Public Hearings on the Barron Report.

Ba mhaith liom fáilte a chur roimh gach éinne anseo inniu agus go h-áirithe do lucht féachanna TG4. I especially welcome surviving victims, relatives of victims and members of the Justice for the Forgotten group represented by Cormac Ó Dúlacháin and Mícheál O'Connor. Mr. Greg O'Neill is the solicitor.

The sub-committee expresses deepest sympathy with the victims and relatives of victims of the Dublin bombings of 1972 and 1973 and of the other atrocities that occurred in the State from 1970 to 1974. The sub-committee acknowledges the great suffering that has been endured by both the victims and their families. In many cases this suffering is ongoing and we hope that the publication of this second Barron report and the hearings which will be conducted by the sub-committee in the coming weeks will help in some small way to alleviate the grief these individuals have suffered over the years.

On 17 November 2004 the Joint Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence and Women's Rights was asked by Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann to consider the report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the Dublin bombings of 1972 and 1973. This sub-committee was established for that purpose and we have been asked to consider the report in public session in order that the joint committee can report back to Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann by 17 February concerning any further necessary action.

We believe it is important that the Oireachtas can and does inquire into matters of great public concern, such as the Dublin bombings of 1972 and 1973, and the other atrocities in the State from 1970 to 1974. We believe the Oireachtas is an appropriate forum where efforts should be made to find the truth at the heart of matters of great concern. We, as Members of the Oireachtas, have been elected by the people and, as such, we must act as their public representatives in matters of public importance. The Oireachtas is a unique forum which is widely recognised and reported on by the media and in which an informed citizen's approach can be taken in respect of hearing, examining and inquiring into important public matters, albeit with legal and procedural advice. I thank TG4 in particular for the live broadcasting of the proceedings of the committee. This is in the public interest and TG4 is to be congratulated.

The sub-committee is composed of seven members. My name is Seán Ardagh. I am the Chairman of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence and Women's Rights. I am also the Chairman of the sub-committee. The other members of the sub-commitee are, Deputy Máire Hoctor, who is also the Government convenor on the joint committee, Deputy Finian McGrath, who is an Independent TD for Dublin North Central, Deputy Joe Costello, who is the Labour Party spokesperson on justice and law reform, Deputy Seán Ó Fearghail, who is a Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare, Deputy Gerard Murphy, who is the Vice-Chairman of the joint committee, and Senator Jim Walsh, who is the Fianna Fáil spokesperson on justice and law reform in the Seanad. Mr. Hugh Mohan SC is advising the sub-committee.

I will go through some matters from Mr. Justice Barron's report to give some context to our deliberations. Three persons, George Bradshaw, Thomas Duffy and Thomas Douglas, were killed and 185 persons injured as a result of the Dublin bombings. The first of the Dublin bombings was at the Film Centre cinema on 26 November 1972. Mr. Justice Barron in his report stated:

The bombing took place during a period of intense unrest in the State, in which the Government seemed to be exhibiting a new severity in its dealings with republican subversives. The forced closure of Provisional Sinn Féin's office at Kevin Street, Dublin in October caused some controversy; but matters were brought to a head with the arrest of the Provisional IRA leader Seán MacStiofáin and his ensuing hunger and thirst strike. The day before the bombing saw massive demonstrations in the city centre and an unsuccessful attempt by armed men to seize MacStiofáin from the Mater Hospital. When taken together, these events could have provided the motive for an attack which ordinarily would not have been contemplated by republican subversives. This is particularly so if one considers the possibility that the bombing was carried out by a small number of republican paramilitaries without authority from the Official or Provisional IRA leadership.

Mr. Justice Barron concluded in relation to the Film Centre bombing that:

Although the information available to Gardaí and to the Inquiry does not point to any particular suspects with certainty, it seems more likely than not that the bombing of the Film Centre Cinema was carried out by republican subversives as a response to a Government ‘crackdown' on the IRA and their associates.

In relation to the bombings at Eden Quay and Sackville Place on 1 December 1972, the Dáil debate on the Offences Against the State (Amendment) Bill started on 29 November of that year. The contents of the Bill and the distinct possibility of a defeat for the Government leading to a general election, had been the subject of media attention for some days previously. Mr. Justice Barron stated: "It is quite possible that the bombs were planted in order to influence the debate on the Bill."

Mr. Justice Barron concluded:

There is no evidence to suggest that the IRA or any other republican group were involved in the attacks. There is evidence that the IRA had access to considerable amounts of Ammonium Nitrate and Sodium Chlorate and there is little doubt that the UVF, UDA or similar groups could also have obtained such explosive substances without undue difficulty.

He continued:

There are some aspects to the attacks that were not characteristic of loyalist subversive groups at that time: the giving of a warning, the coordinated nature of the blasts; the use of hired vehicles; the use of a stolen licence to hire these vehicles, and the apparent use of a car stolen four months previously. In addition, the political context in which the attacks took place has led to speculation that members of the British Army or Intelligence Services may have instigated, assisted with or even carried out the attacks.

Mr. Justice Barron continued:

These features may be consistent with involvement by the British Army or Intelligence Services in the bombings. However, the circumstances are not so unique, or even unusual, that they would reasonably exclude the involvement of other groups.

He continued:

Before any finding of collusion in a specific instance can be made, two requirements need to be met.

Firstly, there has to be credible information identifying individual members of the security forces as having been involved. That would establish collusion on an individual level. The second requirement is that evidence which shows that that collusion was officially sanctioned would be needed. On the information available to date, credible and reliable evidence in respect of both of those requirements is absent in respect of the bombings of 1 December 1972.

He concludes: "While suspicions linger, evidence has not been forthcoming to take it beyond that".

In regard to the Sackville Place bombing of 20 January 1973, Mr. Justice Barron concluded:

There is no substantive evidence linking the bombing of 20 January 1973 with any particular group or groups. The fact that the hijacking of the bomb car took place in a loyalist area of Belfast suggests that loyalists rather than republican paramilitaries were responsible. Confidential information obtained by gardaí suggested that responsibility lay with the UVF, but no evidence was found to confirm this. Nor was there any evidence to suggest the involvement of members of the security forces in the attacks.

In the murder of Brid Carr on 19 November 1971, British army personnel were involved in erecting ramps on the Lifford-Strabane road on the Strabane side of the British customs post. Fifteen shots were fired at the troops from a position on the State side of the Border. British army soldiers returned fire. Mr. Justice Barron concluded: "It seems clear that Brid Carr met her death as a result of gunfire coming from the State side."

In regard to the death of Oliver Boyce and Bríd Porter at Burnfoot, County Donegal on 1 January 1973, the inquiry states "it is likely that whoever shot and stabbed the deceased had a connection with the UDA".

At 10.01 p.m. on 28 December 1972 a car bomb exploded in Fermanagh Street, Clones, County Monaghan. Two men were seriously injured. At 10.28 p.m. another car bomb exploded on Main Street, Belturbet, County Cavan. Two people were killed. Eight more were severely injured. The victims who died in Belturbet were Patrick Stanley, 16 years, of Clara, County Offaly, and Geraldine O'Reilly, 15 years, of Drumacon, Belturbet, County Cavan. Finally, at 10.50 p.m., a bomb exploded at Mullnagoad, a village near Pettigo, County Donegal. No one was injured. The report of the inquiry also makes reference to other bombings in the State from 1970-74 at St. Johnston, Lifford, Carrigans, Bridgend, Clones, Cloughfin and Pettigo.

Today in module 1 of our hearings the sub-committee will hear from individual members of families who have suffered bereavement and from surviving victims of the atrocities. The contributions of these victims are invaluable to the work of the sub-committee and I sincerely thank them for their attendance this morning. The sub-committee wanted to commence by hearing from the victims in order to place them at the centre of our work.

The second module will deal with the historical and political context of the time. In the third module we will be assisted by the Minster for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, the Garda, officials from the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform and the Army. Mr. Justice Barron has also agreed to make himself available to address questions on his report to assist the sub-committee. It is intended that the hearings will commence each morning at 9.30 a.m. and conclude at noon.

In respect of the procedures and for the benefit of those present, it should be noted that the sub-committee is bound by its very precise terms of reference beyond which it will not stray. In particular, the sub-committee is not conducting an investigation of its own into the terrible events that happened in the State from 1970-74, nor is it seeking to apportion guilt or innocence to any person or body. It has neither the jurisdiction nor the legal authority to perform any such function. We ask everybody appearing before us to respect the fact that we cannot stray beyond our terms of reference. Everyone who will appear here today will do so on a voluntary basis and we thank them most sincerely again for their attendance on that basis. The sub-committee is very concerned that any person who appears before it is fully aware that he or she is not entitled to any form of statutory or parliamentary privilege. While members do enjoy certain parliamentary privilege in respect of these proceedings, those attending and assisting us do not enjoy that same privilege.

The sub-committee expresses its gratitude to Mr. Justice Barron for the work he and his staff have done in producing the report we are now to consider. I invite Mr. Cormac Ó Dúlacháin to make an opening statement.

Mr. Cormac Ó Dúlacháin, SC

Thank you, Chairman. It is my pleasure to appear with Mr. Micheál O'Connor on behalf of the Duffy, Bradshaw and Douglas families today, and the Stanley and O'Reilly families who will appear before you tomorrow. We appear on behalf of victims of three fatal bombings that occurred in December 1972 and January 1973. These victims have much in common. Their loved ones were killed or they themselves were injured in criminal atrocities that had a confirmed cross-Border dimension. In all cases, the detection and prosecution of those responsible were dependent on the co-operation and actions of two police forces but no one was arrested, charged or convicted and no one has served one day in prison. If anyone were to be convicted, the period of imprisonment they would now serve would in all probability under the provisions of the Good Friday Agreement be insignificant.

The relatives here today appreciate this opportunity of coming before this committee and the function this committee is discharging. In the turmoil of the politics of the last six months it is sometimes forgotten that the Good Friday Agreement contained a commitment to address the needs of the victims. What is happening in the coming days is part of that process.

