Statement by the Tánaiste in advance of the fortieth anniversary of the Dublin/Monaghan bombings14 May 2014
17th May 2014 marks the fortieth anniversary of the Dublin-Monaghan bombings. 33 people were killed and a further 300 people were injured in the May 1974 bombings, the highest number of casualties on any single day during the Troubles.
Speaking today, the Tánaiste said:
"Anniversaries such as this are an important opportunity to remember publicly the victims and survivors of the Northern Ireland conflict. Last week I met with family members of those killed and injured in the Dublin-Monaghan bombings, in other bombings in this jurisdiction, and with Justice for the Forgotten, the advocacy group that works on their behalf.
I confirmed the Government’s ongoing support for their campaign, which they conduct with great dignity. Victims of the conflict in this State cannot and will not be forgotten.
This anniversary also serves as a reminder of the urgent need for a comprehensive framework for dealing with the legacy of the past. There is no ready resolution to the complex issues associated with addressing the past. However, it is a challenge that all who were party to the conflict and to the peace process must be willing to take up.
As the Government have stated consistently, there can be no hierarchy of victims. We hold fast to this principle. However, this in no way means that where there is significant information available about specific Troubles-related deaths, including deaths where the involvement of the State is alleged, that this should be withheld deliberately on the basis that such information is not available in all cases.
As we approach the 40th anniversary of the Dublin/Monaghan bombings, I renew the call on the British Government, our partner in the peace process and the joint guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement and its related agreements, to allow access on an agreed basis by an independent international judicial figure to the original documents in their possession relating to the bombings. We regard dealing with the past in a way that can build public confidence as an essential part of the process of reconciliation. The Irish government will continue to play our part in that process too.
The Taoiseach and I greatly welcome and have worked hard to encourage a sea change in British-Irish relations. In this context, it is particularly disappointing that forty years on, it has not yet proven possible for the British government to respond positively to the Dublin-Monaghan families.
I call on the British government to look afresh at this request, which has been the subject of two all-party motions in Dáil Éireann".
14 May 2014