I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 12, inclusive, together.
Following receipt of the transcript of the proceedings of the inquest into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 1974, and on the recommendation of the inquest jury, I forwarded a copy of the transcript to the Secretary of State, Paul Murphy.
Following its consideration of the final report of the Joint Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence and Women's Rights on the report of the independent commission of inquiry into the bombings last July, the Government decided to establish a commission of investigation with appropriate terms of reference in line with the sub-committee's recommendations, to examine the Garda investigation of the bombings and missing documents and to pursue with the British Government the establishment of a Weston Park style inquiry into the bombings.
Following the passing of the relevant legislation last July, my Department has begun the process for the establishment of the commission of investigation which will require the approval of the House. While detailed terms of reference have yet to be approved by the Government, the commission will, as recommended by the Joint Oireachtas committee, consider why the Garda investigation into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings was wound down in 1974; why the Garda did not follow up on certain specific leads; and the exact documentation, departmental, Garda intelligence and any other documentation of relevance, that is unaccounted for.
The commission will take account of investigative work already undertaken into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 1974, including the report of the independent commission of inquiry, the final report of the Joint Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence and Women's Rights, inquest statements and the internal Garda investigation.
I have already raised the establishment of a Weston Park style inquiry into the bombings at my meeting with Prime Minister Blair at Sedgefield. The Government will consider Mr. Justice Barron's report into the Dublin bombings of 1972 and 1973 very shortly. Mr. Justice Barron also reported on a number of other bombings and murders in appendices to this report, including bombings in Belturbet, Clones and Pettigo.
I received the report into the murder of Seamus Ludlow from Mr. Justice Barron on 20 October. While his report is receiving the necessary consideration by relevant Departments and the Attorney General, it is clear that in his comprehensive report he has given thorough and meticulous consideration to all aspects of the terms of reference given to the inquiry.
It would be the intention to refer both reports to the Joint Oireachtas committee with a view to their publication and consideration in public session, in a process similar to that which was put in place for consideration of the independent commission's report into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 1974. I again thank Mr. Justice Barron and his team for their work in preparing these reports and for their commitment and dedication to this difficult task.
Mr. Justice Barron expects to conclude his report into the Dundalk bombing and a number of other bombings that took place after 1974, including the Castleblaney bombing, by the end of this year. To date, the cost of the Barron inquiry, including all legal expenses arising, is €2.9 million.