The British government held secret talks with the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
ten days after the May 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings.
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 the bombings.
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.
A fortnight ago, Patrick McEntee SC who is investigating the Garda investigation
of the bombing, was granted a ninth extension to his report.
The report is now expected to be published in mid-March.
In a separate document from April 1975, the Irish ambassador complained to the
British government over the release from internment of a number of UVF members
suspected of carrying out the Dublin/Monaghan bombings.
The loyalists were interned in October 1974, but released in April 1975.The
Irish ambassador said that the British no longer had the right to hold
republican detainees, ''since, by the secretary of state's own admission, the
loyalists released were responsible for the Dublin/Monaghan bombings''.
The revelation that the British failed to raise the Dublin/Monaghan bombings
with the UVF, just days after the attacks took place, comes after a series of
investigations in recent months which found evidence of British collusion with
Last year, a panel of international jurors found ''strong and credible''
evidence of British state collusion in dozens of murders, north and south.
In November, a joint Oireachtas report found ''disturbing'
' evidence of collusion with loyalists in a string of terrorist incidents in the
Alan Brecknell, of the Pat Finucane Centre, said that the latest information
added ''to a weight of growing evidence of state collusion. Clearly there has
been mounting evidence in recent times to support long-held suspicions that the
British government was actively colluding with loyalists in murders and
bombings," he said. ''What is needed is for the British government to come
clean on its role."