Justice at last for the forgotten victims of sectarian murder in Dundalk
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Images of the horror that was the Dundalk bombing of 19 December 1975 - a horror that left Jack Rooney and Hugh Watters dead and their families were abandoned and denied justice for thirty years.
Most of the black and white photographs on this page are taken from the pages of Dundalk's two weekly local newspapers, The Dundalk Democrat and The Argus, both dated 12 July 2006. Even today, some thirty years later, these images have the power to shock.
These editions carried detailed coverage of the publication of the private Barron Report into this loyalist atrocity and other similar sectarian attacks along the border in the 1970s. Links to these local press reports can be found below.
Above: This photograph shows the scene outside Dundalk's Town Hall on Crowe Street in the aftermath of the bombing. Kay's Tavern (see inset, top right of photograph), on the opposite side of the street, bore the brunt of the explosion, which killed Jack Rooney and Hugh Watters, and injured many more!
Mr Watters was enjoying an after work drink inside the Kay's Tavern bar, when the bomb exploded outside. His body was found in the wreckage.
Meanwhile, Mr Rooney, who is believed to have been walking along the street outside at the fatal moment, was found very seriously injured, and still conscious, at the entrance, but he passed away a few days later.
Above: More views of the scene at Kay's Tavern bar, Crowe Street, Dundalk, showing the aftermath of the crime. The photograph above right shows the rescue and recovery operation in progress just hours after the car bomb exploded.
Above: Another photograph of the destruction at Kay's Tavern after the loyalist car bomb explosion on 19 December 1975. Members of the Garda and Dundalk fire service are seen in the foreground. Also present are a number of visiting government ministers from Dublin.
Download the Barron Report on the Dundalk bombing from the Oireachtas website.
See 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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Produced in association with the Ludlow Family.
Copyright © 2006 the Rooney, Watters and Ludlow families.
rights reserved. Revised: July 26, 2006