Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Questions (424)

Micheál Martin


424. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the representations he has made to Prime Minister Cameron in relation to disclosing top secret documents relating to the Dublin and Monaghan bombings; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [24095/14]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The atrocities which were perpetrated against innocent men, women and children in the bombings 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 Deputy 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.

This House and Seanad Éireann have unanimously called on the British Government to make this documentation available. It is a matter of regret that, to date, it has not proved possible for access to be made available to such documentation.

The Taoiseach, as he has stated to this House, has raised the matter directly with the British Prime Minister, David Cameron and the Tánaiste has raised the matter with his counterpart, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Theresa Villiers. The Government remains in discussions with the British Government in support of the families' request for access to documentation.