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The Irish Independent, 6 July 2006


Bombers 'treated better than victims'

Families of the victims of the Dundalk and Dublin Airport bombings complained yesterday that the bombers were treated better than they were.

As a report into a number of related loyalist atrocities in the mid-1970s came to no firm conclusions, the victims' families said they were neglected by the State for three decades.

The report by Judge Henry Barron into the bombing outside Kay's Tavern in Dundalk in 1975, was published by an Oireachtas committee yesterday.

Hugh Watters, a 60-year-old tailor, and Jack Rooney, a 62-year-old lorry driver, were killed by the bomb but no one was ever brought to justice.

The names of some of those believed to have been involved in the bombs were deleted from the report before publication.

But Mr Watters' daughter, Margaret English, said the victims were shown little respect over the past 30 years. "I actually think the bombers are treated better than we are. It is absolutely disgusting that citizens of the State were treated in this way," she said.

Mrs English complained that her family didn't receive help from the gardai when they held a commemorative event to mark the 30th anniversary of the bomb last year.

"It was held at 6.22pm, the time when Daddy died, but the gardai wouldn't even stop the traffic for us," she said.

She also said the committee only informed them about the launch of the report a day earlier.

This view was backed up by Monica Hayes, whose husband, John Francis Hayes, was killed by a bomb at Dublin Airport in 1975.

"We've all been ignored. I had a three-year-old boy and 11-year-old twins and I had to bring them up alone. You can never overcome anything like that" she said.

The report says allegations of collusion between the British security forces and loyalists were not possible to prove as it couldn't be established who carried out the bombings.

The judge said: "There is no evidence that senior members of the security forces were involved in any way in the bombing."

The report was the fourth and final one by Judge Barron into atrocities carried out south of the border involving allegations of collusion.

The Oireachtas committee is going to hold hearings into this latest report in the Autumn. The Commission of Investigation Inquiry into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings in 1974 is now being completed by barrister Paddy MacEntee.

Expressing his sympathy to the families, the committee chairman, Sean Ardagh, said they would get the chance to be heard in late September.

Fionnan Sheahan

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See the Irish News: "Relatives 'furious' over Barron report blunder

See also The Irish News breaking news, 5 July 2006: Pub bombers 'treated better than victims' families'

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

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Produced in association with the Ludlow Family.

Last edited: 08 July 2006 09:35:53

 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 08, 2006 .