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The Late Jack Rooney, victim of the Dundalk Bombing of 19 December 1975.Photograph: The late Mr. Hugh Watters, a self-employed tailor, aged 60, who was murdered by the loyalist bombing of Dundalk, 19 December 1975.

 

 

 

 

The Dundalk Democrat, 14 August 2004:

Dundalk families meet judge

 By Anne Marie Eaton and James Rogers

 Families of those who died and were injured in the 1975 Dundalk bombing and relatives of the murdered Seamus Ludlow have met with Justice Henry Barron for a second time.

Justice Barron is compiling reports into the 1975 bombing and the May 1976 murder of Mr Ludlow.

Maura McKeever, whose father Jack Rooney was one of the two bomb victims, was joined by Margaret Watters, daughter of Hugh Watters, for the meeting which lasted for over an hour.

The meeting was described by the families as "polite but frank".

Maura McKeever said: "Justice Barron was very polite but he said he couldn't answer some of our questions because he didn't want parts of his report getting into the public domain before it is published.

"He said he expected the report into our fathers' deaths to be ready at the end of this year. I really hope that happens."

In his book The Dublin/Monaghan Bombings and the Murder Triangle author Joe Tiernan named those who he believed were responsible for the Dundalk bombing.

Seamus Ludlow's brother Kevin and nephews Jimmy Sharkey and Michael Donegan met with Barron to discuss the report into Seamus' death.

Speaking after the meeting Jimmy Sharkey said that Justice Barron was realising just how much effort the families were putting into the investigations.

He said: "I think when we met him first time around, he expected to be dealing with a family who wouldn't know how to deal with such an investigation."

Justice Barron told the family that he had seen one of the bullets that had been used in the murder.

A second inquest into Seamus' death is expected to get under way in the coming months.

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The Dundalk Democrat, 14 August 2004:

 

Bomb victims families meet Judge Barron

Families of those who died or were injured in the 1975 Dundalk Bombing met with Justice Henry Barron this week to discuss his ongoing investigations into the tragedy.

The bombing at Kay's Tavern on Crowe Street on December 19 of that year, claimed the lives of Jack Rooney and Hugh Watters.

Mr Watters died instantly and Mr Rooney died a few days later from his injuries.

This week Maura McKeever a daughter of Jack Rooney said she was "cautiously pleased" with the meeting with Judge Barron.

The meeting which lasted over an hour and included Maura, along with Margaret English, a daughter of Hugh Watters, and Peter O'Connor, who was injured in the blast.

"It was difficult this time around to get everyone to attend as many were on holidays, but that's the way things go", Maura said.

This was the group's second meeting with Judge Baron and Maura said he was being more open this time around.

"He did say he was going to follow up a few things that we highlighted, and he also gave us some information that we weren't aware of, but he asked that we keep the information to ourselves until he published his report."

Judge Barron used the term "amnesia" to describe the difficulties he was having in interviewing some of the people involved in the 1975 investigations.

Maura said: "He did say that many of the people were replying to his questions with 'I don't know' or 'I can't remember'."

After almost 29 years fighting for justice, Maura said the families remain ever hopeful of some progress.

"I did feel better about this latest meeting with Judge Barron and we will be meeting him in in October.

"We have been told his report won't be completed until Christmas at the earliest, but we have waited this long and we'll wait a bit longer.

"After all these years, it's really a case of we'll believe it when we see it."

Maura also said that her family would like to see a new inquest held into her father's death.

She explained; "My father died, was buried, and an inquest opened and closed within two weeks.

"There is no way that the full information would have been available at the inquest.

"It's not like nowadays. Things would have been taken away for Forensic examination elsewhere and it would have taken some time to get the results back. Remember, there were no mobile phones or computers.

"How would an inquest held so soon after the bombing have all the relevant details."

Maura said she would like to see an inquest being held similar to the second Seamus Ludlow inquest due to get underway in the next few months.

She said: "We live in hope, in fact it is the constant hope that has kept us going all these years."

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Last edited: 17 August 2004 18:24:17  

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Copyright 2004 the Rooney, Watters and Ludlow families. All rights reserved.
Revised: August 17, 2004 .