February 2008: See today's issue of the Dundalk weekly newspaper The
Argus for two brief reports of the recent two-day Dail debate on
collusion held on 30-31 December 2007.
debate on collusion factor in 1975 Crowe Street bombing Implement
Barron report say families
first report features comments by Maura McKeever, daughter of
Dundalk bombing victim Jack Rooney, as well as remarks by Margaret
Urwin of Justice or the Forgotten.
debate on collusion factor in 1975 Crowe Street bombing 'State
failed' the victims.
second report features remarks made by Foreign Affairs Minister,
Dermot Ahern, who is a TD for Louth and a native of Dundalk. The
Minister says the findings of the Oireachtas Report that widespread
collusion had occurred in this and other cases were brought to the
attention of the British Government.
Ahern calls the British government's response to the revelations of
the Barron reports and the Oireachtas reports both 'inadequate and
he and his government are not shouting loudly enough!
December 2007: Today's 32nd anniversary of the Dundalk bombing was
marked on Crowe Street, just a short distance from the site of the
atrocity, with the laying of wreaths and the unveiling of a new memorial
to Jack Rooney and Hugh Watters, the two men who lost their lives as
a result of the bombing.
monument features items that commemorate the lives of the two men
who were murdered near this spot exactly 32 years ago.
doves fly across a needle, commemorating Hugh Watters' life as a
tailor, and a ladder and helmet commemorate Jack Rooney's working
life as a fireman in Dundalk.
on the link above to find out more about this monument to Jack
Rooney and Hugh Watters.
also: the report from today's issue of the local weekly Dundalk
Democrat newspaper, which features the first published
photograph of the new memorial and an interview with Maura McKeever,
daughter of victim Jack Rooney. To find the article use this link>>>>.
also a report Victims
of Dundalk bombing being honoured in
The Irish News, 19 December 2007.
also: The Dundalk Democrat, 26 December 2007, Relatives
gather for unveiling of Dundalk bomb memorial
December 2007: See today's issue of the local weekly The Argus
for story healined : Memorial for Crowe
Street bomb victims
Argus reports that a specially commissioned sculpture is being
erected beside the Town Hall, close to where Jack Rooney and Hugh
Watters lost their lives.
sculpture, entitled "Free Spirit" by Dublin artist Leo
Higgins, has been funded by the Remembrance Commission.
more about this new memorial to Jack Rooney and Hugh Watters above
in reports from The Dundalk Democrat and The Irish News.
November 2007: In yet another sensational indictment of British
state collusion in sectarian murder in Ireland the European Court of
Human Rights, at Strasbourg, has upheld a case taken by the families
of eight south Armagh victims of the notorious UVF Glenanne Gang
from the mid-1970s.
the Rooney and Watters families are not directly involved, it is to
be hoped that this move will finally force Britain to come clean
with the truth behind the Dundalk bombing and other murderous
outrages involving state collusion with loyalists in the border
families of eight murdered men had said the Royal Ulster
Constabulary (RUC) did not properly examine British security force
involvement in a number of terror attacks, which left more than 100
people dead on both sides of the border. They can now justifiably
claim they have been vindicated.
On Tuesday, the European Court of Human Rights said alleged security
force collusion in the murders was not properly investigated.
cases related to the deaths of Colm McCartney, who was murdered at
Altnamackin in August 1975; Trevor Brecknell, who was murdered at
Donnelly’s Bar, Silverbridge in December 1975; John, Brian and
Anthony Reavey, murdered at Whitecross and Joseph, Barry and Declan
O’Dowd murdered near Gilford on the same evening as the Reavey
brothers in January 1976 and the wounding of Michael McGrath in a
gun attack at the Rock Bar, Keady in June 1976.
the Dundalk victims are not directly involved in this case it should
be remembered that the Dundalk bombing and the Silverbridge attack,
in which three people died, were committed by members of the same
gang on the same day, 19 December 1975.
cases were taken to Strasbourg following the failure of the British
Government to properly investigate detailed allegations made by a
former member of the RUC, John Weir, about security force collusion.
is a former RUC sergeant. He was convicted for the murder of
Catholic shopkeeper William Strathearn in April 1977.
