#OTD in 1999 – A report of the Victim’s Commission, established by the Irish government, into the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings recommended the appointment of a former Supreme Court judge to inquire privately into events surrounding the bombings.

Thirty-four people were killed and over 400 were injured in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings. Although it was intended that the findings would eventually be made public, the families of the victims wanted the immediate establishment of a public tribunal of Inquiry. Other recommendations of the report were that a similar Inquiry be established into the killing of Seamus Ludlow on 2 May 1976, and that the Irish government should make a £10,000 payment to the 150 families affected by the bombings.

Irish Victims Commissioner, John Wilson, reported on the demand for a public inquiry. He proposed a judicial inquiry, held in private. In December 1999, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern appointed Mr Justice Liam Hamilton to undertake an inquiry into the bombings. The inquiry began work early in 2000 and in October Mr Justice Henry Barron was appointed to succeed Mr Justice Hamilton. The Irish Government and others reported that the British Government were slow to co-operate with the inquiry. It wrote to the British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, John Reid, in November 2000. He replied in February 2002, saying that British documents on the bombings would not be made available due to national security concerns. The Barron Report was published in December 2003. The report said it was likely that British security force personnel were involved in the bombings but had insufficient evidence of higher-level involvement. However, the inquiry reported that it was hindered by the British Government’s refusal to release key documents. 

Memorial to the bomb victims on Talbot St, Dublin

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