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The Dundalk Democrat, 12 July 2006:

Gardai expected bomb at Imperial

By Anne Marie Eaton

Information passed on to Gardai two days before the Dundalk bombing stated that the UVF were planning to bomb a government building in Dundalk.

Families of those killed in the Dundalk bombing believe a major miscalculation by gardai averted them away from Crowe Street and towards the Imperial Hotel as the likely target.

Maura McKeever said "We have read that the gardai knew about the bomb a few days in beforehand  and figured it was going to be the Imperial but if they had just looked in the other direction they would have seen Crowe Street. It wouldn't have been a big step for them to look at the two possibilities, especially as Kay's was across from the Town Hall and the Courthouse."

The garda division was warned in a letter from Assistant commissioner Laurence Wren's office. "You should ensure that your Divisional Force is adequately alerted and that all possible steps are taken to spot check vehicles and persons likely to engage in this activity".

The letter also states: "In this regard functions at hotels, dance halls, public houses, when large numbers are present at night, should receive adequate attention as well as Churches at Mass times."

The RUC received the information initially and passed it onto Garda HQ on December 17 1975. In 2002 Northern Ireland Secretary of State John Reid confirmed the RUC had received knowledge on the planned bombing. He said: "Two of the targets would be government buildings, one in Dundalk and the other in Dublin.

"Thee was no information on timing beyond the suggestion that the bombs would be planted within the following three weeks."

It seems there may have been a miscalculation in garda thinking.

The letter from the Assistant Commissioner's office stated "there is a large church and square and the relevant building is 150 yards from same. (Discussion with Superintendent Murtagh and this office on 17/12/75 assessed possible target as the Imperial Hotel).

This is where Mrs McKeever said gardai could have come up with two options.

"They looked at the Imperial Hotel but if they had looked in the other direction it would have taken them to Crowe Street as well."

The report goes on to name a number of suspects. Witnesses who came forward identified a number of prominent loyalists as being in the area at the time.

Garda intelligence is also detailed in the report and includes reports of a celebration in a bar in Banbridge on the night of the bombing, once again listing prominent loyalists.

I Top I  I Comments on the Barron Report I

Download the Barron Report on the Dundalk bombing from the Oireachtas website.

This document is in Adobe PDF format and can be downloaded from the link below.

Interim Report on the Report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the Bombing of Kay's Tavern, Dundalk.

Houses of the Oireachtas, Joint Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence and Women's Rights.

Download the free reader software for Adobe PDF format

See 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 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

I Top I  

Produced in association with the Ludlow Family.

Last edited: 24 July 2006 18:14:10

 Visit the Ludlow family's websiteVisit Justice for the Forgotten  Statement by John Oliver Weir

Download the Barron Inquiry Report into the 17 May 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings, (pdf file)

Barron Report: on the Dublin Bombings of 1972 and 1973, can also be downloaded in pdf form

Download the Barron Report into the murder of Seamus Ludlow from the Oireachtas website (pdf file)

Copyright © 2006 the Rooney, Watters and Ludlow families. 

All rights reserved. Revised: July 24, 2006 .