Eight years ago, he claimed to have been a member of the loyalist
gang which carried out these and other murders. He said the gang
consisted of members of the RUC, UDR and the UVF.
He said a farmhouse owned by another police officer was used as a
base from which to carry out a series of murders. Weir has named
those he claims were involved in the Dundalk bombing among many
other attacks, including fellow members of the RUC and the UDR.
The RUC launched an investigation, but did not even bother to
interview Weir, who now lives in Africa, as he was said not to be a
The relatives say their cases account for just a fraction of the
killings carried out by the gang - and they want the British
government to admit that members of the RUC and UDR were part of it.
The families of the eight victims involved in the European case said
they want to meet the Public Prosecution Service in Belfast to find
out why members of the gang were not prosecuted despite their
identities being known as far back as 1978.
Finucane Centre's Alan Bracknell - whose father was one of three
shot dead at Silverbridge on 19 December 1975 - said it could not be
the end of the matter.
"There does need to be a proper independent investigation of
John Weir's allegations,
" he said.
already apparent that the British government is adopting the well
practised art of saying nothing. about these latest shocking
allegations coming from Strasbourg. The silence is truly deafening!
further information about this major development click on this link>>>
where we feature a news report from the Irish-American Information
Service and press releases from the Pat Finucane Centre and the
families' legal representatives.
August 2007: In a statement issued by the Derry-based Pat Finucane
Centre it is revealed that the British Ministry of Defence has
agreed to temporarily withdraw and amend its controversial military
analysis of Operation Banner, the British Army codename for
operations in the Six Counties between August 1969 and July 31 2007.
English of the PFC explained;
decision was prompted by a complaint we lodged on behalf of the
family of Derry teenager Daniel Hegarty who was shot dead by British
soldiers during Operation Motorman in the early hours of July 31
1972 in the Creggan estate, Derry. In July this year the Pat
Finucane Centre alerted the media and public to the existence of the
military document and highlighted a number of serious errors and
gaps in the document. These included a reference to Operation
Motorman where it was claimed that Daniel Hegarty, an unarmed 15
year teenager, was a ‘terrorist’. We wrote to Defence Minister
Des Brown in July and called for the document to be withdrawn and
the reference to Daniel Hegarty corrected. We pointed out that (then
NIO Minister) Des Brown had actually written to the Hegarty family
in 2003 and had expressly clarified that “neither I nor the
Government have ever said that Daniel was a terrorist.”
represents one small victory for one family that was deeply
distressed by remarks published in this British army document. It
does not as yet represent success for all of the families affected
by the document's inaccuracies, distortions and lies.
should be remembered that the document falsely implies that the
victims of the Dundalk bombing and other loyalist attacks died as
the result of a sectarian feud between the IRA and loyalists!
can be no such justification for the Dundalk bombing!
therefore to be hoped that any revision of this disgraceful British
army document also includes the removal of offensive remarks written
about the victims of sectarian murder in south Armagh and north
Louth as referred to below on 6 July.
must be no attempt, by the British army or anyone else, to rewrite
the history of events which included the sectarian murder of Jack
Rooney and Hugh Watters in Dundalk in December 1975.
read the Pat Finucane Centre's latest statement on this matter in
full just click on this link>>>.
2007: Please read the following statement
issued today by the Derry-based Pat Finucane Centre in response to
the recently revealed British Ministry of Defence document that
attempts to rewrite history at the expense of the victims of the
Dundalk bombing and other acts of British state terror in Ireland.
statement includes the following demand:
demand the immediate retraction of these comments which represent
nothing less than a rewriting of history by an organisation whose
members in fact instigated and participated in the incidents
referred to. To refer to the murders which occurred during those
weeks as resulting from a “particularly vicious feud … in County
Armagh between South Armagh PIRA and North Armagh UVF” is a gross
misrepresentation of the facts...
