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Justice at last for the forgotten victims of sectarian murder in Dundalk


The Argus (Dundalk), 16 December 2005:

Memory Lane by Kevin Mulligan

December 19th, 1975 . . the day we won't forget

On the 19th December, 1975, exactly 30 years ago on Monday next a Loyalist no-warning car bomb exploded outside Kay's Tavern public house, Crowe Street, at 6.22pm

Two local men, Jack Rooney (60) and Hughie Watters (51), were killed and many others were injured by this murderous attack on the people of Dundalk.

To this day, the perpetrators have never been brought to justice.

The families of those killed and many seriously injured have demanded justice. They have, on a number of occasions, demanded inquiries to uncover the full truth behind the bombing at Kay's Tavern and for 30 years their calls have been largely ignored.

The Dundalk bombing has been the subject of a private inquiry under Mr Justice Henry Barron who has been appointed by the Irish government to head inquiries into the Dublin, Monaghan and Dundalk bombings, as well as the murder of Seamus Ludlow who was murdered outside the town.

For the families of Jack Rooney and Hugh Watters many questions remain unanswered and they have been angered and annoyed at the failure of the British Government to co-operate with investigations into bombings in the south, including Dundalk.

The inquiry into the Dundalk and Dublin/Monaghan bombings was expected to recommend a full public inquiry into the atrocities. However, no such inquiry has been ordered for the Dublin and Monaghan atrocities.

Mr Justice Barron in his initial investigation failed to find conclusive evidence for high-level collusion between loyalist death squads and British forces in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, but his investigation was severely weakened by the lack of the British government co-operation in handing over relevant files and, equally shocking, the disappearance of vital files from the Irish Department of Justice.

The families maintain that he found no evidence of collusion because he was not allowed to find it!

Nevertheless, Mr Justice Barron saw enough to be scathing of the fruitless Garda investigation and of the Fine Gael/Labour Party coalition government's lack of concern for the original inquiry into this atrocity.

Today a plaque outside of the Town Hal is the only visible sign of that terrible December night in Dundalk, but the scars remain for the families of the deceased and those seriously injured.

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Barron Report into the murder of Seamus Ludlow is Published - Download the Barron Report from the Oireachtas website (pdf file) - Statement from Justice for the Forgotten - Joint Oireachtas Committee inquiring into the Barron Report on the murder of Seamus Ludlow Request for Submissions


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Produced in association with the Ludlow Family.

Last edited: 27 December 2005 12:26:48

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Copyright 2003 the Rooney, Watters and Ludlow families. All rights reserved.
Revised: December 27, 2005 .