Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle: Government continues to fail victims of Dublin-Monaghan bombings and their families

Pringle: Government continues to fail victims of Dublin-Monaghan bombings and their families

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, said the Irish Government has failed the victims of the Dublin-Monaghan bombings and their families for 50 years.

Addressing the Dáil on Tuesday, Deputy Pringle said: “The 50th anniversary of the Dublin-Monaghan bombings will take place this Friday, and the fact that the victims and their families still don’t have a full picture of what happened that day is a disgrace. Over the years the Irish government has been very quick to point out failures by the British government to investigate such instances, while simultaneously failing to acknowledge its own appalling failures.

“The Irish government failed the victims of the Dublin-Monaghan bombings and their families 50 years ago and have continued to do so ever since. Stories from victims and their families of the atrocity all seem to have one thing in common: Nobody was given any information about what had happened or communicated with in any way,” he said.

The deputy was speaking in support of the Sinn Féin motion re Dublin and Monaghan bombings and said he fully supported “its calls on the government to urgently address the matter of the Dublin-Monaghan bombings directly with the British government in order to actively pursue the implementation of the 2008, 2011 and 2016 all-party motions to seek out information regarding these tragic events”.

Deputy Pringle said: “Shockingly, not one survivor or bereaved family member was interviewed by the gardaí in Dublin or Monaghan after the atrocity, or to date. Jon Boutcher, who initially headed up Operation Denton, was the first policeman to knock on people’s doors as part of his report, and that was four decades later.

“The gardaí completely failed to properly or thoroughly investigate the bombings. They closed their investigations after just ten weeks and didn’t pursue anything further following this. This must have been devastating for the victims and their families,” he said.

The deputy said: “There have been 29 Ministers of Justice since the atrocity and not one of them has been willing to release Garda files to the families’ legal team.”

He said: “It is now time for the government to put an end to this cover-up and act decisively. The soft approach that we have been taking with the British government has not worked. We need to put as much pressure as possible on them to cooperate.

“But the Irish government also needs to stop pointing fingers and start taking accountability themselves. The Irish State has played a role in this cover-up too, and has played a significant role in the hurt and pain it has caused victims of the Dublin-Monaghan bombings and their loved ones over the last five decades.  If needs be, an inquiry should be held without Britain,” he said.

Deputy Pringle said: “We should be doing everything in our power to give the families of this atrocity the answers and justice they deserve. The citizens of this island have been forced to endure secrecy, suffering and cover-ups at the hands of the British government for decades.

“And we have to ask what role, if any, the Irish government has played in the inaction over the years as well,” he said.

The deputy concluded: “If we don’t do everything in our power to uncover the truth, then we are no better than them. If we don’t seek out truth and justice, then we will be doomed to repeat the mistakes of our former colonisers and this will continue on into the future.”