Bombing relatives step up the pressure

Agency report

BEREAVED FAMILIES and survivors of the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings recently launched a campaign to speed up Britain's co-operation with the inquiry into the atrocities.

Family members have complained that the British authorities have failed to provide any information to the Irish independent commission of inquiry, nine months after a formal request by its chairman, Mr Justice Barron.

Three car bombs exploded in Dublin city centre on May 17th, 1974, killing 26 people. A second explosion in Monaghan killed seven. More than 250 were injured in the attacks. Speculation that there was collusion between the British government and the loyalist bombers has been rife for years.

The Justice for the Forgotten group, which describes the bombings as the biggest unsolved murder case in the history of the Irish state, has launched their campaign in an attempt to speed up Britainís reaction.

The group fears the delay will deprive the inquiry of crucial information about the bombings.

The group, is planning to lobby members of the Dail, place advertisements in the British press, and contact the French, Italian and American embassies in Dublin -- three of the victims were from these countries.

"The British Government has known for nearly two years that this information was needed although the first formal request was made at the beginning of the year. In the past six months there has been a standard reply -- that a hand trace of documents is going on in various departments and responses will be made. The main area where the inquiry has not been able to progress is in assessing what information the British government has," said group spokesman Mr Cormac O Dulachain.

"The victims and relatives feel that this response is deeply inadequate in light of Tony Blair's strongly expressed commitment to the global fight against terrorism since the events of 11 September."

Northern Ireland secretary John Reid has responded to the group's accusations by agreeing to meet Mr Justice Barron. (IAIS)

December 2001/January 2002

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