In some respects, the Good Friday Agreement was non-specific as to how the needs of victims were to be addressed. There was no formal truth process. There was no formal commitment to a truth process. Even in the latest round of discussions and negotiations leading from Leeds Castle, there was a feeling that, to a certain extent, victims were being left behind. This hearing is an opportunity to bring the focus back on the suffering that occurs when politics fails and affords an opportunity to hear from and about victims in circumstances other than political debate or argument.

We appreciate the work that started with the Victims' Commissioner, John Wilson, and the work done by Judge Barron but there is a selectivity to the process. All the victims here are conscious that there are other victims for whom no reports have been prepared and who have never been invited to appear before any committee. They are not appearing today in any sense that they feel they are more important than any other victim. They appreciate the suffering of all those victims. The families will speak for themselves.

What we have sought to do with and in assisting Justice for the Forgotten is assist this committee with this inquiry by clarifying matters we believe this committee can further by questions it can raise with witnesses who will appear in the coming days. There are a number of things we would ask the committee to do. We are conscious that the Barron report does not outline in great detail the source material and ask this committee to consider whether it should have far more information, whether it should have sight of the correspondence that passed to and from Judge Barron from official bodies, whether it should be aware and have a list before it of the people he met and those who assisted him, and of the files, particularly the files shown to Judge Barron. It is important to establish exactly the nature of information to which these families are entitled and how they should receive it.

We ask the committee to look at specific issues of concern that arise from the Barron report. We hope later today to furnish to the committee four observation papers, one dealing with each incident and one dealing with the question of non-co-operation.

I will turn to the question of non-co-operation. The non-co-operation of the British Government is a grave political issue because it does not concern the actions of a government 30 years ago but the actions of the current British Government and the obligations of that Government under the Good Friday Agreement. Ultimately, it concerns that Government's current commitment to the rule of law. This process is still part of an investigative process; it is a process trying to establish the truth as to criminal actions and criminal atrocities that occurred. There is now emerging a pattern and a policy of non-co-operation with official inquiries established by this Government that involve any investigation of allegations of collusion. This committee made recommendations which the British Government has chosen to ignore. The families here today want to know whether there is the political will to pursue those matters.

With regard to the investigation that happened in 1972 and 1973, the report outlines an extensive and wide ranging investigation into the bombing on 1 December 1972. It reveals the rigour that was applied by the gardaí, the inquiries they conducted in Northern Ireland and in England and the application of considerable resources in the days that immediately followed the bombing. However, when one looks at the investigations into the bombing in Belturbet on 28 December and in Dublin on 20 January 1973, certainly from the detail in the Barron report, the same urgency and application of resources, use of contacts with the RUC and trips to Belfast and other places does not appear. It is important for us to clarify whether that is so or whether there is more detail available on those investigations, particularly given that there seems to have been a considerable degree of co-operation between the gardaí in Donegal and the RUC in Derry regarding the murders that occurred outside Buncrana.

With regard to the investigations, we are also concerned that lessons were learned about forensic examination of bomb sites as a result of the 1972 and 1973 bombings but those lessons do not seem to have been applied when the forensic examination of the bombings in May 1974 occurred. They are an example of matters that are to be explored and we will have an opportunity tomorrow to outline them.

The issue of collusion has loomed large in the minds of the families and it is a matter that this committee has considered. We are concerned that this report raises further issues relevant to it. We are also conscious that the Barron report into the Dundalk bombings of December 1975 will add further to those concerns. In that instance, the spectre of collusion that hangs over these atrocities has to be dealt with. If the recommendations that this committee makes are not acted upon, maybe it will be time for the committee itself to fill that void as best it can. We are concerned that Mr. Justice Barron did consider to some degree the question of various events that occurred in Dublin in December 1972 in relation to Garda files coming into the possession of people who were working for the British authorities and connections to people such as Kenneth Littlejohn involved in other affairs earlier in the year.

We are concerned that aspect has not been fully explored in the Barron report. The members of the committee may well be aware that in the official secrets trials that took place in 1973, the nature and extent of the files that had been taken from the Irish authorities and passed to the British authorities were never disclosed. They were not disclosed in the trial because the Minister for Justice at the time deemed that the files had to still remain secret and could not be used in a public trail. The question that arises is whether it is now time to lift that veil of secrecy. Is it now time that this committee should know definitively what happened in December 1972 and whether there is any connection, tenuous or not, between those events and other unlawful events that occurred at that time?

We are also concerned that a veil of secrecy still prevails in relation to State files. Various files have become available in the National Archives under the 30 year disclosure rule but recent inquiries conducted by Justice for the Forgotten have revealed an extensive range of Department of Justice files that have not been disclosed. There may be good reasons for the non-disclosure but not alone have the files not been disclosed but there is a refusal to disclose the names of the files, the number of files and the file numbers. That is in the context where in the last report by this committee there was a concern as to whether files were missing. That is a matter that, in the public interest, the committee might wish to clarify with the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform.

I will conclude by indicating that we want this committee to consider a number of recommendations. First, we want the committee to consider whether it should extend the invitation to hear victims to a broader range of victims than those who have been the subject of atrocities that have been examined by Mr. Justice Barron and whether there are others who need to be brought into this process in the absence of any other process being open to them and in the absence of a truth commission or such entity.

We also want the committee to consider and to engage with the Garda Commissioner to agree how information in relation to past atrocities should be made available to the victims or whether it always has to be done through a process such as a Barron inquiry. Is there not some other mechanism or methodology whereby victims have a right to know, years later, what was pursued and what was the outcome of inquiries?

The third aspect is, if no further progress can be made with other governments in relation to investigations and collusion, we ask this committee either to establish a sub-committee or to reconvene later this year to consider all the evidence that has emerged from the Barron reports. We would be quite willing to come back to this committee in September for three to five days and outline our understanding of all that information and bring it all together and let the committee do the best it can do at that stage.

Fourth, it is an opportunity to reflect generally, in relation to the Good Friday Agreement, on how victims' issues will finally be addressed and whether, on a larger scale, there is something both governments and all parties need to do to address the needs of victims and to know the truth of what occurred. Thank you.

Thank you, Mr. O Dúlacháin. I will now invite Mrs. Monica Duffy-Campbell, Mr. Tom Duffy and Mr. Paddy Duffy, who are surviving relatives of Tommy Duffy who was killed in the bombings, to make a statement. After you have spoken, Deputy Hoctor and Deputy Finian McGrath will pose some questions on some of the matters you discuss.

Mrs. Monica Duffy-Campbell

My husband, Tom, was murdered on 1 December 1972 in Sackville Place. At that stage I had one little girl and I was expecting my son Tom; I was four months pregnant at the time. My life has changed beyond belief since that night. My husband at the time was 24 years of age. He was a young, vibrant, happy go lucky, hard working, loving husband. He went out to work full of expectations and life, full of what the future might hold for us as a couple and family. The next time I was to see Tom was in a coffin in the North Strand following the bombings of 1 December 1972.

For many years I was not able to come to terms with the enormity of what happened to Tom. It was easier for me to not think about it. It was just too big for me to handle. Over the last ten years I have been in counselling and to this day I continue with counselling to help me to come to terms with the enormity of what happened to Tom and the awful way in which he died. My son, Tom, has come on board with me into Justice for the Forgotten to lend support and, in fact, he has been involved for the past couple of years also.

I am glad to have the opportunity after 32 years to be here to speak to the Oireachtas committee. It has been a long 32 years but I am very glad to be here. I would ask the committee to consider some of the things that have come out in the Barron report, that have come to pass in recent months. I do not see any significant result for me, personally, in it. It asks more questions than it answers.

The Offences Against the State Act was defeated the week before Tom was murdered. That Bill was passed a couple of hours after the event on the night that Tom died. I will believe until the day I die that the British Government, or British agents, were involved in the death of my husband. I am quite astounded that the British Government has not even had the courtesy to reply to letters for this Barron report when they were asked.

The one thing I would like the Oireachtas committee to do is to examine further why we did not get any information. The British Government is supposedly a friendly nation, we are not at war with it. Why did it decide to stand totally back from this and not give any answers? Why has it got to hide?

With the Barron report, no pressure could be put on the British Government. It was optional, it could answer if it wanted to answer; it need not if it did not wish. Of course, it chose not to. Why would it not? The assumption is that it must have something to hide. I ask the Oireachtas committee to find out why the British Government failed to get involved in this report. I also ask it, following these Oireachtas meetings, to put something in place following this, so that these Oireachtas hearings are not just something — we appreciate being here — to placate the families, just let it pass over and be the end of it. There must be some sort of follow-up.

I will go on fighting or pushing for the next 32 years for some truth. I cannot come to terms with this. I will not find closure and my family will not find closure until somebody stands up and says "OK, we think these people were responsible". I know in my heart they were. I am asking you, as our elected representatives, to help us come to terms and prove that.

Thank you very much, Mrs. Duffy-Campbell. I know it is very difficult for you. I appreciate what you have said. I will now ask Mr. Tom Duffy, who is the son of Tommy Duffy, if he wishes to contribute the next statement.

Mr. Tom Duffy

Good morning. Once again, I thank the Oireachtas sub-committee for giving us an opportunity to speak to you. For me, personally, it lends a certain legitimacy to our efforts, that we actually have people to face us, to talk to for a change, as opposed to writing out letters and not getting replies. I am quite grateful for it, thank you.

In terms of the impact of my dad's death on me and my family, it is quite odd. I grew up with a certain sense of normality. Although mum was not able to talk particularly about my dad and the events that killed him, there was a certain knowledge that flowed around our family about what happened to my dad that was never spoken of explicitly. It is only after many years of mum seeking counselling and us going through the process with Justice for the Forgotten that we have started to come to terms with it and have been able to speak outside our souls and our hearts of a loss that I personally have and that, although I never met my father, I carried with me for my life. I grew up in the environment of the event that had taken his life, that has scarred the family and, although I was not there for the event, the psychological scars were evident. This inability to talk was also matched by our inability to express ourselves outside the family and the lack of discussion about the events that took my dad's life and two other men, in and around December 1972 and January 1973.

