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

The Dundalk Democrat, 14 December 2005:

30 years since Dundalk hit by bombers

The 30th anniversary of the Dundalk bombing will be commemorated on Monday with a ceremony at the Town Hall, Dundalk, commencing at 6.30pm.

The anniversary takes place against the backdrop of the forthcoming publication of the Barron report into the atrocity, which is due to be published next month.

The office of An Taoiseach, which has responsibility for the Barron Inquiry, confirmed to The Dundalk Democrat yesterday that the report will be published in January.

A spokesman for the Taoiseach's office said: "It is due to be published in January, and we will know nearer the time what the exact date will be".

Relatives of tailor Hughie Watters and former fireman turned council lorry driver, Jack Rooney, will gather on Monday to remember the men who were killed when a no warning Loyalist bomb exploded outside Kay's Tavern.

Mr Watters, 61, who was delivering a suit to a customer in the Crowe St. bar, was killed instantly. Mr Rooney, 60,  who had stopped to help a neighbour carry parcels to the post office, died three days later in hospital from his wounds. His family buried him on Christmas Eve.

The families are expected to be joined by local politicians, supporters and members of the public who wish to remember the atrocity.

No-one has ever been brought to justice for the murders and Mr Rooney's daughter, Maura McKeever, along with Mr Watters' daughter, Margaret, have been campaigning for many years to find out the truth.

It is widely believed that a vicious Loyalist gang from Portadown was involved in the bombing.

The Watters and Rooney families have been vocal in their criticism of the Garda investigation into the deaths.

The families have discovered that vital witnesses, including a charity collector who sold one of the bombers a flag minutes before they made their escape, were never asked to give a detailed description.

Speaking to The Dundalk Democrat ahead of the commemoration, Maura said: "It's hard to understand that we are still seeking justice after three decades.

"Mr Watters and my father were victims and n0-one seems to care. We continue to call for a full public inquiry into the bombing.

"We think that sometimes the government would like us to go away and forget what happened. But we will not, we are never going to give up."

Everyone is welcome to attend the commemoration.

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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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Last edited: 04 January 2006 17:26:26

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Revised: January 04, 2006 .