from the families of those murdered at Donnelly’s Bar,
Silverbridge, outside Kay’s Tavern, Dundalk and in the Reavey and
2007: Revealed today for the first trime, in a statement
issued by the Pat Finucane Centre, Derry, is the existence of a
British Ministry of Defence document titled Operation
Banner-An Analysis of Military Operations in Northern Ireland
which makes disgraceful remarks about the deaths of
Jack Rooney, Hugh Watters and other victims of loyalist murder gangs
comprising of members of the RUC and UDR under direction from the
RUC special branch and British military intelligence.
our loved ones died in the first of a series of co-ordinated attacks
between 19 December 1975 and January 4 1976, we are justifiably
shocked and angered at comments contained in the document alleging
that Jack and Hugh were victims of an alleged IRA-UVF
paragraph 234 the following claim is made;
killing had become common, but a particularly vicious feud erupted
in County Armagh between South Armagh PIRA and North Armagh UVF. The
two organisations probably numbered less than 30 terrorists each.
Between 19 December 1975 and 12 January 1976 over 40 people were
killed and 100 wounded. The main effect of this feud was to raise
tension and the perception of the political need to be doing
something. The last vestiges of the Sunningdale Agreement died
quietly and the bulk of the population tacitly accepted Direct Rule
from Whitehall, which lasted until the signing of the Good Friday
Agreement in 1998.
the British document rewrites history and neatly airbrushes away the
sinister role of the British Army and the RUC and British
intelligence services in this and other deadly loyalist attacks in
the border area.
February 2007: See report in today's Sunday Business Post newspaper,
and UVF met 10 days after bombs killed 33, where
journalist Colm Heatley reveals:
The British government held secret talks with the
Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) ten days after the May 1974 Dublin and
The meeting took place at Laneside, MI5's headquarters on the
outskirts of Belfast, 12 days after the bombings which killed 33
people. At the time, the UVF was widely suspected of involvement in
Since then, fresh evidence has emerged which implicates British
military intelligence in the attack.
Instead, the meeting focused on the internal state of unionist and
loyalist politics and the ongoing Ulster Workers Council strike,
called to prevent power-sharing with nationalists. Details of the
meeting were uncovered by the Derry based, Pat Finucane Centre.
The fact that no reference was made to the Dublin-Monaghan bombings
during the meeting so soon after the attacks is considered unusual.
light of recent damning revelations of British state collusion with
loyalist killers in the 1970s and the early 1990s there is little to
surprise in this latest revelation.
that such a meeting could occur ten days after mass murder was
perpetrated in Dublin and Monaghan is shocking to say the
the recent mass murder of 34 innocents did not even come up in the
discussion is beyond belief!
February 2007: See this report of the victims' families' meeting
with Irish government ministers in Dublin yesterday, from the Ulster
Tevevision (UTV) online news.
calls for collusion closure the report quotes from Mr Dermot
Ahern, Minister for Foreign Affairs and TD for Louth.
must be given to families of victims killed in collusion-linked
bombings and shootings before the Irish General Election expected in
May or June, the Irish Government has said . . .
Ahern said that the Government was waiting for a report by
barrister Patrick MacEntee on the Dublin and Monaghan bombings - due
Mr Ahern said: "He may ask for another extension, we
hope not but obviously that is a matter for him. If we get that
report in February, we will have to have a debate in the Oireachtas
and then decide what to do.
"About 3,000 people were killed in the Troubles and each of
those families have stories to tell.
"We are pushing the British very strongly on the need to give
comfort to these families in some way, it may not satisfy everyone,
but to draw a line under these cases once and for all.
"All of these cases are going to dog the peace process and
(British-Irish) relations forever if we don't deal with them one way
"There is a willingness to cooperate as much as possible. If
you look at the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, it has gone on for nearly
nine years and had half a billion pounds sterling spent on it."
He said the victims' families would be consulted before any action
news also quotes from Margaret
English, daughter of
Dundalk bombing victim Hugh Watters, who said she believes
the case of her family has been strengthened by the
revelations in the Police Ombudsman's recent report on RUC
collusion with UVF killers in north Belfast during the 1990s.
on the links above to view the UTV report in full.
also The Irish News report Collusion:
families meet Ahern
February 2007:See this breaking news report from ireland.com,
the website of The Irish Times newspaper, regarding today's
victims families' meeting in Dublin with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.