As Mr. Cormac O Dúlacháin said earlier on, this veil of secrecy that existed for us personally and also socially, was an inability to talk. As we slowly but surely started going through the process of joining with Justice for the Forgotten and trying to contribute to Mr. Justice Barron's report, facts have started to bubble up. We have started to manage to grasp and make real — that is for me personally — some of these unspoken truths, that for us are truths. Unfortunately, the phrase that jumps to mind for me is that history is written by the victors. To some extent I understand that desperate people take desperate measures when they feel they have a cause to fight but I do not understand when people make cold calculated political decisions that affect people's lives.

Ultimately, what I feel about this process is that by us taking this on board, JFF coming on board with this and the Oireachtas signing up to it, we get an opportunity to let history be rewritten by the efforts of a loving, caring society and people who show that these events, which we kept hidden for so long, do matter to us personally and socially. The anguish we have gone through as a family is not in vain, and we learn as a society ultimately that while stuff may not have been mentioned in the past we have an ability now to speak about it, move forward, learn from it and become better people for it. That sounds like a grandiose statement but that is what I feel about it.

Thank you very much, Tom. I now invite Paddy Duffy, who is a brother of Tommy Duffy, to contribute.

Mr. Paddy Duffy

Good morning. My name is Paddy Duffy, I am a brother of Tommy Duffy. I will speak first about the psychological effects it has had on the whole family. This House could not understand the effect it has had on the family. There has been a total change and I think Tommy has hit on it in that we have been totally unable to communicate in some way. I think people have not been able to speak about what has happened. It is only in the last two or three years, with counselling, that for the first time people have been able to speak about this. I have to acknowledge Justice for the Forgotten, because through them counselling has been sought and something has been done. What I find very strange is that you wait for 32 years to get counselling. I feel there is something wrong within the system itself.

Mr. Chairman, in your introduction you spoke about the truth and said it should be sought through this House or through this committee. We have waited 32 years for truth. I wish you well in seeking the truth but as regards the British authorities and the British Government — and they are friendly neighbours — I do not think it is going to be forthcoming at this stage because if you backed back for 32 years you obviously have something to hide. There has been no co-operation so far at all from the British Government and I find this very strange. It is so strange that it is actually sticking out a mile that there is something to hide.

The other matter concerns the files that have not been disclosed by our own people. There is also a huge question around this for us. If there are files there that have not been revealed then there is obviously something very wrong in that system as well.

With regard to the missing files — if they exist — somebody must be answerable for those also because in one's walk of life and one's work, one must take responsibility. It appears that somebody has failed to take responsibility in this regard. I thank the committee.

I thank Mr. Paddy Duffy and call on Deputy Hoctor.

I welcome Mrs. Monica Duffy-Campbell and Tom and Paddy Duffy, to whom I express my deepest sympathy, even if I do so after 32 years. I also welcome the members of the families who are with us today. I assure them that we value their presence.

Mrs. Duffy-Campbell has stated she found it difficult to talk about this matter for a long period. Does she wish to relate to us now details of what occurred on the night of 1 December, particularly in terms of where she was when she heard the dreadful news?

Mrs. Duffy-Campbell

I just remember that it was a rainy night. I heard the bang. I lived in Artane at the time in the upstairs part of the house. My little girl was asleep. I cannot explain what came over me but I just knew that something bad had happened. Within a few minutes I felt something dreadful had befallen Tom, to the point where I went next door and relayed to them that something had happened to my husband. I stayed there and they tried to calm me down. The Miss Ireland contest was on television at the time and they invited me to watch it. However, I knew something awful had happened. I cannot explain what happened that night. Eventually a priest, a doctor and a garda called looking for me and I had no choice but to go in and confirm that Tom was one of the people involved.

The night he died somebody tried to help me by giving me an injection. It was too difficult for me to comprehend. I would be optimistic sometimes to the point of stupidity but I could not believe something awful could have happened to somebody so lovely in my life. I could not do so because I was four months pregnant with my son, Tom, at the time. I think I just switched off. There is one thing I remember which I have never really had the opportunity to relate. My house became crowded and lots of people came in. I heard somebody in the background say, "He will be a martyr." I did not want any martyrs, I wanted my husband. I did not want him to be a martyr and he did not want to be one. Anyone who thought like that at the time just did not know what they were talking about.

Deputy Finian McGrath is sharing this time slot with Deputy Hoctor. If he wishes to interject at any time, he may do so.

What subsequent supports came the way of Mrs. Duffy-Campbell? Did the health board or the Government intervene? What statutory bodies intervened afterwards?

Mrs. Duffy-Campbell

I heard nothing. I might as well not have been widowed at all. I heard nothing until I got the courage and the strength to join Justice for the Forgotten. Jack Lynch, the Taoiseach at the time, came and offered his sympathy. However, that is as far as it went. Nobody came to my door to offer me assistance or counselling, to ask me to talk about it or to inquire how they could help. A sum of money was given out at the time but that was the extent of the help I received. Otherwise, I had to live with it — I had to bury it in my head and my heart, rear my children and just put it behind me until such time as it could no longer remain hidden and had to come out. I received no help.

We are grateful that Tom and Paddy are with Mrs. Duffy-Campbell today. How is Mrs. Duffy-Campbell's daughter?

Mrs. Duffy-Campbell

She is fine but she is unable to talk about it at all. She will not discuss it.

I welcome Mrs. Monica Duffy-Campbell and Tom and Paddy Duffy and thank them for their submission. Before posing some questions, I express my sympathy to the family on the death of Tommy. They lost a father, a husband and a brother. This was a sad tragedy for them.

We are in the midst of a peace process, of which truth, reconciliation and justice are essential elements and of which it is important that the evidence our guests are providing this morning should form part. I wish them well in that regard. If there are any questions we ask which relate to matters which are too sensitive, they should feel free not to respond.

I feel strongly about some of the comments made by Cormac Ó Dúlacháin, particularly in respect of the fact that all of the victims must be involved in this process. We had 30 years of violence on this island and all the victims of that violence must be heard and accommodated. However, I am also of the opinion that there can never be a hierarchy of victims. All victims should be treated with respect and dignity and treated equally. I would like to see this form part of the process. I wish to ensure the voices of the families and the victims — citizens of the State and people from outside — are heard at these proceedings relating to the bombings in Dublin in 1972 and 1973. As an Independent Deputy, I assure our guests that they have my full support, sympathy and understanding. Above all, they can rely on my making a 100% effort to try to get truth and justice for the families of the victims of the bombings.

My first question relates to the reaction at the time. Will Mrs. Duffy-Campbell indicate how the extended family and the broader public reacted to the bombings in Dublin?

Mrs. Duffy-Campbell

I am not able to say how the broader public reacted at the time.

What about neighbours and the extended family?

Mrs. Duffy-Campbell

Neighbours, in so far as they could help, would offer to babysit, etc. We lived in an era in which nobody wanted to talk about this. My family wanted me to put it behind me very quickly. My father-in-law never spoke about it and was not even about to attend the funeral. He never spoke about it from the day Tom, his eldest son, died. People were not able to talk about it and were never given any help to allow them to do so. It is a pity it did not happen at the time. I am glad it has happened now for which I am grateful. We carried it for a long time on our own.

Who did Mrs. Duffy-Campbell think was responsible for the bombings at the time?

Mrs. Duffy-Campbell

I was not able to think. I put it to the back of my mind because it was too awful for me to think about it. I just knew he had died in that horrible way. I was not politically minded. I was 22 years of age. One does not think politically at that age or talk politics.

As regards what was happening in the North at the time which was awful, like everybody else in the South one hoped it would not come one's way and that the problems would remain on the other side of the Border. When it came my way, I was not able to cope with it and closed it off. I had no choice. I was expecting a baby for which I needed to care when it was born and for my little girl who had been left without her dad. I could not afford to allow myself to think about this too much. I needed to be there for them.

It was basically a case of survival for Mrs. Duffy-Campbell and her family in the initial stages.

Mrs. Duffy-Campbell

Yes.

I wish to deal with the broader political issues and address my subsequent remarks to Mrs. Duffy-Campbell and to Tom and Paddy Duffy. I refer to the broader political issues. Allegations of collusion were made in the Barron report. Does Ms Duffy-Campbell have a view on these allegations? Does she believe the British security forces were involved in the Dublin bombings?

Mrs. Duffy-Campbell

I believe there was collusion. I know this is not nice but I believe in some way the Irish Government in its own way has been involved in the collusion, in the way that they have never sought the truth about these bombings until now. They have never done anything. They were happy to hide it and they were happy to keep it under the carpet. They did not want to look into it. Maybe they did not want to fall out with the British Government. Whatever their fear was, I do not know but, in that way, I feel that both Governments colluded in it.

Does Ms Duffy-Campbell feel successive Governments lacked the political will to seek the truth?

Mrs. Duffy-Campbell

Maybe they just did not want to open a can of worms. I do not know. Certainly the Government at the time did not want to.

Mr. Duffy was involved in an art project, a sculpture in memory of the Dublin bombings. Will he explain its significance to the committee and its importance to himself and other victims?

Mr. T. Duffy

Last July we placed a sculpture on the path at Sackville Place as a memorial to the three men who were killed. I am a professional sculptor. Initially, I will speak in terms of how I relate to it. I talked earlier about this veil of secrecy among our family and this inability to talk about and share the events that killed my dad, in particular. I grew up with a massive void. My father was not there but there were also questions that were unanswerable and a certain void about my father, my history, where I came from and what led me to this point. I had no way of articulating that because of our inability to talk. I had no way to have any sort of relationship with my father or his memory that was not tied to the event that took his life.

In managing to make a sculpture, which is a particularly personal thing to me anyway, and turn my skills and God given gifts to make something concrete and have a concrete relationship with the memory of my father, it was a massive step for me personally in that it lent a certain weight of legitimacy to my father and the events that killed him. There was something definite there rather than a quiet word said in a quiet corner about how good your dad was and how he was a lovely man. I was not trying to relate to my father through other people's memories. I have created a direct link to something significant. The sculpture was as much about the celebration of the men's lives as it was about the event that took their lives and that was important.

