Please show your support by signing our guestbook. Click on the link below.

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


Relative's Message

Tragedy Recalled


Press Release

Campaign Links

25 Years On.

Alleged Collusion

Magill Magazine article Sept. 2002

27th Anniversary

Victims Fund Established

30th Anniversary

The Barron Report


Your Comments




Send us an e-mail


Search Allof


Jack Rooney, victim of the Dundalk bombing of 19 December 1975L-R: Pictured here are Margaret English and Maura McKeever, daughters of the murdered victims of the loyalist car bombing at the Kay's Tavern bar in Dundalk, 19 December 1975. Maura holds a copy of the Barron Report into this and other atrocities during the 1970s.Hugh Watters, victim of the Dundalk bombing of 19 December 1975.

Justice Dept Rules Out Unsolved Murders Unit

27/09/2006 - 3:25:10 PM

A special detective unit in the Republic to investigate unsolved murders during the Troubles was today ruled out by the Justice Department’s top official.

The Historical Enquiries Team (HET) in the North is currently probing over 3,000 outstanding cases with a £30m (€44.5m) budget and 84 staff.

However Justice Department secretary general Sean Aylward today told the Oireachtas Justice Committee that such a similar agency in the Republic would be a strain on existing Garda resources, and not a good idea.

Mr Aylward today appeared before public hearings into the Barron Report into bombings and shootings which killed 18 people and injured dozens of others.

The senior civil servant said he didn’t think it was practical for a Historical Enquiries Team to be established in the Republic.

“The scale of unsolved murder cases in Northern Ireland is massive,” the told committee members.

“I’m not persuaded that setting up a similar team in the South would bring us any closure.

“It would involve a significant diversion of human resources and garda resources away from ongoing activities and I would have a concern about that. He insisted that gardaí carried out regular reviews of unsolved cases.

“At the moment our view would be that to set up a team here would not just be the right thing to do,” he added.

The Oireachtas Committee today held the second of three days of public hearings into atrocities blamed on loyalist paramilitaries who acted with collusion from British security forces.

The Justice for the Forgotten group representing victims appeared before the all-party body earlier today. Set up in January, the HET is looking at more than 3,250 murders committed between the start of the Troubles in 1969 and the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.

So far, at least 78 cases have been passed onto the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan for investigation because of allegations of evidence of police involvement.

Hand-picked detectives are focusing on all unsolved murders in chronological order. Officers are collecting and assessing existing records and exhibits and probing further avenues which may yield new evidence.

Mr Aylward also told the committee that his department was unable to find crucial police investigation documents missing since the 1970s.

The secretary general also blamed the Freedom of Information culture for officials not writing down information anymore.

“It has brought about a change in the administrative culture as things are not put down on paper anymore,” he told committee members.

“It’s a loss to history and to public administration.

“This is an unfortunate side-effect of the Freedom of Information system.”

Committee member Kathleen Lynch of the Labour Party said it was frustrating for gardaí that their investigations in the 1970s hit a brick wall when they were referred into the North.

“They got so far and as soon as they went over the Border, they stopped,” she said. The incidents being discussed by the Committee include bombings in Dundalk, Dublin Airport bombing and the Miami Showband killings.

The sub-committee is chaired by Fianna Fáil TD Sean Ardagh and comprises six other members of Dáil and Seánad. Justice for the Forgotten and the Pat Finucane Centre believe that it is now possible to make links between four attacks in the Republic in the two-year period from May 1974 to March 1976, which claimed the lives of 38 people.

The hearings will continue at Leinster House on October 4.

 I Top I


Transcript of Dail Justice sub-committee hearings into the fourth Barron Report on the Dundalk bombing and other atrocities, day 2



 Visit the Ludlow family's website.

Copyright © 2006 the Rooney, Watters and Ludlow families. All rights reserved.
Revised: October 05, 2006 .