The atrocities perpetrated against innocent men, women and children in Dublin and Monaghan in May 1974 stand out in our collective memory as particularly bloody episodes in the history of conflict on this island. I know that the resulting pain is still felt by the survivors and the victims' families, despite the passage of 40 years, and our thoughts are with them.
As the House will know the late Mr. Justice Henry Barron carried out a detailed and painstaking inquiry into those awful events and, indeed, other atrocities that took place between 1972 and 1976 in which so many innocent people lost their lives. Related matters were also investigated by a Commission of Investigation carried out by Patrick McEntee SC. While acknowledging co-operation received from the British authorities, both the Barron and McEntee inquiries concluded that they had been limited somewhat by not having access to certain British Government documents which may be relevant to their terms of reference. It is a matter of regret that to date it has not proved possible for access to be made available to such documentation.
This House and Seanad Éireann have unanimously called on the British Government to make this documentation available and the Taoiseach and Tánaiste have raised this issue with the British Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Northern on a number of occasions. It is not apparent that there is an EU or international justice agreement which would be relevant to a case such as this and the question of an EU or international justice agreement does not arise at this point as the Government remain in discussions with the British Government in support of the families' request for access to documentation.