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The Irish News, online breaking news, 5 July 2006:

Pub bombers 'treated better than victims' families'


Loyalist bombers who blew up a Dundalk pub in 1975 were treated better than the families of the victims, it was claimed today.

An Oireachtas Committee today published a report on the no-warning blast at Kay’s Tavern which killed two men in their 60s.

Local tailor Hugh Watters, 60, and lorry driver Jack Rooney, 62, who had dropped into the bar for a drink after work, died after the car bomb detonated on Crowe Street.

Mr Watter’s daughter Margaret English told the launch of today’s report in Leinster House that victims’ families were neglected by the State for three decades.

No-one has been brought to justice for the atrocity which also injured 20 locals.

Mrs English said: “I would like to say that the victims were shown very little respect over the years.”

She added: “I think the bombers were treated better than we were. “It is absolutely disgusting that citizens of the state were treated in this way.”

Mrs English added that her family didn’t receive any co-operation from local gardaí when they held an event at the scene to mark the 30th anniversary of the atrocity in December 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.

Mrs English also complained that the Oireachtas Committee only informed victims’ families about the launch of the 200-page Interim Report yesterday.

Oireachtas Committee chairman Sean Ardagh extended his sympathies to the families and acknowledged that they had strong feelings on the issue.

But he assured them that they would get ample opportunity to express their frustrations at parliamentary hearings on the Interim Report in late September.

Committee member Finian McGrath said he and his colleagues would do everything in their power to achieve truth and justice for the families.

The Interim Report was based on the findings of Mr Justice Henry Barron, who has also carried out investigations into three other atrocities which involved allegations of British security force collusion.

Justice Barron concluded that allegations of collusion were impossible to prove because it couldn’t be established who carried out the bombings.

But he added: “By their [security forces] attitudes towards loyalist violence and towards violent members of their own forces, some senior members allowed a climate to develop in which loyalist subversives could believe that they could attack with impunity.

“However there is no evidence that senior members of the security forces were involved in any way in the bombing.”

Dublin barrister Paddy MacEntee is currently completing a Commission of Investigation probe into the 1974 Dublin/Monaghan bombings.

A Sub-Committee featuring TDs Mr Ardagh, Mr McGrath, Maire Hoctor, Kathleen Lynch and Sean O Fearghail and Senators Maurice Cummins and Jim Walsh will hold the hearings on the Kay’s Tavern atrocity.

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Produced in association with the Ludlow Family.

Last edited: 05 July 2006 20:59:36

 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 05, 2006 .