Justice at last for the forgotten victims of sectarian murder in Dundalk
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The Irish Times, 30 November 2006:
'Widespread' collusion by British forces behind atrocities
Oireachtas CommitteeMiriam Donohoe POLITICAL STAFF
Widespread collusion between British security forces and terorists was behind many, if not all, of a number of atrocities on both sides of the Border that resulted in 18 deaths in the mid-1970s, an Oireachtas committee has concluded in a eport published last night.
A sub-committee of the Joint Oireachtas Committee n Justice 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".
The sub-committee which considered Mr Justice Henry Barron's report into nine terrorist attacks, including the bombing of Kay's Tavern in Dundalk, Co Louth, the Three Star Inn in Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, and the attack on the Miami Showband near Newry, Co Down, said it believed that unless the full truth about collusion is established, and unless those involved admit to or are fixed with responsibility, there cannot be closure for the families.
In its report, the subcommittee said there were acts of "international terrorism" that were colluded in by the British security forces. "The British government cannot legitimately refuse to co-operate with investigations and attempts to get to the truth," it said.
The committee found that the British cabinet was aware of the level to which the security forces had been infiltrated by terrorists and said there was an inadequate response to this.
The subcommittee said it further believed that unless the full truth about collusion is established there is always the risk of what occurred in the 1970s occurring again some day. "We are of the view that these matters cannot be swept under the carpet," it said.
However, the subcommittee fell short of calling for a full public inquiry into the atrocities, much to the disappointment of survivors and relatives of those killed who attended the report's launch in Leinster House last night, and instead called for a full debate in the Dail and Senate to allow for greater political impetus to highlight what occurred.
Fianna Fail TD Sean Ardagh, the subcommittee chairman, said collusion was "widespread" and "endemic", but rather than a public inquiry, a Dail debate would act as a catalyst for further action and for the UK parliaments to look at the findings. He said it was up to Westminster to ensure that people on the British side co-operate with any investigation.
It noted that at the time of the atrocities the authorities in this jurisdiction at all levels could have been more vigorous in their attempts to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators.
The Irish government complained to the British government in August 1975 that four members of the RUC in the Portadown area were also members of the UVF.
The subcommittee said it could not understand why the documentation in relation to this stops dead in its tracks on September 3rd. 1975, given the gravity of the issue.
Mr Ardagh said in human terms the true cost of these atrocities is incalculable and the committee acknowledged the enormous suffering endured by both the victims and their families.
In relation to the Miami Showband murders, the committee noted that three serving members of the UDR were convicted and two other serving members of the UDR accidentally blew themselves up at the scene of the attack. They noted the conviction of three RUC officers in connection with the attack on the Rock Bar in Co Armagh in June 1976.
Remit: the atrocities investigated
See early media reports from the http://www.breakingnews.ie/ dated 29 November 2006:
See also the following report from ireland.com: Barron finds British collusion in attacks
The Argus (Dundalk), 29 November 2006: A high level of collusion found in Dundalk bombing
The Daily Telegraph, 29 November 2006: Ahern call for ‘collusion’ inquiry
The Irish Independent, 29 November 2006: British and loyalists 'colluded in bombing'
Ulster Television News online, 29 November 2006:Green Party demand public inquiry
The Irish Examiner, 30 November 2006: Government backs report on collusion in North
The Irish Examiner, 30 November 2006: The nine attacks — a litany of terror and death
The Irish Examiner, 30 November 2006: ‘What we have heard today are things we have known for years’
The Irish Independent, 30 November 2006: British colluded in 'butchery'
The Irish News, 30 November 2006: Families welcome collusion findings
The Irish Times, 30 November 2006: London must co-operate on collusion inquiries - Ahern
The Dundalk Democrat, 6 December 2006: Dundalk Bombings News Special: Reports by Anne Marie Eaton:
The Argus (Dundalk), 6 December 2006: News Special Report of Independent Commission of Inquiry into Dundalk Bombing
Here is media coverage of the fourth Barron Report:
The Irish News, 5 July 2006: "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
Daily Ireland, 7 July 2006: Barron inquiry typically leaves more questions than answers Conclusion of report into collusion allegations between loyalists and the British government is 'unsatisfactory'
Daily Ireland, 7 July 2006: Families to discuss Barron report
Daily Ireland, 7 July 2006: Garda probe questions raised
The Irish News of the World, 9 July 2006: Showband massacre: shocking new report Former cop behind plot
The Newry Democrat, 11 July 2006: Collusion summit call
The Dundalk Democrat, 12 July 2006: Gardai expected bomb at Imperial
The Dundalk Democrat, 12 July 2006: Barron Report is a step closer to the truth
The Dundalk Democrat, 12 July 2006: Families will continue their campaign for justice
The Argus (Dundalk), 12 July 2006: Inquiry lists 19 suspects
The Argus (Dundalk), 12 July 2006: Members of RUC and UDR probably knew about plan to bomb Dundalk
The Argus (Dundalk), 12 July 2006: Guide to names listed by inquiry
The Argus (Dundalk), 12 July 2006: My father and family have been let down by the government
The Argus (Dundalk), 12 July 2006: Authorities reluctance to admit mistakes cost families heartache
The Argus (Dundalk), 12 July 2006:Joint Committee likely to hold series of hearings in autumn
The Argus (Dundalk), 12 July 2006: Sharp differences over fingermarks evidence
The Argus (Dundalk), 12 July 2006:Questions that still need answers
Daily Ireland, 13 July 2006: Justice Group seeks advice
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Last edited: 16 December 2006 17:50:00
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