In terms of making the sculpture, I feel as much as anything I was a facilitator for all of the family members in that we all wanted something definite, a place we could go to where there was a definite mark and something solid where we could meet and that it was not obviously ephemeral. It was not talk, discussions, meetings and phone calls and there was somewhere definite we could go and relate to these men.

Every year in or around 1 December, we place wreaths on Sackville Place as a memorial and we generally have a service. I was struck one day how within a couple of days those wreaths were gone and the memory was gone from that street. I wanted to do something that was personal to the families so that when they went, there was a definite mark there and those people had not been erased from history. The families did not talk about a definite format that the sculpture would take; we talked more about the emotions we wanted to impart and the memories we wanted to leave. Subsequently, once it was decided that I would go ahead and make it — I am truly grateful that the families allowed me to do it and I take great pride in it — the families were involved every step of the way and we now have something. While it is a public statement in that it is a piece of art in public, it is also a personal statement. There are personal resonances for us and we can relate directly to it. That event has been particularly significant for me in moving forward and getting on with my own healing.

The last paragraph of the conclusions on page 99 of the Barron report states: "Confidential information by Gardaí suggested that responsibility lay with the UVF but no evidence was found to confirm this". Does the family agree a more in-depth investigation is needed with broader terms of reference and compellability?

Mr. P. Duffy

I believe we need full co-operation from the British Government, including the UVF. It has been very obvious that they are hiding away from something. If you do not answer a question or do not co-operate for 30 years, there is obviously some reason. The Deputy asked earlier what was the feeling at the time of the explosions about who committed them. I still have the clippings of the newspapers of the time. One of the headlines says the IRA was responsible for this atrocity. That is a heading in a newspaper but I believe it is a lot more than that.

What would the family like to see happen next both in terms of the committee's work and the broader political context? What would it like the Taoiseach or the Minister for Foreign Affairs to do next in the political arena to assist the campaign for truth and justice for the families?

Mr. P. Duffy

They need to seek full co-operation through whatever means from the British Government, which has not been forthcoming.

I thank the Duffy family for appearing before the sub-committee. It has not been easy and I hope it has been helpful because it has been helpful to the sub-committee.

I welcome the Bradshaw family, which is represented by Lynn Cummins, a daughter of George Bradshaw, Ms Anna Bradshaw-Cooke, his sister, Mr. Pat Bradshaw, his brother, Ms Angela Connery, his sister, and Ms Rose Bradshaw-Brett, his sister. I invite them to make a contribution, which will be followed by questions from Deputies Costello and Ó Fearghail to further our knowledge of the events.

Ms Lynn Cummins

I did not know my father. I was three and a half when daddy was killed. Over the years a lot of people have told me about him and I wrote down some of the words before coming here today. He was very jolly, good fun, a great dancer, outgoing, a very decent man, a teetotaller — you would never think it if you met him out — and he had a great sense of humour. Mammy and daddy had been married five years when he was killed. They were still very much in love, full of dreams, plans and hopes for the future.

Daddy was not supposed to be working that night. He was covering a colleague's shift and was, unfortunately, in the wrong place at the wrong time. That he had been working for somebody else never upset me when I was growing up. However, I did wonder why he had not run the other way; life would have been so different. Mammy heard the bombing and waited for daddy to come home. Later, the gardaí called and mammy was never the same. She told me that for the first month it was a blur with people such as the clergy, bishops, neighbours and the Taoiseach, who said he would look after her, calling. She recalled him driving away with the promise of doing great things.

During that time somebody also called to my nanny — I am not sure whether it was when she was in Belfast or in Dublin — with a clear message that said: "It wasn't us." I do not know if that message was given to her in a note. As far as we were concerned it was a message from the IRA saying it had nothing to do with the bombing. That message came either by note or was said to my grandmother.

The funeral passed off and we returned to Dublin. My nanny and aunt Betty came to the House to take care of us. Mammy was in bed for much of the time. She could not believe what had happened. She described herself as being catatonic during those first few weeks. She told me that after about four weeks I said to her, "Get up", in a way that only a child can while not understanding what was happening. I wondered where my daddy had gone and why my mammy was so sad although I was delighted my nanny was staying with us. Mammy always said we lost a mother and father the day daddy was killed. It took me a long time to understand that. She said she was not able to be the mother she wanted to be. It was only in later life I could fully understand what she meant.

We sold the House in Dublin and moved to Fethard, where daddy was from, for a little while. We then moved to Belfast where my grandmother lived. My mother is from Belfast. It always struck us as ironic that while in Belfast in the 1970s we felt safe. We felt safe there because the bad thing had happened in Dublin where it was supposed to be peaceful.

Mammy went back to work but we were all the time watching her and being told not to upset her. It was like walking on eggshells, she was broken. When people said that I would say: "God, we haven't done anything; we're small children, we haven't done anything wrong but mammy is so upset." Mammy did seem to take to the bed a lot of the time because she was so distraught and out of her mind. She would go off for a drive in the car but, in fairness to her, she never went off without asking my nanny to take care of us because we were so small. She did not go out and never had another boyfriend. For mammy to remarry was totally out of the question. She was broken and no one could, in her mind, compare with daddy. He truly was the love of her life; she was so delighted to have met him and felt she would be comparing the two and that would be wrong. One can understand that.

Mammy went back to work. She did midwifery and worked in the Mater Hospital. She also lectured in the College of Business Studies. Life was quite good. As Tom said, we were children and although life was somewhat normal we knew there was something wrong. I watched television a great deal of the time and I firmly believed all daddies were like Charles Ingles from the "Little House on the Prairie". To my mind my daddy would have been like Charles Ingles. I really believed that.

Mammy was always at her happiest sitting in her armchair, drinking coffee, smoking and dropping the ashes where they fell. The coffee table beside was always full of books on gardening, nursing or alternative health. She was one of the most intelligent women I ever met, something which many people commented on. I use the term "was" because my mother is not well now. She has had a brain tumour for a number of years and that has affected her intelligence. If anything, the brain tumour has given her peace because it has taken away the awful upset she had for years. She is in a nursing home now. Mammy is still alive but her personality has changed.

We then left Belfast and returned to Fethard. We left Belfast because mammy received a phone call one night telling her to be careful or the same thing that happened to her husband would happen to her. We reported the call to the police who took it seriously because she was a widow of 30 years with two small children and there were not many single people with families in Belfast at the time. We were not involved in anything. It was clear mammy was a nurse going about her business and raising her children. Mammy did not believe the call was a prank and it set her back a great deal. We then moved back to Fethard with nanny a week before Christmas. That is where we are at today.

What upsets me the most is that mammy's life was also taken. She was so upset. It was ablackhole for me. I did not know George Bradshaw so I did not miss him but I missed knowing what it was like to have a daddy. I would have loved to have known what it was like to have a daddy. There was something missing in our house. Mammy did the very best she could and I am grateful to her for that.

I have spent 30 years or more dealing with the effects of this bombing. The loss and sadness never goes away. When something like this comes up, it brings it all back. I am grateful that at last somebody is listening to us. Before, we could not and did not speak about it. We did not talk about it even though we had done nothing wrong. I am grateful for this opportunity. Thank you.

I thank Lynn for her moving contribution. It is clear you have suffered over the years.

Ms Anna Bradshaw-Cooke

George was one of 13 children. We lived in Fethard and had great times growing up together. While we never spoke outside about George, he was talked about morning, noon and night at home with mammy and the rest of us. Our father died the same year and mammy was so upset she could not go to George's funeral; she just could not stand. There were 13 children in the family and we miss George and wonder why he died. We come here today seeking some answers. We would like to know why this happened. George was in the canteen and went to Sackville Place where he was hit with the full force of the bomb. While other people get to see the body of their loved ones, we never saw George again.

When my oldest brother, my husband and I went to Dublin to identify him, we were not allowed in. We did not fully realise at the time what had happened. However, we were stopped at the gate of the morgue and turned back. It was only when we sat in the Garda car afterwards at Lynn's mother's house in Sutton — Lynn is our niece — that we fully realised how bad things were. The main thing in our mind then, apart from Kathleen at home in Sutton, was how mammy was and what we would say to her when we went home. Today happens to be our father's anniversary. To cut a long story short, when we went home mammy was sitting at the fire. All the rest of our sisters and brothers were there. We are a family of eight sisters and four brothers and George. Mammy looked at us and asked: "What was he like?" We looked at each other. We decided we had better say what we had planned coming home in the car. We said: "He was all scratched and bruised, but he was himself." That satisfied her for the moment and made it just a bit better for her. Mammy was a young woman, only 56 at the time. In all the years it has affected every one of us, each in our own way. I might feel it one way and my brother or sister will feel it another way.

After that mammy never wanted to be on her own and any time we went any place she was worried and warned us to be sure to do this or that and be careful. I suppose George had only left home — we call Fethard home — a year and ten months. He had spent the November in Fethard. He was George the happy-go-lucky, jolly fellow with all the chat and jokes from Dublin. We were delighted to see him and that was always the case, but down through the years since, we felt we were on our own.

When we began to grow up and have our own families George was always talked about. We would ask why it happened and who was there for us. We always blamed the Bill that was being introduced in the Dáil and felt that was the reason it happened. It always annoyed us that down through the years and all our lives, for 32 years after the bombing, Jack Lynch's Government and successive Governments through the years never bothered or did anything about it. They swept the issue under the carpet all these years.

The committee should ask itself where do people like us go for justice. I remember one day when we went and met Judge Barron when we had joined with Justice for the Forgotten. He asked why it took us so long to go about it. We looked at each other and asked what we were supposed to do, who was there to help us or where would we go. We had no help from anybody — nothing. At this stage we would love answers. We want justice. We want to know why. We want to know why a young married man with children, who was a son, a brother and a husband, was killed. As our brother in a family of 13 children, the members of the sub-committee can imagine the loss to us.