The report headlined
Families Need Closure - Ahern, includes the following:
The daughter of a man killed in the 1975 bombing of Dundalk
pub, Kay's Tavern, revealed that the incident still causes
her nightmares. Margaret English, daughter of
Watters, said she believes the case of her family
has been strengthened by the revelations in the
Police Ombudsman's recent report.
"It is shocking that the British government sent out
agents to kill my dad. I find that
unbelievable," she said. Mrs English also
claimed that her family was badly treated by the
Garda and the state over the incident, but added that the
Taoiseach apologised for this today.
She agreed that there should be a compensation scheme set
up for victims of collusion. "I still have nightmares.
I remember running around the streets looking for
my dad. There is a very human aspect. "At the
time I was bitter but my mother said to me if I was
bitter I would kill myself from the inside so I
just shut everything out."
also the following report in today's Dundalk Democrat
newspaper: Bombing relatives to
meet Bertie 'Answers to our questions are sitting in files
somewhere' for further comments from Maura McKeever, daughter of
the other Dundalk bombing victim Jack Rooney.
February 2007: See the following press
release issued today by the Pat Finucane Centre, in Derry:
number of families affected by collusion on both sides of the
border are set to meet Taoiseach Mr Bertie Ahern TD at
Government Buildings, Dublin at 1.45 today. Those meeting the
Taoiseach include relatives of members of the Miami Showband, the
1975 Dundalk and Silverbridge bomb and gun attacks, members of the
Reavey and O'Dowd families who each lost three family members in
early 1976 and relatives of those killed in bomb
attacks in Castleblaney and in Keady, S. Armagh in 1976. These
and many other attacks in the 1970s in the Murder Triangle were
carried out by a gang based at the farm of former RUC man James
Mitchell in Glenanne, Armagh. The gang was made up of Portadown
loyalists, members of the RUC Special Patrol Group and UDR members
linked to Military Intelligence. . .
Click on the link above to read the complete statement.
December 2006: Today is another sad milestone for the Rooney
and Watters families, marking the 31st anniversary of the bombing of
Kay's Tavern Bar, Crowe Street, Dundalk.
December 2006: A Newry branch of the Derry-based Pat Finucane Centre
was officialy opened today by the murdered solicitor's widow,
Geraldine, to coincide with International Human Rights Day.
new office at Abbey Yard will be open on Mondays, Wednesdays and
Fridays and will provide advice and information for people concerned
new office's Manager is Alan Brecknell, whose father was murdered 19
December 1975 in the loyalist attack on Donnelly's Bar,
those in attendance at the opening were Margaret English and Maura
McKeever, daughters of the victims of the Dundalk bombing of 19
report in The Newry Democrat, 12 December 2006: Widow
opens Newry's Pat Finucane Centre
December 2006: See the following special reports on the Oireachtas
Committee report on the Dundalk bombing by local journalist Anne
Marie Eaton from the weekly Dundalk Democrat newspaper.
reports include comments by Margaret English and Maura McKeever,
daughters of the two men who were murdered by loyalists in collusion
with British forces in December 1975.
supports debate on collusion
at last for victims families
gets attention it deserves
also further excellent coverage of the Oireachtas Report on the Dundalk bombing
in the The Argus
(Dundalk), 6 December 2006. The reports are headlined 'News Special Report
of Independent Commission of Inquiry into Dundalk Bombing':
UK now legitimately refuse to co-operate with investigation in the light of 9/11
and London bomb?
