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Maura Fay, 85, from Artane touches the name of her late husband Patrick on a memorial to the victims of the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan Bombings. Julien Behal/PA Archive

Victims ask UK to release Dublin-Monaghan bombing files

Justice for the Forgotten says the Queen’s visit should coincide with the release of British files into the 1974 bombings.

THE GROUP REPRESENTING survivors of the 1974 Dublin-Monaghan bombings has urged the British government to release its files on the bombings as a “significant gesture of reconciliation” between Britain and Ireland.

Justice for the Forgotten has called for the files relating to the bombings to be released by David Cameron’s administration to mark the visit of Queen Elizabeth to the Republic of Ireland next month – a visit which will coincide with the 37th anniversary of the bombings.

34 people, including an unborn child, were killed when four bombs – three in Dublin and one in Monaghan town – were detonated within two hours of each other. The resulting loss of life on May 17, 1974 was the highest of any event during The Troubles, but nobody has ever been prosecuted over the blasts.

The Ulster Volunteer Force claimed responsibility for the attacks in 1993.

The Irish government commissioned an investigation into the bombings, led by the late Supreme Court justice Henry Barron, whose report criticised the British government’s “surprising” refusal to allow access to its files.

Justice for the Forgotten spokeswoman Margaret Urwin told that her group had been buoyed by the apology offered by David Cameron for the actions of British forces on Bloody Sunday, but was disappointed about the lack of any progress in relation to the 1974 bombings.

“The Irish government hasn’t really been pursuing it as it should have been,” Urwin said. “We need our own government to pursue this on our behalf.”

The group has met with TDs from Sinn Féin and the independent ranks, and will shortly meet with Fianna Fáil, but is hoping to meet Taoiseach Enda Kenny so that the matter can be added to the agenda of his next meeting with Cameron, due in the coming weeks.

Barron’s report was presented to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, and later prompted the Dáil to unanimously pass a motion calling on the British government to make its files on the bombings available to an “independent, international judicial figure”.

So far, however, no release has been agreed to.

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