Thank you. There is certainly a vacuum in your life after George.

Mr. Pat Bradshaw

I wonder why Governments did nothing about it down through the years. After all, George was a taxpayer, the same as anybody else. He did no harm to anybody. He worked his way up from being an ordinary labourer to a job on the buses in Dublin in an effort to better himself. However, it all ended very fast for him. I wonder whether the situation would have been allowed to go on for 32 years if it had been the brother, sister, father or mother of one of the political people in power at the time. I doubt it very much. It is very annoying to be still here today trying to air and find out the truth.

Thank you.

Ms Angela Connery

I can only follow on with what Anna, Pat and Lynn have said because we all feel the same. It is hurtful. Today being the day it is, it is difficult. I would love to say more, but I am not able to.

Thank you, Angela. Perhaps you will have something to add later.

Ms Rose Bradshaw-Brett

I never say anything about George because when I think of him, I feel so sad that I can hardly mention his name. He was so young and had such a droll sense of humour. He was a fun-loving person who hated injustice to any human being, no matter who they were. He knew very little about politics or how it works, just as I too know little about it or how it works.

We all suffered. Daddy died in January and then George was murdered on 1 December 1972. George was a great comfort to my mother each time he visited during that year when daddy died. She had it hard enough with 13 of us without George being murdered on 1 December 1972.

Around 8 p.m. every Friday it is always Friday, 1 December. If his anniversary falls on a Wednesday, it does not matter to me; it is always Friday, 1 December 1972. I have had counselling over the years to try to deal with George being taken from us. I have been told by counsellors time and again that there is light at the end of the tunnel. It is a hell of a long tunnel if it takes 32 years to see the light at the end of it. That is all I have to say about it.

Thank you Rose. I now invite Deputies Costello and Ó Fearghail to join in dialogue with the Bradshaw family.

I thank Lynn, Anna, Pat, Angela and Rose for their moving testimony. We appreciate their courage in coming before the committee after all these years to talk to us in such an open manner. It is sad that it has taken over 30 years and that we have had to move into another century before Parliament or the State has been able to find a forum to provide them with the opportunity to make their statements. I am sorry they have not been able to do it until now.

It must be painful and traumatic for the family in the absence of answers to articulate the experience of those years. To some extent we are here to give the family the opportunity of saying what they have to say. We are looking at all the forgotten of the 1970s who were victims of atrocities. We produced a first report last year, are conducting a second one now and will have a further one later. We hope the Bradshaw family will be able to give us some assistance on the way forward and how we can provide solutions to the problems that have existed for so long.

My first question relates to the statement Lynn made and reiterated by the others that the Taoiseach said he would do great things but that very little happened and, as Anna said, nobody was there to help. Can the family tell us what exactly it was like for them with their mother raising 13 children? What was it like for mother, brothers, sisters and daughter? Please elaborate a little more on the experience.

Ms Bradshaw-Cooke

About our family?

Ms Bradshaw-Cooke

I suppose at that stage the youngest in our family was 14 and then up along the line to the oldest. It was very hard. We lived so happy together, we had a very happy childhood, running the fields and all different things. We just could not believe what happened. We just could not believe we would never see him again. If he had died like daddy did, which is what we used to say, if he had even died like daddy had died, at least we would see him and say our goodbyes, but we just never saw him again and I think that was very hurtful through the years. This day I suppose when we talk about it, we can see him as he was, as a young man.

I did a piece for The Nationalist and Munster Advertiser a while ago and when people in Fethard saw the photograph of George, they said it brought back memories to them. They had not forgotten him but when they saw the photograph it put a face back on the fella that they knew, going to dances and going here and there and even living his married life and coming back to Fethard to visit them. He came back every six weeks, he came back as much as he could but it was only a year and ten months before he was gone. That gave us a big shock as well, that he was so little time gone. Even though he lived on the green in Fethard with Kathleen and Lynn at that time and then Rory was born in Dublin afterwards, we still called that “home”, we still called that Fethard. There are so many of us married in Fethard, eight of us are married in Fethard. As mammy used to say when we were growing up — my Daddy would come in and say, “Where are the lads?”, she would say, “They are all out playing just like Brown’s cows”. We were really a happy-go-lucky family but that definitely did something to every one of us. From the day it happened it was not the same, it was never the same again in our house.

What sort of contact was there between the State and State agencies with the family or any members of the family from that time?

Ms Bradshaw-Cooke

There was nothing, we did not see anybody at all. I would say not even TDs called to see mammy, or even councillors. The neighbours were great and we are a very long-tailed family. Mammy was not short of visitors but not a sinner ever, ever called to Drumdeel to us as we were growing up, nobody.

Nobody offered counselling or any support?

Ms Bradshaw-Cooke

Nobody.

Ms Cummins

It was a different time then. Now we are so open to try new things. It was the start of the Troubles, people were in shock. I do not know whether services like that were available at the time. As they became available, was it felt that it was so long ago and they may have just got on with things but we didn't. It is 30 years on and you can see the hurt in everybody here.

Ms Bradshaw-Cooke

I was asked one time would I like to go for counselling. I just looked at the person who asked me and I just said, "What do you want me to do, go back and cry for ten years more by bringing all that out again?", because that is what happened. We would go down to mammy and she would be so sad. Every one of us were so sad. Apart from asking about counselling, I do not think even at this stage. I never had counselling, I do not want counselling. I do not want to go back and make myself just more miserable than I am. I come up here and say something but I am not in the habit of being in these circumstances and I say, "God, what is all this about?" If we had just got answers years ago. Maybe if they had looked into the 1972 and 1973 bombings, the 1974 bombings might never have happened. I cannot understand why they did not just look. At that particular time, as Lynn mentioned, Jack Lynch went out to Kathleen's house and he shook hands. What good is that? He turned his back, swept it under the carpet like successive Governments did down all through the years. They just do not want to know about it.

Was there a feeling that you had been forgotten during all those years?

Mr. P. Bradshaw

We were forgotten, completely forgotten. The Governments of the day did not want to know us or anything about us because there must have been something they wanted to hide and that is why nobody ever bothered with us or anybody else either.

What is your view of whether or not there was collusion or involvement?

Mr. P. Bradshaw

I reckon there was collusion somewhere along the line and that is why they did not want anybody to do anything about it or us to do anything about it.

Do you think it was collusion by the State as well as by the British?

Mr. P. Bradshaw

I would think so, yes.

Ms Cummins

I was brought up to believe it was and obviously is such a political incident, the fact that no co-operation has been forthcoming. That is why I was told the chances of getting anything done is so difficult until people on both sides of the water put up their hands and account for themselves. It is all inside. It is one of these incidents that until an answer is given, it will continue to raise its head. For years every so often it will continue. With the Barron report and this hearing today, the political awareness is now there. People are becoming much more involved in it and they realise that after 30 years there should be closure on it. Whatever happened at the time, surely after 30 years they can start to admit what happened on both sides and maybe put a bit of closure on it and give the people peace at last.

I have one final question. Ms Lynn Cummins referred to a wish for closure and answers.

Ms Cummins

I really do.

Would anybody care to say what they would like the committee to do and how it might be of assistance in this matter?

Ms Cummins

If the Government can gather enough momentum to compel the English Government to give answers. I am not saying whether they are or are not involved. If they are not involved some questions could be very easily answered. If they are saying it could have been intelligence or SAS or whoever came in, they will have those records on file. One letter and one sighting of the movements of their people at the time will answer the question. They were either involved or not involved and then we can go in a different direction maybe and find out. They have the records.

I wish to join with my colleagues in extending a warm welcome and my sincere personal sympathy to all the bereaved family members and the victims who are with us. I hope the process will help move their suffering on to some sort of resolution and conclusion. One would want to be made of stone not to be moved by the submissions we have heard today.

With regard to George Bradshaw, how long was he working with CIE, how did he come to have that job and how was it he came to change the shift on that day?

Ms Cummins

He was working in the creamery and then he got a job in CIE and Mammy and Daddy moved up to Dublin. They bought their house in Offington and Rory, my younger brother, was born then when they moved to Dublin. He was a year and ten months in Dublin. He was doing a favour for a friend.

Ms Bradshaw-Cooke

I think it is called, in CIE terms, being on stand-by. If someone does not come on duty to drive a bus, another is paid to come on stand-by. He might have to go home if the man he is standing in for turns up. Naturally anyone wishing to better themselves or have a better lifestyle would go on stand-by and equally do their own job when the time came. George happened to be only in Dublin a year and ten months, delighted with life and delighted with the extras and delighted with things the way they were going. Kathleen and himself got on famously. Kathleen was an only child and we were a family of 13. She was going up the stairs one day and she put her hand here and she said, "Oh, I am so happy". It was shortly afterwards that her happiness was gone forever and definitely gone forever because she loved him and he loved her. One would have to be with the family, the 13, to know the ins and outs of where they go and what are they doing and Kathleen was involved then. She had 13 all of a sudden. Where are they going and what are they doing went on still.

One day we sat in the public Gallery in the Dáil and we were delighted questions were being asked of the Taoiseach. I cannot remember who asked the questions about the 1972 bombings. This is my first opportunity to say this. I was so annoyed and have been annoyed ever since. The Taoiseach said, "That's a long time ago; I'm sure the papers are shredded." The few of us who had come just stood up and went out. We were all very hurt. Has he no feelings? It is hard to believe he could just say that.

Paddy Duffy just said that he had all the newspaper clippings since 1972. We have all the newspapers since 1972 — every single one of them kept. That was what we did. That was the only connection we had with what went on: anything we read in the newspapers. We clutched on to these newspapers to see what they said and what they did not say. That Bill was being brought in, and all that was going on. At the time the newspapers were full of reports of the SAS. To us, being down the country, the SAS meant nothing because we did not care what they did anywhere else. However, it brought home to us what goes on. Do people high up really care?

I believe Ms Rose Bradshaw-Brett said her brother was not really interested in politics. However, 1972 was a period of great unrest to put it mildly. Would George have had any sense of unease or fear about working in Dublin city centre at that time?

