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All government files on Dublin and Monaghan bombings should be released, Tanaiste says on anniversary

Ireland's deputy leader Michael Martin says Britain’s controversial Legacy Act created a ‘huge challenge’ for the victims' families to seek justice

IRELAND’S deputy leader (Tanaiste) said today that all government-held files in connection to the Dublin and Monaghan bombings should be released to inquiries, as he paid tribute to those who died in the blast on its 50th anniversary.

Tanaiste Michael Martin made the pledge as Ireland’s Justice Minister said the anniversary of the atrocity today brought a new determination to find out what happened on May 17 1974.

On that date three no-warning-as bombs went off across Dublin city centre and one exploded in Monaghan town.

No-one has ever been convicted over the bombings, but the loyalist Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) admitted responsibility in 1993.

“I’ve a general view, that any files we have in Dublin, or within the Department of Justice or in An Garda Siochana should be released to all inquiries in respect of atrocities in Northern Ireland,” Mr Martin said.

“Today is a very poignant day and the Justice for the Forgotten group has been extraordinary in their efforts they have made to focus attention many decades on, on what was the worst atrocity, in what was a terrible time in Ireland when there was murder and mayhem across the land.

“Earlier governments from the 1990s on, we had two inquiries and both those inquires made it very clear that they didn’t get full co-operation, particularly from the British state.”

The Tanaiste told RTE’s Morning Ireland radio programme that the British government’s controversial Legacy Act has created a “huge challenge” for legacy issues.

“It has resulted in something we thought we’d never be doing now, referring a British legislative act in terms of legacy to the European Court Convention on Human Rights in respect of non-compliance,” he said.

An official memorial in Dublin honours the 35 victims of the bombings, which included two unborn babies.

“Fifty years have passed since that dreadful day on the streets of Dublin city centre and Monaghan town,” Justice Minister Helen McEntee said today.

“The scale of the attack was without compare, it is the greatest loss of life on a single day of the Troubles.

“Such a large-scale tragic and unjustified loss of life continues to effect countless families.”

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