Justice at last for the forgotten victims of sectarian murder in Dundalk
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The Argus (Dundalk), 6 December 2006:
Report of independent Commission of Inquiry into Dundalk bombing
A Culture of secrecy existed together with a grudging handing over of information
Outlining the reasons for their belief that there was collusion between those who planted the Dundalk bomb and the Security Forces the sub-committee leaned heavily on the report of Judge Barron who investigated the Dublin and Monaghan bombings as well as the the one in Dundalk and who concluded " collusion existed in many instances and it was not just a case of a few bad apples, as had been suggested by he NI authorities."
Furthermore the sub-committee added "we have to express our outrage that acts of international terrorism could have been colluded in by all levels of British administration".
The sub-committee also concurred with the view of James McGuill, Solicitor for the families of the Dundalk victims that they were "not talking theoretically about cover-ups in the 1970s, we are talking about a culture of secrecy and a grudging handing over of information that pertains to this day".
Judge Barron who gave evidence to the sub-committee felt that "a certain level of responsibility for what happened in Dundalk lay with the security forces in NI - at best through an inadvertent failure to clamp down on the source of the explosives used; at worst through deliberate collusion between certain members of the security forces and the extremists who planned and carried out the bombing".
The Judge had identified, in his own report, a gang operating out of Glenanne in Co. Armagh, known as "The Glenanne Gang" as the likely culprits for the Dundalk bombing, and it is clear from the sub-committee report that there was considerable anxiety in the Irish Government at the time that four members of the RUC in the Portadown area were also members of the UVF and were involved in terrorist activity.
The Irish Government, through a contact, whom they refused to identify to the British for fear that it compromise that person, informed the Foreign Office in Britain about the activities of the four RUC men. The Irish decided against giving the information to the RUC Chief Constable for obvious reasons, and it was clear from reports of a briefing given by the then Secretary of State in the North, Merlyn Rees to a Conservative Party delegation including its leader, Margaret Thatcher that the British were worried that certain elements of the RUC were working closely with the UVF and were not to be trusted.
It is recorded in the sub-committee eport that the British were suspicious that elements within the UVF were prepared to hand over information to people like the Rev. Ian Paisley.
It is clear however from the sub-committee report that the British authorities were not prepared to act on the information supplied by the Irish Government about the RUC officers and the sub-committee concluded "it is surprising to say the least and we cannot understand why the correspondence on the matter stopped dead, with no explanation"
The suspicion that there was a level of collusion between the security forces and the Loyalist terrorists was further underlined by Supt John Courtney who worked in Dundalk at the time and who told the sub-committee "I was in charge of the investigation into the murder of Captain Robert Nairac who was murdered in Dundalk and thought it strange that during the whole investigation the British armed forces never communicated with either me or the investigation team. We tried to get information about him, but didn't get one telephone call. We solved the case irrespective of their lack of co-operation".
Solicitor, Mr McGuill who appeared for the Dundalk families, submitted that from documentation that was produced that the explosives used in the Dundalk bombing may have come from stocks of explosives retrieved from others, namely the security forces and were in turn passed on to the UDA.
Mr McGuill claimed that there was no comparison made between the compositions of the material seized in the North and the bomb material recovered in Dundalk.
The conclusion of the sub-committee on the collusion allegation reads "our view is that there is evidence tending to show that there was a significant state of collusion which was not limited to what might be referred as foot soldiers, bad apples or the occasional wayward RUC officer or UDR member. We have to express our outrage that acts of international terrorism could have been colluded in by all levels of British administration".
Download the Barron Report on the Dundalk bombing from the Oireachtas website.
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See early media reports from the http://www.breakingnews.ie/ dated 29 November 2006:
See also the following report from ireland.com: Barron finds British collusion in attacks
The Argus (Dundalk), 29 November 2006: A high level of collusion found in Dundalk bombing
The Daily Telegraph, 29 November 2006: Ahern call for ‘collusion’ inquiry
Ulster Television News online, 29 November 2006:Green Party demand public inquiry
The Irish Examiner, 30 November 2006: Government backs report on collusion in North
The Irish Examiner, 30 November 2006: The nine attacks — a litany of terror and death
The Irish Examiner, 30 November 2006: ‘What we have heard today are things we have known for years’
The Irish Independent, 30 November 2006: British colluded in 'butchery'
The Irish Times, 30 November 2006: London must co-operate on collusion inquiries - Ahern
The Dundalk Democrat, 6 December 2006: Dundalk Bombings News Special: Reports by Anne Marie Eaton:
The Argus (Dundalk), 6 December 2006: News Special Report of Independent Commission of Inquiry into Dundalk Bombing
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Here is media coverage of the fourth Barron Report:
The Irish News, 5 July 2006: "Relatives 'furious' over Barron report blunder
See also The Irish News online breaking news, 5 July 2006: Pub bombers 'treated better than victims' families'
See also: Oireachtas press release of 5 July 2006.
Daily Ireland, 6 July 2006: Blast victim’s relative hits out
The Irish Examiner, 6 July 2006: Loyalists had licence to kill Catholics, finds inquiry
The Irish Independent, 6 July 2006: Bombers 'treated better than victims'
The Irish News, 6 July 2006: Relatives want 1975 bombing inquiry
The Irish News, 6 July 2006: Horror lives on for bar owner
The Irish News, 6 July 2006: Report points to RUC reservist's farm as base for UVF operations
The Irish News, 6 July 2006: Hope that collusion theories may be brought to surface
The Irish Times, 6 July 2006: 1970s bombing victims complain of official neglect
LMFM Radio online news report, 6 July 2006: Hearings into report on Dundalk bombing to begin in September
TOM News, 6 July 2006: Latest Barron Report Highlights Need for Ahern-Blair Summit on Collusion
Daily Ireland, 7 July 2006: Taoiseach urged to call summit
Daily Ireland, 7 July 2006: Barron inquiry typically leaves more questions than answers Conclusion of report into collusion allegations between loyalists and the British government is 'unsatisfactory'
Daily Ireland, 7 July 2006: Families to discuss Barron report
Daily Ireland, 7 July 2006: Garda probe questions raised
The Irish News of the World, 9 July 2006: Showband massacre: shocking new report Former cop behind plot
The Newry Democrat, 11 July 2006: Collusion summit call
The Dundalk Democrat, 12 July 2006: Gardai expected bomb at Imperial
The Dundalk Democrat, 12 July 2006: Barron Report is a step closer to the truth
The Dundalk Democrat, 12 July 2006: Families will continue their campaign for justice
The Argus (Dundalk), 12 July 2006: Inquiry lists 19 suspects
The Argus (Dundalk), 12 July 2006: Members of RUC and UDR probably knew about plan to bomb Dundalk
The Argus (Dundalk), 12 July 2006: Guide to names listed by inquiry
The Argus (Dundalk), 12 July 2006: My father and family have been let down by the government
The Argus (Dundalk), 12 July 2006: Authorities reluctance to admit mistakes cost families heartache
The Argus (Dundalk), 12 July 2006:Joint Committee likely to hold series of hearings in autumn
The Argus (Dundalk), 12 July 2006: Sharp differences over fingermarks evidence
The Argus (Dundalk), 12 July 2006:Questions that still need answers
Daily Ireland, 13 July 2006: Justice Group seeks advice
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Last edited: 14 December 2006 07:45:02
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