Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Questions (386)

Brendan Smith


386. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 350 of 11 November 2019, if there has been further progress in achieving a full and comprehensive investigation here and in Northern Ireland into the bombing in Belturbet, County Cavan, in December 1972 which caused the death of two young persons and injuries to many others; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11356/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am aware that the Deputy has a long-standing interest in the appalling bomb attack in Belturbet in 1972 and that he shares my view, which I have previously expressed in replies to the Deputy, that this was an appalling atrocity which sadly cost two innocent people their lives, and injured many others. I appreciate that the Deputy continues to seek answers with regard to bringing the perpetrators to justice. It is the sincere wish of us all that this would happen. I am informed by the Garda authorities that the matter was thoroughly investigated at the time by An Garda Síochana, with assistance from the Defence Forces and the close cooperation of the authorities in Northern Ireland. Despite their best efforts however, it was not possible to secure the evidence which would have led to the prosecution of the perpetrators. This continues to remain a source of disappointment and frustration.

As I have also informed the Deputy previously, the passage of almost fifty years at this stage, and with no new evidence forthcoming, has diminished the prospect of securing a successful prosecution. However, I have been assured by the Garda authorities that the case remains open and that they will investigate any new information. They also remain committed to working closely with the PSNI as necessary, where that could advance the investigation.

I would repeat my appeal that anyone with any information in relation to this heinous act should bring it to the attention of the Garda authorities.

Question No. 387 answered with Question No. 324.
Question No. 388 answered with Question No. 339.
Question No. 389 answered with Question No. 341.
Question No. 390 answered with Question No. 324.