in the Republic should have been more vigorous to bring perpetrators
to justice' Principal conclusions of the Inquiry
Culture of secrecy existed together with a grudging handing over of information
Govt. guilty of worse crime than bombers - they covered up'
November 2006: See these further press reports about the sensational
oireachtas report that was published yesterday in Dublin:
Daily Mirror (Northern Ireland edition): Brits
did help kill eighteen civilians Thatcher knew of collusion says report into
Daily Mirror (Northern Ireland edition): Massacre
of the innocents
Daily Mirror (Northern Ireland edition): (Editorial) Collusion:
The Irish Daily
by the British Oireachtas
report finds damning evidence of collusion between UK security forces and
loyalist terrorists in string of atrocities Now British must tell us full
truth Taoiseach: Report is 'a matter of most serious concern'
The Irish Daily
Mail: Dundalk pub bomb horror
The Irish Daily
Mail: Comment: Britain must own
up to its role in dirty war
Irish Daily Star: Brits colluded with
loyalists in terror reign Justice committee's damning report into murders
Irish Daily Star (Editorial Comment): Tell
us the truth
Irish Examiner: Government
backs report on collusion in North
Irish Examiner: The
nine attacks — a litany of terror and death
Irish Examiner: ‘What
we have heard today are things we have known for years’
Irish Independent: British
colluded in 'butchery'
Irish News: Families welcome collusion
Irish Times: London must co-operate on
collusion inquiries - Ahern
Irish Times: 'Widespread' collusion by
British forces behind atrocities
Irish Times: Remit: the atrocities
November 2006: See this e-mail news bulletin from the highly
respected Derry-based human rights group The
Pat Finucane Centre on today's publication of the Oireachtas
committee's report on the fourth Barron Report on the Dundalk
bombing and a number of other murderous attacks around the same time
- including Silverbridge, Dublin Airport, Castleblayney, the Miami
Showband and the Reavey and O'Dowd families.
latest oireachtas report appears to have gone further than previous
reports in confronting the British government on the issue of RUC
and UDR/British Army collusion with loyalist killers in these
Pat Finucane Centre's bulletin reads:
Parliamentary report on Collusion online
Irish Parliamentary (Dail) report on Collusion, released this
afternoon, is now available online. The PFC gave evidence
to the parliamentary sub-committee and a recent report on
collusion commissioned by the PFC, the Panel report, has been
added as an appendix to the document. The Sub-Committee
found extensive evidence of collusion between loyalist
paramilitaries and British forces. The Irish Taoiseach (Prime
Minister) Bertie Ahern TD described the findings as "deeply
researcher Alan Brecknell, whose father died in one of the
gun/bomb attacks carried out by members of a UVF/RUC/UDR gang
based at Glenanne in South Armagh, welcomed the report and called
on the Northern Secretary of State to "release the
documents which to date have been withheld from the Irish
Government, NGOs and families. It's time to come clean on the
links between the northern security forces and loyalist
the recent International
Report on Collusion, this Oireachtas Report is a damning
indictment of the British government and its various forces in
Ireland who were actively involved in collusion with loyalist
killers or perhaps even the instigation of sectarian murder on both
sides of the Irish border during the 1970s.
oireachtas committee's report can be downloaded as a .pdf file from
also early media reports from the http://www.breakingnews.ie/:
'Colluded Over Murders In Republic'
security forces 'colluded in international terrorism'
also the following reports from:
finds British collusion in attacks
Irish Independent: British
and loyalists 'colluded in bombing'
Daily Telegraph: Ahern call for
Television News online: Green
Party demand public inquiry
November 2006: See today's issue of The Argus (Dundalk),
article headlined A high level
of collusion found in Dundalk bombing, looking forward to
today's publication of the Oireachtas committee's final report on the
high level of collusion existed between the British government and
loyalist paramilitaries responsible for the 1975 Dundalk bombing, an
Oireachtas report set to be published today (Wednesday) has found.
is the final report from the Joint Committee on Justice, Equality,
Defence and Womens' Rights, which investigated the Dundalk bombing,
and is expected to confirm what the families of the Dundalk men who
were killed in that bombing, had long suspected.