Ms Cummins

One night recently I was with one of my aunts preparing for this hearing. Apparently when Daddy was down in November he said to her, "Those bombs, if they come down South, I'm leaving; I'm coming home." He was very much like that. Definitely he would not have stayed. He definitely said in November, "if those bombs come down South, I'm going home."

Ms Cummins definitely gives the sense of having been totally abandoned by the State. What sort of communication took place between the family and the Garda in the aftermath of the murder? I could understand how a communications breakdown might have occurred between Dublin and Fethard. Does Ms Cummins know whether ongoing communications on the investigations took place with her mother?

Ms Cummins

No way — there was no communication. As far as I know even some of the inquests took place really shortly afterwards. Mammy was not able to go and Nanny went at the time. I do not know who else might have gone. However, there was no follow up. They were left on their own to get on with things.

Ms Bradshaw-Cooke

They were certainly left on their own, because the inquest, as MsCummins has just mentioned, was opened and adjourned. Some 32 years afterwards it seems the inquest will be opened again in February. However, in all those years they definitely did not want to know about it.

Mr. Justice Barron said that one of the striking features of the Garda investigation into the events of 1 December 1972 was the extent to which the Garda team was facilitated by its RUC counterparts. Were the witnesses aware of that co-operation at the time? What was their view at the time and what is their view now?

Ms Cummins

We were not aware at the time. In hindsight now I feel it was very easy for all parties involved North and South to co-operate with each other because they had nothing to hide. The RUC could quite easily come forward, hand on heart because it possibly had nothing to hide.

I thank the witnesses for attending and sharing their feelings, grief and distress. I hope it will help in some way to come to a resolution of the whole matter. We are very grateful. This evidence is very helpful to us.

Mr. Tommy Douglas was killed in a bombing at Sackville Place on 20 January 1973. I welcome Ms Maureen Douglas, a sister of Tommy, and Mr. Andrew Douglas and Mr. Martin Douglas, brothers of Tommy. I know they have travelled and gone to considerable trouble to get here, which we appreciate very much and I thank them. I will ask the witnesses to contribute and make a statement in whatever way they wish. Deputy Murphy and Senator Jim Walsh will share a dialogue with the witnesses after that, if that is acceptable. I ask Ms Maureen Douglas to commence.

Ms Maureen Douglas

My name is Maureen Noble. I am the sister of Tommy Douglas who was killed in Sackville Place. I would like to read out what I have to say if members of the committee do not mind.

Please do.

Ms Douglas

Tom was a decent kind thoughtful caring and fun-loving boy, who would do anything for anyone. He was well respected by everyone who knew him. He was enjoying living and working in Dublin and most of all he loved the people. I recently spoke to Tom's bus driver who was on duty on that fateful day and he described Tom as one of the nicest boys he had every worked with. That was Martin Lahey, who came from Ballinasloe. Martin was one of the last people to see Tom alive apart from the priest who gave him the last rites.

Tom had strong religious beliefs and he got engaged at the crib on the altar of his local church at Christmas in 1972. He made a last-minute decision to come home for that new year, 1973, for which the family and I are thankful. I remember him talking about the great plans he was making for the future. Little did we know at the time that 20 days later he would be dead. While he was making his plans, there were evil people out there preparing to destroy him.

Saturday, 20 January 1973 started off to be a typical winter's day. Little did I know that bad news was heading my way. In the early evening there was a knock on my door. There stood two of my brothers, Martin and Andy. I remember Martin saying, "There is no easy way to say this, Maureen, but we have had some bad news." Then he told me that Tom had been killed in a bomb explosion. I was numb, in shock and in a state of disbelief. The impact Tom's horrific death had on us as a family was enormous and absolutely devastating. In fact I was not affected until I saw him face to face in his coffin. A bit like St. Thomas, I needed to see to believe. It turned out to be the saddest day of my life and changed it forever. It has been a living nightmare ever since, not knowing who did it and why. The waiting and hearing nothing from any of the authorities did not help our heartache.

Now 32 years on we are no further forward. We still have no answers to so many questions. If it was not for our legal team and the Justice for the Forgotten group, we would not have any support at all. I do not like using the word "murder" — I do not like using it at all. Let us face it, nobody plants a bomb accidentally.

As a family, we have to fight on to get to the truth and justice. That is the least we can do for Tom. We owe it to him and our absent family members who have gone before us. We loved and lost a brother to be proud of, whom we loved dearly and sorely miss.

Thank you very much, Maureen. It is very difficult.

Mr. Andrew Douglas

Thomas was my brother. He was a year older than me. We were pretty close, not just in years. We were together quite a lot. We had a lot in common such as the things we did. I was delighted to see him coming home for the new year in 1972-73. At that time he did make it clear that if there were further bombings, he was going to return home. Unfortunately, it just so happened that the bombing was the one in which he was caught.

Thomas loved Ireland, as do the rest of the family. He loved it that much because his mother came from Achill, County Mayo. For his last act that particular day he was going to buy a newspaper for his mother — the Mayo News. When he was walking up Sackville Place, the explosion took place. It was horrendous in the house when we got the news. I remember it so clearly, even though it actually happened 32 years ago yesterday.

I have other problems with the Barron report. I do not think it is worth the paper on which it is written. I think it is a diabolical publication. For 32 years this country and the British Government — the brains between the two — were supposed to be tracking things that go on. As far as the report is concerned, there are ten lines relating to my brother and two massive mistakes. For a start they do not even get his age right. The other is that they had him coming out of a bookies when in actual fact he was going to Eason's to get a newspaper. If that is the result of the report — a cut and paste job from a newspaper article in 1973 — somebody has been wasting our time and getting money under false pretences.

Other stuff in the report is nonsense. There are more questions than answers. If someone is asked a question and they do not answer it, why is there not a follow-up question? That is what has happened in the report. For example — on page 74 of the report — there was a test tube found in the wreckage of the car which was taken away for analysis. There is no result of the analysis. Why are there no follow-up questions? Is there no audit trail anywhere in this country that can trace things back to where they are supposed to be? Who was the last person to have such a thing in their hands? Who was the last person to have a file in their hands? Is it just forgotten? Do they just file things and throw them away in a cupboard? That is the result of the report.

The things coming out in the report are unbelievable. Fingerprints were taken at the scene. Page 75 of the report refers to "various fingerprints" but does not say whose. It just says they related to one person. I do not believe that either.

You have got people from forensics; you have got ballistics experts. A ballistics expert was supposedly standing at the door of Eason's shop when he heard the explosion. He said he immediately ran over to Sackville Place. By that time, people who were there had actually moved the car bomb. I do not mean to say he should be an Olympic runner but for goodness' sake it is about 80 yards away. How could someone have moved — physically — a car by the time the ballistics expert got there? He got there but he says he does not know where the car was supposed to have been. I mean that is just rubbish.

The committee would like to receive a list of the questions it can put to the author of the report.

Mr. A. Douglas

Yes, certainly. I can give you the page numbers as well.

I would not like to continue in any way that might impugn the author of the report in any way, without those questions being actually put to him.

Mr. A. Douglas

Yes.

We would appreciate it if we could organise the handing over of those questions. We will put them to the author of the report.

Mr. A. Douglas

No problem. I will give you them.

As I have said, this has been the result after 32 years; this is the stuff with which we are served up. I do not believe there has been a thorough enough job in both nations. I think there have been failings in the Garda's investigations. I do not believe there has been another murder committed in this country or Britain where the investigation has been wound up after eight weeks. That is in the report as well. Basically, it was confirmed on 13 March that it was concluded.

We will certainly be asking questions about that.

Mr. A. Douglas

That was a murder. After eight weeks time was up. I think the whole thing is just incredible. I am afraid I cannot go on much longer on that particular line.

I thank Mr. Douglas. I call Mr. Martin Douglas who is another brother of Tommy. He is very welcome.

Mr. Martin Douglas

If I appear to be quite tired here today, it is because I have travelled through the night to get here on time. I will try my best to soldier on.

I am Tommy's eldest brother. I was 26 when he died at age 21. He died in the same street as his two colleagues who were killed seven weeks earlier, which in itself is quite a strange fact. There are not many towns and cities in Ireland, certainly Southern Ireland, and in Britain where murders happen in such close proximity and one comes up with the same result — nothing.

I remember Tom as very sensitive and well balanced. He had an old head on his shoulders. He was a very caring lad, a lad who was passionate about justice and peace. Many of his qualities we took for granted but it was later after his death that we heard from people we had never met before about his many acts of kindness. He was a thoroughly decent person for every minute that I knew him.

The final six months of his life were probably the happiest he ever had. He had just qualified as an electrician after a long apprenticeship, something about which he was really proud. However, as it was small, the firm could not keep him on and he looked for work locally. There was nothing doing in central Scotland at the time. He had a great love for Ireland and the Irish people.

We had had many holidays passing through Dublin where we had some friends and family but mainly in County Mayo and on Achill Island. He thought he would give Dublin a try. We were all a little worried because it was quite far for Tommy to go. We did not want him to go anywhere but he was brave and had great plans. He saw a great opportunity there — "I am going to be in a place that I know I am going to love and I know the loss for you will be easier because you love Ireland as well." He went off with our best wishes. That was the first big positive for him. He became an electrician and was well proud of it. Then he went to Dublin, another great positive. That was in August 1972. On 23 October 1972 he celebrated his 21st birthday, a milestone we all celebrate. That was celebrated in Dublin. He and Moira, his girlfriend, were engaged in Dublin, as Maureen said, at the crib of a local church. He was engaged at Christmas 1972. All these milestones in a short period of time. My life was not like that but he got them all in.

He made a surprise visit to see us at new year where he played with his only two nieces, my two girls, one aged 19 months, his godchild, and one three months. We had a great visit, speaking about his plans, with Moira showing off her engagement ring. Everything was wonderful. I almost envied his success and his plans. I thought "wow". The vitality and the success was just oozing out of him. Then, of course, a few weeks later he had gone. So, it was quite a six months he had, but he definitely went out on a high.

