17 May last marked the 45th anniversary of the appalling attacks of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings in which 33 people were murdered. The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charles Flanagan TD, represented the Government at the remembrance ceremony in Dublin.
The Government stands in solidarity with all those who lost loved ones or were injured on that day, and who suffer still as a result of these bombings.
The implementation of the All-Party Dáil motions relating to the Dublin and Monaghan bombings is a priority for the Government, as highlighted in the Programme for a Partnership Government.
The All-Party motion on the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings adopted by the Dáil on 25 May 2016 has, like those adopted in 2008 and 2011, been conveyed to the British Government. These motions call on the British Government to allow access by an independent, international judicial figure to all original documents relating to the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, as well as the Dublin bombings of 1972 and 1973, the bombing of Kay’s Tavern in Dundalk and the murder of Seamus Ludlow.
The Government is committed to pursuing the implementation of these all-Party Dáil motions. We have consistently raised the issue with the British Government on a bilateral basis, including at the British-Irish Inter-Governmental Conference, most recently on 8 May, and will raise it again at the next Conference.
I and Minister Flanagan have made clear to our counterparts at the Conference that the absence of a response from the British Government is of deep concern to the Government, and that there remains an urgent need for a response. We will continue to engage with the British Government, at senior political level and at official level on this matter, until a resolution is found.
The Government has noted, and welcomes the announcement by the PSNI on 30 November, that former Bedfordshire Chief Constable Jon Boutcher will head an Independent Police Team to conduct an analytical report on collusion into the 'Glenanne Gang' series of cases. This follows a campaign and successful legal action in Northern Ireland and supported by victims' families, North and South, to seek the completion of such a report. The Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland is also conducting an investigation into collusion around the activities of the 'Glenanne Gang'.
It is to be hoped that these investigations will contribute to the long process of justice, truth and acknowledgement of what happened in these awful cases, where collusion is a feature, including the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, and other attacks in this jurisdiction.
The Government will remain strongly supportive of facilitating these investigations, in accordance with the law, and as we have other investigative processes in Northern Ireland dealing with Troubles cases. The Government will also continue to closely monitor the outcome of all such relevant investigations, as we pursue all possible avenues to achieve progress on the Dáil Motions, and the request made by this House to the British Government.
The Government will also continue to engage on a cross-party basis on this matter and maintain a close and cooperative relationship with Justice for the Forgotten, as we continue work to seek the full facts of the appalling events of 25 May 1974 and of other attacks in this jurisdiction during the Troubles.