English, whose father Hugh Watters was killed in the blast, said that
although this was certainly a breakthrough in their campaign for the
truth to be told about the bombing at Kay’s Tavern on Crowe Street,
the families were asking ‘What is going to be done now?”
also expressed her shock at hearing the findings of the report on
the news on Monday morning, and having to make her own enquiries
about its publication. . .
on the link above to read the rest of the article.
also in The Argus: "Christmas
spoiled forever" for Maura, reporting an interview with
Maura McKeever, daughter of bomb victim Jack Rooney
November 2006: See this report by journalist Colm Heatley from
thepost.ie: The Sunday Business Post online: Report
Unearths Loyalist And British Collusion On Bombings.
report announces the publication this week of the Oireachtas Justice
committee's report on the Dundalk bombing and other loyalist
atrocities in the 1970s.
colluded with loyalist gangs responsible for three bombings in the
Republic in the 1970s, including a bomb at Dublin Airport that
killed one man, an Oireachtas report has found.
Britain colluded with loyalist gangs responsible for three bombings
in the Republic in the 1970s, including a bomb at Dublin Airport
that killed one man, an Oireachtas report has found.
The joint Oireachtas committee report into the bombings at the
airport and Kay's Tavern in Dundalk, Co Louth, in 1975 and a bombing
in Castleblayney in Monaghan in 1976 will be published on Wednesday.
read more from The Sunday Business Post's report click on the
also: The Irish Examiner, 27
November 2006: Second
collusion report pressurises Government - another report by Colm
November 2006: See today's issue of the local weekly Dundalk Democrat
for a report headlined:'We
just want the truth' New
investigation into 1975 bombing - a report of a recent appearance of PSNI
Chief Constable Hugh Orde before an Oireachtas Committee inquiring
into the Dundalk bombing and other cases; and including comments
from Maura McKeever, a daughter of Dundalk bombing victim Jack
November 2006:The following is from an e-mail news bulletin produced by the
local LMFM Radio.
Local News Headlines 14th Nov 2006
Chief to answer questions on Dundalk bombing
Chief Constable of the PSNI will make history today when he
appears for the first time before an Oireachtas Committee in
Leinster House to answer questions about the 1975 Dundalk bombing.
Hugh Orde will be the first Head of Police in the North to engage
in such an undertaking since Ireland was partitioned in May 1921.
November 2006: The following is from an e-mail bulletin produced by the
Derry-based Pat Finucane Centre.
Report of the Independent International Panel on Alleged Collusion
in Sectarian Killings In Northern Ireland is
now available online at www.patfinucanecentre.org
are reprinting the hard copy version and it will be available again
later this week from the office)
2004 the Pat Finucane Centre of Derry asked Professor Douglass
Cassel, then of Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago,
Illinois, USA, to convene an independent international panel of
inquiry into alleged collusion by members of United Kingdom
security forces in sectarian murders and other serious crimes in
Northern Ireland in the mid-1970’s – and particularly the
activities of the so-called “Glenanne group.”
of the four Panel members, Professor
Douglass Cassel who teaches international human rights,
international humanitarian and international criminal law at Notre
Dame Law School in the United States of America and Susie
Kemp, an international lawyer based in The Hague and is a
former Investigator with the International Criminal Court, presented
their report in Belfast and Dublin last week.
108 page report has been produced independently of the PFC and
drafts were provided for commentary in advance to the British
Government, the Office of the Police Ombudsman and the PFC. The
Panel examined 25 cases on both sides of the border where
collusion between loyalist paramilitaries and state agents was
alleged. A number of the 25 cases involved multiple deaths and 76
people died in the incidents examined. The Panel
investigation included a number of attacks in the Republic of
Ireland including the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, the
Dundalk and Castleblaney bombings and the murder of John Francis
international report on collusion can be downloaded directly by clicking on this
November 2006: See the following further press coverage of the recent international report on
British state collusion with sectarian killers active on both sides of the
border during the 1970s:
Irish Daily Mirror: Shock
report alleges high-level collusion
Officials 'had information on 25 atrocities' RUC
& Army 'helped loyalists carry out. . 74 MURDERS
The Irish Daily
Irish Examiner: Evidence
found of British collusion in bombings
and army 'backed killers'
Irish-American Information Service e-mail bulletin: PRESSURE
ON BRITISH TO INVESTIGATE COLLUSION EVIDENCE