation of these all-party Dáil motions, and has consistently raised the issue with the British government,” said the Tánaiste.
“I discussed the matter with the former secretary of state for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire. And I will likewise be pursuing the issue directly with the new Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Karen Bradley.”
He said he had told the British authorities that the absence of a response “is of deep concern to the Government and indeed this House and I have emphasised the urgent need for a response from the British government”.
The Irish authorities had underlined that the Dáil motions represented the consensus political view in Ireland “that an independent, international judicial review of all the relevant documents is required to establish the full facts of the Dublin-Monaghan atrocities”.
Dealing with legacy issues of the Northern conflict is listed as a priority in the programme for partnership government.