I have to agree with my siblings, my brother and sister, we have been devastated since then and it is not 30 years ago. We carry it inside. We are here today, we carry it. I think all our personalities changed in quite significant ways. So it has had that effect on us. We have carried it. It welled up even more five and four years ago respectively when my father and mother died because my mother just never got over Tom's death. It was almost a mortal wound to her. She was never the same again. We could not really talk about Tom but we would always go out and visit his grave every week and that is where she felt she was making a contact. She did that during 11 years, latterly when she was suffering from kidney dialysis and she could barely walk. That was the impact on our lives. It was significant then and it is significant now.

Where are we now? We are in a situation where as individuals we were getting nowhere for over 20 years, so we are grateful to Justice for the Forgotten and the legal team for bringing us to where we are today. We are grateful to the Government which has got involved as witnessed by the fact that we are here before this sub-committee today. It is a marvellous step forward and I am personally very grateful for that. I know that Mr. Justice Barron's hands were tied somewhat in what he did, but the report as far as our family is concerned is completely inconclusive and tells us absolutely nothing. It was devastating, as Andy said, to read the two glaring errors. It kind of puts a damper on the whole report for us, and you can understand that. We are grateful for all these things, but I feel we come so far — we get co-operation from the Irish Government — but then files are withheld still and files have gone missing, so we go so far and stop.

The British Government helped with the 1974 inquiry so we are optimistic they will co-operate with this one, but stop. It seems to be the pattern. We seem to get a little bit of something and then suddenly it all goes away. I was a civil servant in the British Government for 28 years, and files do not just go missing. Files are withheld for very good reason, but the good reason is rarely good for truth and good for democracy in my experience. So these things just do not happen, but if we parcel it all together there may be some consistency in the way things are wobbly, things are not quite the way they ought to be, things are very uneasy.

On Saturday I got a reply from my local MP in Preston in Lancashire. He is vice-chairman of the Conservative Party, and he is my MP, Nigel Evans. After the publication of the interim report, I just had to write to the MP for him to contact Tony Blair and ask why there was no co-operation with this inquiry. The expected bland reply came back signed "Tony", but we may be interested in the final sentence — the letter is dated 10 January — which says "It is entirely understandable that those who have suffered the loss of loved ones still yearn to find out what happened and the British Government is committed to doing what it can to give those people the best chance of achieving that." I have failed to get the question answered "What exactly are you doing?" Perhaps the Irish Government could ask Tony that question. With a bit more weight behind the question maybe you will get the specific answer that I was desperately trying to get.

Perhaps you will give us copies of that correspondence, Mr. Douglas.

Mr. M. Douglas

With pleasure, I will. That is all I have to say. Thank you very much.

Thank you very much. Before Deputy Murphy and Senator Walsh speak, I wish to point out that we are certainly happy to consider any questions you have regarding the report and to bring them to the attention of Mr. Justice Barron to enable him to deal with them. I am sure there is no wish to impugn the integrity of Mr. Justice Barron in any way. That is accepted and agreed.

I welcome Ms Maureen Douglas, Mr. Andrew Douglas and Mr. Martin Douglas and the other victims and relatives of victims. I want to be associated with the expressions of sympathy expressed by the Chairman and other members of the committee. It is very obvious that after 32 years a significant sense of hurt and loss continues to be experienced by everyone involved.

I have been amazed by the fact that most of the families received no help or back-up from any association or organisation in the early days and years. It took nearly 20 years before an organisation was formed to give them some consolation and support. Has that been the experience of the Douglas family?

Mr. M. Douglas

Yes. A small amount of money was paid to cover Tommy's burial and that was it. We heard nothing else thereafter from either the Irish Government or the British Government. The British Government did not get involved at all despite the fact that our brother was a British citizen. That did surprise and shock us. It just seemed that his death did not really matter as far as the authorities were concerned.

Ms M. Douglas

Yes, and it was so upsetting. What really happened was the weeks turned into months and the months turned into years. We kept waiting and waiting on word from Ireland. I gave up asking my mum "Have you ever had any word from anybody, mam?" I gave up because I could just see how upset she was. Although we were all upset, it was really getting to her and we just gave up, because there was nothing anyway. It was not for her to make the first contact.

Mr. A. Douglas

Could I just add that there was no medical assistance whatsoever. As far as my mother was concerned, she was not even given a sedative. There was no counselling and no doctor came to see her. There was nothing whatsoever, just this total sense of loss and we were left to get on with it.

It is difficult to comprehend the lack of caring. One would think in this day and age that better services would have been available. The failure of both Governments is completely inexcusable in the Douglas case.

Listening to people speak this morning, the general consensus appears to be that the report has raised more questions than answers, and from that point of view the families find it extremely unsatisfactory. The key issue that has been identified as having the potential to advance the report is full disclosure by the British Government and the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform of documents and files relating to the inquiry. If files are missing, we will need an adequate explanation and ultimate accountability.

Will the Deputy stick to questions?

It is possible that this committee can put some pressure on the appropriate individuals by insisting that all information available in this jurisdiction be made available to the committee. It appears highly unlikely from contacts made with the British Government that we can expect further co-operation. If that is the case, it is unlikely that we will reach a satisfactory conclusion on the relevant issues. In that event, do you have any suggestions as to the recommendations this committee could make to Government to bring a satisfactory outcome to the process?

Mr. M. Douglas

This is very difficult for us because I am certainly not too familiar with the machinations of the legal system and so on. I think our family always felt that some kind of a public inquiry at least may have had much more strength behind it and perhaps more authority to call people forward and demand files. I am not entirely sure how the public inquiry system would work but I understand it would be a much more open and more powerful approach where perhaps files that we know exist and are not being revealed could perhaps be teased out or demanded. I do not know, but it was something that we wanted. We felt it would be a much wider inquiry, a much deeper inquiry, a much more conclusive inquiry if it were an open inquiry, but I may be wrong in this. That is something I would welcome if that was the only way to move forward because we really have to move forward. To stand still is just to be surrounded with thousands of questions and nobody getting anywhere so something much more conclusive has to happen. Without any legal authority behind it we will still have problems.

Ms M. Douglas

It was not just the missing files. Clothes belonging to Tom conveniently disappeared as well. It was the gardaí at Store Street who were in charge. They were dealing with everything at the time Tom was killed. It is like evidence has been tampered with. His clothes that he had have been removed. Nobody knew were they went. They conveniently disappeared with files. The thing is nowadays there is forensics, DNA testing and different things. Even though it is 32 years on, evidence should never have been tampered with. There could have been something in his clothes that could have pinpointed somebody and they have disappeared. Anything belonging to him just seemed to conveniently disappear. We are hitting against a brick wall all the time, just struggling and struggling. That is what it has been like.

I join my colleagues in expressing my sympathy to you on your loss. While we are all conscious that in the order of 3,000 people died over the 30 years of the Troubles, your testimony and that of the other families this morning puts a human face on all that which is very important, particularly in relation to the senseless killing of many innocent people. It is said that time is a healer, but I sense from you and all the families that that is not the case. To what would you attribute the fact that time has not in some way eased the sense of loss and pain?

Mr. A. Douglas

The problem is there has never been closure. It is as if everyone else is just sort of meandering along and going through routines. There is no closure in this whole episode. I think that is what it is. It is just the sheer sense of injustice that is happening. We feel we cannot put anything behind us. We keep looking forward. Is there a reason? Are there answers? Who does have answers? It is not helpful when you can see that the questions are not being pursued in other areas. If someone some day puts their hands up, that would certainly help to ease the burden that we have been carrying for 32 years.

Ms M. Douglas

It was 25 years before I set foot on Irish soil again because I was living in fear, frightened to come back. I had many a happy childhood day in Ireland but for 25 years I would not come anywhere near it because I was living in fear for all those years after losing Tom like that. I was just frightened to come. That was the mark it left on us. It was only with the first chance to have peace that I thought I would try.

Mr. M. Douglas

In my view it is a tragedy if a young person is killed, say, by being knocked over by a bus. That is a tragedy and you can carry that loss all your life as well, there is no doubt about that, but if you still suspect that people know something about why Tommy died and they are not telling us, then it does not leave you at peace. You know there is something there, some information, somebody is hiding something or somebody is not being open about it and you really feel duty-bound to do something about that. You cannot just say that does not matter. It matters that somebody does not tell you so that really imposes on you a duty to find out what on earth it is all about.

We cannot rest until we have more information or find out why people are not coming into the open and revealing what happened to us. We could probably take it if they told us. We could probably accept it. We could probably understand how things were political at the time, but people still appear to be hiding and that cannot allow us to rest in peace. It just inspires us to go on and on. Somebody on the other side of the fence really has to ask themselves the question how can we make this family just settle down and accept it, and also with the other families involved here today.

That is something on which I think all the families, both this morning and at the previous hearings on the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 1974, would empathise with you. In that regard I was interested in the letter you received from the British Prime Minister through your MP. I remind you of remarks on pages 20 and 21 of Mr. Justice Barron's report which states that the inquiry wrote to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on 17 February 2003. It notes on page 21 that, as of 2 February 2004, 12 months later, "the Northern Ireland Office had not yet begun the process of searching for relevant documentation." It continues: "The Inquiry is surprised and disappointed at this lack of co-operation on the part of the British authorities." It goes on to state that information which the PSNI had and which it stated it would channel through the Northern Ireland Office was not made available. The committee has found that straddling both jurisdictions has been a significant problem for us.

Tom was a British citizen. On the previous occasion there were discussions about the possibility of pursuing a case through the European Court of Human Rights. If all fails, including pressure from the Irish Government, would you, perhaps through the Justice for the Forgotten group, consider pursuing that avenue.

Mr. M. Douglas

I would welcome that if that is the avenue we have to take.

Due to time constraints, I must move on to Pat Morrissey and Carol Garvey. I apologise to the witnesses.

Ms M. Douglas

Thank you very much.

I thank you very much. I know you travelled and that Martin, in particular, travelled through the night. I do not know about Andrew and Maureen.

