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The Dundalk Democrat, 6 December 2006:

Dundalk Bombings Report News Special: Reports by Anne Marie Eaton

Hope at last for victims families

The families of Dundalk bombing victims Hugh Watters and Jack Rooney have said that after 30 years they are finally seeing a glimpse of justice for the two men who lost their lives in an explosion outside KaPictured at the memorial to their murdered fathers at Dundalk Town Hall are (L-R) Margaret English and Maura McKeever.ys Tavern on Crowe Street.

Originally sceptical of the Oireachtas Committee hearings into the Barron Report on the 1975 bombing, Jack Rooney's daughter, Maura McKeever, has said they feel that the committee have gone beyond what the families have first expected.

To hear the committee come down as harshly as they could on the British security forces and the gardai of the time came as a surprise to Maura.

"The committee's report went a lot further than we thought it would and to hear them not just highlight the British collusion but to also condemn the gardai for their inaction was something we never expected."

The Oireachtas Committee's statement that the gardai's inactivity despite a written warning of the Dundalk bombing was also somewhat unexpected, even though, Maura said, entirely warranted.

"We never knew anything about a bomb warning. They had a written warning and nothing was done."

"You have to remember John Courtney and Owen Corrigan were not just run of the mill gardai, they were high up the chain even then and they moved on up after that.

"It wasn't in their interest back then to let details such as the fact that a bomb warning wasn't acted on or that they were refused a meeting with an RUC man who could have given them more details on the bombing."

Maura said that both she and Hugh's daughter Margaret English would be meeting with solicitor James McGuill to discuss where the families need to go from this point.

"We would like to meet with Bertie Ahern, after all he has met with the Miami Showband families so I think it is only fair he meet with us. Perhaps when he is in Dundalk on Friday he'll take some time to talk to us.

"If not we might meet him on the street when he goes on a walkabout but it would be high on our agenda to meet with him."  

They will also be keeping a close eye on the Dail and Seanad debates which for obvious reasons Maura hopes will not take place until the New Year.

"We are approaching the anniversary of the bombing and our fathers' deaths and it is always a tough enough time for us so it would be better for us if the Dail don't discuss the reports until the New Year."

In this photograph from the Dundalk Democrat: Local solicitor James McGuill with the daughters of the victims of the Kay's Tavern bombing, Maura McKeever and Margaret English. They are seen here studying the just published Oireachtas committee report on the Dundalk bombing..

I Top I

See also the following reports from this issue of The Dundalk Democrat:

Taoiseach supports debate on collusion

Case gets attention it deserves

Truth must emerge

Download the Barron Report (pdf file) on the Dundalk bombing.

Download the International Report on Collusion from the Pat Finucane Centre website

Download the Oireachtas Report on the Dundalk bombing and other collusion attacks

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Last edited: 29 December 2006 02:34:01  

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Copyright 2006 the Rooney, Watters and Ludlow families. All rights reserved.
Revised: December 29, 2006 .