Written Answers. - Tuskar Rock Air Crash

Ivan Yates

Question:

230 Mr. Yates asked the Minister for Public Enterprise if she has considered offering a financial reward to individuals who can come forward with new documentary or other evidence as to the cause of the Tuskar Rock plane crash of 1968. [2108/99]

Ivan Yates

Question:

232 Mr. Yates asked the Minister for Public Enterprise if any new information pertaining to the Aer Lingus plane crash at Tuskar Rock in 1968 has been revealed under the 30 year rule in the release of documentation of Government papers both here and the United Kingdom. [2110/99]

Ivan Yates

Question:

233 Mr. Yates asked the Minister for Public Enterprise if her attention has been drawn to the fact that the file in relation to the crash of the Aer Lingus viscount plane at Tuskar Rock in 1968 of the Air Accidents Investigation Branch of the United Kingdom authorities has been shredded further to a decision by the Public Record Office there in September 1994; and the consultations, if any, which took place with the Irish authorities at that time in the context of that decision. [2111/99]

I propose to answer Questions Nos. 230, 232 and 233 together.

I have not considered offering a financial reward as suggested by the Deputy. I do not believe that it would be appropriate to do so.

My Department is not aware of any new information that has been revealed into the Tuskar Rock tragedy as a result of the release of documentation under the 30 year rule in the United Kingdom. I have responded to a separate Parliamentary question today in relation to the release of my Department's files under the 30 year rule here.
My Department became aware last year, as a result of a parliamentary question in the United Kingdom Parliament, that the UK Public Records Office had decided to shred the records relating to the Tuskar Rock crash, of the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch in 1994. No consultations took place at that time with the Irish authorities regarding this decision.

Ivan Yates

Question:

231 Mr. Yates asked the Minister for Public Enterprise if she will clarify the apparent contradiction by Aer Lingus representatives as to the existence of a written report commissioned by them into the viscount airplane crash at Tuskar Rock in 1968; if she has ascertained whether such a report ever existed; and, if not, the reason in this regard. [2109/99]

The chief executive of Aer Lingus has responded to inquiries by my Department on these matters by indicating that, in as far as he can ascertain, following an extensive search in the Aer Lingus organisation, no formal written report was produced by Aer Lingus on the Tuskar Rock accident. He has said that it would appear that all relevant documentation was provided to the official inquiry at the time and all possible assistance would have been given to support that investigation which led to the publication of the 1970 report.

The chief executive has also indicated that there are references in a number of Aer Lingus Board meeting minutes to the accident, but these would appear to have arisen from oral discussions and briefings.

All documents, files, etc., currently in the possession of Aer Lingus that relate to the Tuskar tragedy will be reviewed by my Department. Aer Lingus have also offered to make these documents available under appropriate arrangements to the relatives of the Tuskar victims.