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Justice at last for the forgotten victims of sectarian murder in Dundalk


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25 Years On.

Alleged Collusion

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The late Hugh WattersThe late Jack Rooney.Maura McKeever, daughter of late Jack Rooney holds the Barron Report. Margaret English, daughter of Hugh Watters looks on.

Some Comments on the fourth Barron Report

Here are some Rooney and Watters family comments on the publication of the fourth and final Barron Report on the Dundalk bombing. 

The report was published in Dublin on 5 July 2006.

Listed below also is a selection of local and national press reports and a link from which to download a copy of the Barron Report.

Jack Rooney and a second man, Hugh Watters, both in their sixties, were killed when a car bomb exploded outside Kay's Tavern on Crowe Street in Dundalk on December 19 1975.

Mr Rooney's daughter Maura McKeever said she believed the Barron report supported the families' calls for a full public inquiry.

Ms McKeever welcomed the judge's inference that collusion had taken place but insisted that only a full inquiry would satisfy the bereaved.

"We're entitled to a full public inquiry. My mother Mary Rooney [aged 88] has always wanted one. She was treated very badly after the bombing," she said. 

"She had no contact from the gardai or anyone else. She deserves answers." (Maura McKeever, quoted from The Irish News, 6 July 2006.)


"We only found out on Tuesday night that the report was being (published) the following afternon. We were to see it at 4pm and the press conference was at 5pm.

"As it happened wqe didn't get the report until 4.25 and the conference still went ahead at 5pm.

"Throughout the entire proceeding we weren't asked did we want so much as a cup of tea." (Maura McKeever, The Dundalk Democrat, 12 July 2006.)


"My father and my entire family have been let down by our Government, for they did little for us despite promises made at the time of the bombing, and there is no doubt in my mind that the bombing was never properly investigated because there was collusion between north and south to prevent the truth emerging." (Maura McKeever, The Argus, Dundalk, 12 July 2006)


"It was all politically motivated for they just didn't want us to know anything, and we could get no information from anyone. We (were) never visited by the Gardai after the bombing or indeed in the 30 years since." (Maura McKeever, The Dundalk Democrat, 12 July 2006.)


". . . since I got involved with the official investigation into the bombing over the last few years I have started to find out more and I am convinced that the security forces in the North, possibly including the British, had knowledge of the bombing before it occurred". (Maura McKeever, The Argus, Dundalk, 12 July 2006)


“I would like to say that the victims were shown very little respect over the years.

“I think the bombers were treated better than we were. It is absolutely disgusting that citizens of the state were treated in this way,” she said. 

Mrs English said her family had held an event at the scene last December to mark the 30th anniversary of the bombing.

“It was held at 6.22pm, the time when Daddy died, but the gardaí wouldn’t even stop the traffic for us,” (Margaret English, daughter of Dundalk victim Hugh Watters, quoted from Daily Ireland, 6 July 2006)


"They've known the truth for years. We deserve that truth and want a proper history written about what happened during that period," (Margaret English, daughter of victim Hugh Watters, Daily Ireland 7 July 2006)


"I don't have any anger towards those responsible. The Irish government have known who were responsible for over 30 years and allowed the British government to protect them and they ignored us for all that time.

"They failed to protect their own citizens and instead help protect those who killed their citizens." (Margaret English, daughter of Hugh Watters, Daily Ireland 7 July 2006)


"We were brought down the stairs by government officials and given the report an hour and a half before going to the press conference upstairs. I tried to read it but, when I saw my father's name, I couldn't read on."

"It's been 31 years but the emotion was just too much." (Margaret English, daughter of Hugh Watters, Daily Ireland 7 July 2006)


"The experience of having so many journalists surrounding us was intimidating, and the family members didn't really speak. It was left to legal representatives but, when I heard a journalist ask about Robin Jackson, I just took the microphone and said what I thought.

"Hearing that name induced the same sense of anger and disbelief I experienced when meeting the victims commissioner John Wilson in 1998, after the Good Friday Agreement was signed. We were introduced as relatives of the Dundalk bombing victims and his reply was: 'Oh, yes, Robin Jackson.'

"When my father was killed, we weren't even told by the gardaí and only discovered it when we visited the local hospital. We were never informed about the progress of their investigation. My father's death was never talked about afterwards. We didn't want to    upset my mother but the peace agreement changed that. It opened up a can of worms and has put our lives in emotional turmoil again." (Margaret English, Daily Ireland, 7 July 2006)


Margaret Urwin of the Justice for the Forgotten group said of the report: “I am still reading it and I am only 70 pages in, so we cannot make any overall comprehensive comment yet.

“But from early observations, it seems the same story we have heard before in other reports regarding the Garda investigation — so many loose ends not followed up; decisions going unrecorded.

“Barron himself comments that the Garda investigation report into the Dundalk bombing is very similar to the investigation report into the Monaghan bombing.

“It is also frustrating that so many names are left out of the report.

“It is also a little disappointing that Barron himself did not come out more forcibly on collusion.

“However, in saying that, his comments on collusion do seem stronger than in his previous reports.

“He seems to be saying that collusion definitely took place. However, according to some of the newspaper reports, he concludes that there is no evidence that senior members of the security forces were involved in collusion.

“However, we think that seems rather unlikely.”

(Margaret Urwin, spokeswoman for Justice for the Forgotten, Daily Ireland, 7 July 2006).


“Judge Barron reinforces the case that the mid-Ulster UVF, which was responsible for the fatal bombings at Dublin, Monaghan, Dundalk, Castleblayney and other attacks, acted in collusion with British crown forces.

“The report again highlights the fact that the Mitchell farm at Glennane, Co Armagh, was the UVF base for attacks.

“It also highlights that members of the RUC and UDR were members of the gang and that British crown forces at a higher level were well aware of what was going on there.

“Judge Barron points out that, once again, the British authorities gave minimal co-operation to his inquiry.
“This emphasises the need for a special summit meeting on collusion to be demanded of the British prime minister by the taoiseach. . ."
(Press release from Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD.


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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

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 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:

Daily Ireland, 13 July 2006: Justice Group seeks advice

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Produced in association with the Ludlow Family.

Last edited: 23 December 2007 11:57:56

 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: December 23, 2007 .