Dublin and Monaghan bombings
Sir, – I welcome the call by the Minister for Foreign Affairs Charles Flanagan to once again seek the release of UK files and documents relating to the May 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings in which 33 people died (“UK urged to release Dublin and Monaghan bombing files”, May 18th).
Mr Flanagan said a new independent inquiry into the worst loss of life during the Troubles is “imperative” and said he hoped the UK government that takes power after next month’s election would release files that shed light on the perpetrators behind the loyalist bomb attacks. The fact that it is more than 43 years since this atrocity occurred and no one has been brought to account is an appalling indictment of successive British governments that have refused to co-operate with the Barron inquiry into these bombings.
Speaking on the revelations contained in the Cloyne Report issued in 2011, Mr Flanagan stated that if any foreign government conspired to break the law in this state it would have its ambassador expelled.
Mr Flanagan said the behaviour of the Vatican in regard to the revelations carried in the Cloyne Report amounted to the concealment of a crime and the Irish government expects the fullest co-operation from the Holy See, the Catholic Church in Ireland, and all other relevant bodies to be fully and totally subject to Irish laws and requirements. On this basis, can we take it this expectation of “fullest co-operation with Irish laws and requirements” is also applicable to states other than the Vatican?
Following the publication of the final report of the commission of investigation into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings in 2007, it was established that it was “neither fanciful nor absurd” that members of the British security forces in Northern Ireland could have been involved in these bombings. Furthermore, it was established by Mr Justice Henry Barron that files which may be of assistance in identifying those responsible for these bombings were in the possession of the British government.
Despite repeated calls by successive Irish governments for these files to be released, British governments have persistently refused to comply. Surely this also is the concealment of a crime and an undermining of Irish law, yet no call by Mr Flanagan to expel the British ambassador to Dublin nor any moves to recall Ireland’s ambassador to London.
Why the double standards? – Yours, etc,