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The Irish Times, 6 July 2006:

1970s bombing victims complain of official neglect

Stephen Collins

Political Correspondent

Relatives of victims of loyalist bombs planted in the Republic during the 1970s complained yesterday that their welfare had been ignored by the State for 30 years.

They were attending a press conference at which the details of the fourth and final report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry into allegations of collusion between loyalist paramilitaries and British security forces in the bombings was published.

The report by Mr Justice Henry Barron into the bombing of Kay's Tavern in Dundalk in 1975, in which two people were killed, found that allegations of collusion were impossible to prove or disprove.

The report was published after it was referred to a subcommittee of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Defence chaired by Fianna Fail TD Sean Ardagh.

The subcommittee will now consider all four Barron reports along with the continuing investigation into collusion being conducted by Patrick McEntee SC. Public hearings into the findings of all reports will take place in the autumn.

"Some of the relatives of the victims who attended the press conference at Leinster House for the publication of the report, which refers to a number of other incidents as well as the Dundalk bombing, yesterday expressed their unhappiness at the way they have been treated by the authorities over the years.

"We have been given so little respect over the past 30 years," said Margaret English from Dundalk, whose father, Hugh Watters, was murdered in the Kay's Tavern bombing.

She said that the relatives were told only yesterday about the publication of the report and an elderly relative of one of the victims was unable to come to Dublin because no transport was provided. "Why was she not provided with a car? The bombers were treated better than we were," said Ms English.

Mr Ardagh assured the relatives that at the subcommittee hearings in the autumn they would get a full hearing and he also promised to look into ways of ensuring that all the relatives who wished to attend were given the opportunity of doing so.

The Barron report into the Kay's Tavern bombing concluded that it was carried out by loyalist extremists but was unable to identify those involved. It found an implication that some members of the security forces in the North may or should have known who was responsible for the Dundalk attacks but added that without proof as to the identities of those involved, allegations of collusion were impossible to prove or disprove.

In the aftermath of the attack the Garda investigation was unable to find sufficient evidence to charge anybody. The report said that the nature of the explosives used suggested a possible link with the perpetrators of the bombings in Dublin, Monaghan and Castleblayney.

Download the Barron Report on the Dundalk bombing from the Oireachtas website.

This document is in Adobe PDF format and can be downloaded from the link below.

Interim Report on the Report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the Bombing of Kay's Tavern, Dundalk.

Houses of the Oireachtas, Joint Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence and Women's Rights.

Download the free reader software for Adobe PDF format

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

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

See also: 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

The Irish Independent, 6 July 2006: Bombers 'treated better than victims'

The Irish News, 6 July 2006: Relatives want 1975 bombing inquiry

The Irish News, 6 July 2006: Horror lives on for bar owner

The Irish News, 6 July 2006: Report points to RUC reservist's farm as base for UVF operations

The Irish News, 6 July 2006: Hope that collusion theories may be brought to surface

The Irish Times, 6 July 2006: 1970s bombing victims complain of official neglect

LMFM Radio online news report, 6 July 2006: Hearings into report on Dundalk bombing to begin in September

TOM News, 6 July 2006: Latest Barron Report Highlights Need for Ahern-Blair Summit on Collusion

Daily Ireland, 7 July 2006: Taoiseach urged to call summit

The Irish News of the World, 9 July 2006: Showband massacre: shocking new report Former cop behind plot


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Produced in association with the Ludlow Family.

Last edited: 11 July 2006 12:13:01

 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 11, 2006 .