I have met different members of the Ludlow family a number of times and I know what was stated in the hearings before the committee. During their appearances before the committee the Garda Commissioner, Noel Conroy, his predecessor, Pat Byrne, and the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform have all apologised for the failings of the State. I am aware the Oireachtas committee's report asserts that the treatment which the family of Séamus Ludlow received from the Garda was unsatisfactory. That is now part of the report.
I am also aware that a number of recommendations were made in the conclusions of the report, all of which will be examined, including that a commission of investigation be established to investigate certain aspects of the case. The Government will examine the final report and its recommendations.
I am also advised that the Garda acted immediately to instigate a re-examination of the case, which was recommended by the committee. I will not go through all the individual aspects of the report or it will take up all of the time available. They will be followed up and we will come to a final conclusion on this in due course.
I am not ruling out that we will examine the issue of investigations but I am careful not to have a full inquiry on every case relating to Northern Ireland. If we were to do that, I am not sure what purpose it would serve or what closure we would ever bring. Progress has been made on a number of good initiatives. The historic review group that has worked within the Garda, and the police ombudsman, in cases where there was collusion, have examined all of these cases to try to bring some assistance to the families and closure in as many cases as possible.
At Weston Park we agreed we would seek inquiries on certain issues. It was decided to give all the cases to Justice Cory to examine and that we would honour whatever decision he made on them. He has insisted that some cases, such as the Pat Finucane case, should be investigated. He also suggested that we should deal with the murder of the RUC officers. We undertook our responsibilities and we are following up on them.
The easiest thing for me to say with every single case is that we would have a full public inquiry. In truth, we know that in regard to the circumstances of what happened then it was a different world and a different place. While it is easy to be critical of what happened, people were obviously under pressure, and there were many events and issues.
I have stated this to the families on many occasions. It is not an easy thing to explain to families on behalf of the State. I am doing it 30 years later but I accept my responsibility. The fact is that I have met the families affected by the Dublin and Monaghan bombings on numerous occasions to explain the position. I have put this on the record of the House and the committee. I have explained to them that the official Garda report closed in early August of that year on the biggest atrocity apart from the Omagh bombing. It is not an easy one to explain but I stand over it and explain that is how it was. Going back to full inquiries into issues outside our jurisdiction will not resolve them. We have to be honest, and I have always tried to be fair and honest on these issues.