Mr. A. Douglas

I arrived last night.

Thank you very much. Maureen, you came over from Scotland.

Ms M. Douglas

Yes. Thank you for giving us the time of day to listen. That is important to us.

We will certainly do that and on the questions raised, we will discuss them later with Cormac Ó Dúlacháin and we will meet Mícheál O'Connor. Thank you very much. I hope the meeting has been helpful. Witnesses should remain where they are.

We will now hear from Ms Carol Garvey, who is the wife of Mr. John Garvey who was a survivor of the bomb on 20 January 1973, and to Mr. Pat Morrissey, who is a survivor of the bomb on 1 December 1972. Ms Garvey told me she is nervous. I thank her for coming along today. There is no need for her to be nervous. She has listened to all the people who want to hear her story and how she feels.

Ms Carol Garvey

I am here because John is not here because he thinks we will all still be talking in another 32 years. I felt so strongly about him and what happened to him that I came in his place. If it is okay, I will just read out a synopsis of his life since his accident.

Before John had his accident he ran six or seven miles every day, played football for Naas and generally was a very athletic person. All this came to an end on 20 January 1973. John's life had irrevocably changed. The surgeon,Mr. Hederman, said that only that he was so fit, he would not have come through it at all. John and I have never been for a walk or a spin on a bike together. When we go away, I walk on beaches alone while John waits. He still misses the ordinary things in life we all take for granted.

When John had the accident he was in hospital for eight weeks. He had horrific injuries to his shoulder blade which required skin grafts and both legs and hands were injured as well. To this day he still has holes in his body from embedded shrapnel. In those days there was no such things as counselling. People were just left to get on with it. After trying to save his leg, the surgeon had to make a decision to amputate it as he was allergic to penicillin and things were not looking too good. After the amputation, he slowly began to pick up. He then returned home on crutches with no support from any of the services. Of course, he had the support of his family and I, being his friend at that time, used to call for him every day and take him for a walk on crutches with one leg for the best part of a year until he was fitted with an artificial leg.

That year was a tough one for him. His whole life had changed. His job was gone and he had no prospects. He could not see any future ahead of him. However, he is strong-willed and determined and, finally after three and a half years, he was offered a course in Ballyfermot from which he got a job in Kildare. He spent three years there before being made redundant. At that stage he was very depressed. He found it hard to get up every day. I had to collect his unemployment money for him as he was too ashamed to collect it himself. He was out of work for nine months and was very difficult to live with as he was so depressed.

John has never really spoken about his accident. He does not know how to express himself. He will not hear of counselling at this stage. He says it is too little, too late. He eventually applied to the Civil Service which was advertising positions and, thank God, he got a job where he has worked for the past 25 years. He has not had more than a month's sick leave in all those years. That is the sort of person he is — good and conscientious.

Over the years he had to watch his stump as he gets blisters which hinder walking, especially in fine weather. His hand and arm pain him in the winter. He walks with a stick at all times. When he is in the garden he has a brush with him to make people think he is sweeping instead of it being a support for him. People ask him how he is and he tells everybody he is fine but he suffers inside. He has nightmares a few times a year from which I have to wake him as he becomes fearful of people chasing and killing him.

His father died last year and his mother is partially disabled and needs attention at night. His sister who lost her husband at 45 looks after her during the day. I used to help John but I fell last summer and broke my hip and arm which left John very stressed trying to look after us all. He lost a lot of weight. I thought he would have a nervous breakdown.

Things are settling down a bit now but John feels that things are getting harder with the passing years. He has lived for 32 years with one leg. None of us realises what that means. Even I who lived with him did not really understand until I broke my hip and could not walk for seven weeks. I thought it was a lifetime but John used to say it would pass. Unlike in his case, my limp went away. I really understand his disability now. John always feels anxious and frustrated and finds it hard to relax and stay quiet. I just want a little bit of John's life to be recorded by this committee.

I thank Ms Garvey very much. I am sure John is watching and is very proud of her. Mr. Pat Morrissey is a survivor of the bombs. I invite him to make a contribution.

I will try to give an account of what took place on 1 December 1972. It was a day like all days and I was there. At about 8.30 p.m. I was in the CIE club in Earl Place. I had just sat down to have a meal. The people in there were requested to leave the building as there was a bomb scare in the area. I then proceeded to Earl Place from the club. I said "Hello" to a garda which took a few seconds. I then proceeded to the end of Earl Place and turned left into Sackville Place in the direction of Marlborough Street. I walked a few paces up the street and then the car bomb exploded. I was a distance of 30 ft. to 35 ft. away from the actual car bomb. The shock was really something devastating; it was like a KO punch. I was floored to the ground. I was dazed and shocked for some time. I then noticed I had a piece of metal shrapnel lodged in my left ribs which were bleeding. I also received minor cuts to my legs.

People were clearing immediately from the area and some people came and assisted me from there into O'Connell Street. They put me onto a privately hired bus which was going in the direction of the Mater Hospital. I was dropped at the Mater Hospital outside the casualty department. I struggled to make my way into the casualty department where I received medical attention. The metal shrapnel was removed from my left ribs. I was detained for a few hours and was later driven home in a car by a friend of mine. I should also mention that I was carrying a metal box at the time of the explosion which was later found with several holes in it from the blast of the bomb. I was out of work for a period of about two months.

Since that time I have suffered from claustrophobia. It affected the quality of my life over the last 32 years. On several occasions I had to get off crowded DART trains at peak hours. Believe it or not, and it might seem funny, but my wife would go on even though I had to get off the train. I just had to feel free. I was always very conscious of any further explosions in crowded areas. I was always on the lookout. More recently I have gone into lifts but to this day I cannot enter a lift on my own. Neither can I fly since the bomb blast. I also have a terrible intolerance to loud noise and suffer from severe tinnitus. I am deeply grateful to Justice for the Forgotten for providing a therapy facility during the last couple of years, which I attend. I have got great relief from the facilities there on relaxation. It has enabled me to relax a great deal and it has controlled some great deal of the claustrophobia.

It is now 32 years since the bomb blasts and I sincerely hope that it can be brought to a closure soon. Two men, of course, died that night and I feel very grateful to God that I survived. At the end of the day, it made me appreciate — with respect to the people here, the relatives of the deceased — that life is priceless and wonderful. I sincerely hope that they have a very quick closure soon and with their investigations. Thank you.

Thank you very much, Mr. Morrissey. I appreciate your giving up your time and I regret very much the problems that have arisen for you as a result of the bomb. Deputy Costello and Senator Walsh will share time.

I thank Mr. Morrissey and Ms Garvey for their very moving accounts. Is there a common theme of neglect of services for the victims and families on the part of State agencies? Arising out of that, do the witnesses feel anything specific could be done at this point? Perhaps they have discussed it themselves and felt bad that it was not done.

Sorry, Joe, my hearing is not 100%.

My point is that there seems to be a common thread not just in the cases of Mr. Morrissey and Ms Garvey but also in other cases, that State services are neglecting those affected. Anything those affected have got has come from Justice for the Forgotten. Is there anything in particular the witnesses feel they should have got or that we can do to rectify the situation?

There could have been better facilities for the injured people that were in the bombs and more medical facilities available over the years.

Is there anything that could be done now?

Justice for the Forgotten is doing a great job in providing these facilities. As far as I am concerned, I am quite satisfied.

Ms Garvey

I know my John needs to go for counselling but he will not talk about it. He just will not talk about it, he cannot. He just will not talk about it and that is it. I have tried to get him to come up to Dublin. Dublin is too far from Naas. I know what he needs and he knows probably what he needs too but he thinks if it is all left down there it is grand, but he does not want to pull it back out. He is not able to face that, I suppose. I do not know because, as I say, he does not really talk, but I think he could do with counselling.

He is getting on with life.

Ms Garvey

Yes. He is a great person. He is one of life's unsung heroes, I always say. He is a marvellous person, wonderful.

I know Mr. Morrissey was out of work. How did the bombings affect his working life subsequently?

I managed to be able to work. I was employed as a bus conductor in Dublin city buses. All the time afterwards, certain areas you would go to, I would have to be conscious. For example, if I went into certain buildings, before I went into them I would have to know here in my head where the exits were. If I went on an escalator up to the top, say, of Eason's, I would have to know where the escalators were. It did not really affect my working that much because I was well aware that there were exits on buses and all that. It was quite safe there, but over the years I was always conscious if I saw any cases left unattended or parcels left unattended, I was always conscious they could possibly be bombs.

Another thing is that for a couple of years after it, all the parked cars, I used to even get away from them as fast as possible.

There is a sense — I believe we felt it ourselves on the last occasion — that the State failed the victims and their families, even though, as Lynn has said, the bombings occurred in different times during which there were different attitudes. I detect from Ms Garvey a real sense of abandonment.

Ms Garvey

John was nearly sent home from the Mater Hospital on the bus, with one leg and two crutches. He would nearly have been sent home on the bus if his father had not come up to collect him and that was the end of that. As I said, I had a split duty. I had the middle of the day off and I used to have to go down that year after his accident and literally pull him out of the house because he did not want to go out to be seen with his trouser leg rolled up. He had to get strength in his good leg to be able to wear an artificial leg. I literally went in and pulled him out the door to get him out the road. That is the way it was. As another girl said, it was different times. Now, I think it has nearly gone the other way. Now counsellors are nearly at you if you trip over the path. It has gone too far the other way now.

We have come to the end of this morning's proceedings. I thank all the victims and the relatives of the victims who have attended today to give an account and help us in our consideration of the report. I hope the meeting will also be helpful to them. I particularly thank Justice for the Forgotten. The excellent work it has been doing on behalf of victims has already been mentioned. I notice members of the families of victims of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings in the Visitors'Gallery. They are very welcome on this sad occasion.

All the contributions have helped to put in context some of the horrific events that occurred and the extent of the suffering of the past 32 years. If the contributors wish for any assistance, the staff will be more than happy to help in any way they possibly can.

The sub-committee adjourned at 12 noon until 9.30 a.m. on Wednesday, 26 January 2005.