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The Irish Independent, 30 November 2006:

British colluded in 'butchery'


UK Cabinet 'knew army infiltrated by loyalist terrorists'

The British security forces were accused last night of widespread collusion with loyalist terrorists to "butcher" people both sides of the Border in the 1970s.

The Government immediately stepped up the pressure on the British government to increase the level of co-operation provided so far in investigating the atrocities.

An Oireachtas committee report published last night deals in all with nine atrocities on both sides of the border between 1974 and 1976 in which 18 people were killed and it calls the acts "international terrorism".

These included the bombing of Kay's Tavern in Dundalk in 1975, where two people died, at Dublin Airport, where one man was killed, and at the Three Star Inn in Castleblayney, where another man died in a car bomb blast.

One of the attacks on the Northern side of the Border involved the slaying of three members of the Miami Showband - shot dead on the main road near Newry on July 31, 1975.

The Justice Committee which examined the cases said it was "horrified" that people employed by the British administration to preserve peace and to protect people were "engaged in the creation of violence and the butchering of innocent victims".

It said the British Cabinet at the time was "aware of the level at which the security forces had been infiltrated by terrorists".

"We believe that its inadequate response to this knowledge permitted the problem to grow."

But the committee does not spare the State here or gardai, saying: "The authorities in this jurisdiction at all levels could have been far more vigorous in their attempts to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators."

While taking the difficulties encountered when "confronted by the non co-operation of the British authorities" and the threat posed to the State by certain organisations, "nevertheless more should have been done".

It says there is "an abundance of information" to suggest that there was "reasonable, if not significant, knowledge on this side of the Border that British security personnel were working with, and as, loyalist paramilitaries.

The report has provoked renewed calls for a public inquiry by the Justice for the Forgotten group into a series of bombings.

But the committee stopped short of making such a recommendation, saying that it was not within its remit.

The evidence emerged last night as the committee published its examination of the fourth and final report of Mr Justice Henry Barron's Independent Commission into the bombings on both sides of the Border.

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said the findings of collusion were "deeply troubling" and "a matter of most serious concern." They painted "a very disturbing picture".

Mr Ahern spoke of his thoughts being with the victims on all sides "in a dark and tragic period".

The committee is also awaiting the report of Mr Justice Patrick McEntee into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings due to be released on December 10.

Margaret Urwin of the Justice for the Forgotten group said the report was very significant adding that it indicted Britain and its security forces.

"We believe that the same gang was involved in all these atrocities," Ms Urwin said.

Gene McKenna


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Produced in association with the Ludlow Family.

Last edited: 02 December 2006 10:17:11

 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: December 02, 2006 .