Seanad debates

Thursday, 12 May 2022

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

 

10:30 am

Photo of Robbie GallagherRobbie Gallagher (Fianna Fail)

Next Tuesday will be the 48th anniversary of the Monaghan and Dublin bombings. Every year for the past 48 years the families of the victims have been searching for answers as to who was behind the awful atrocity that occurred in 1974. An investigation is currently under way. It is headed by Mr. Jon Boucher, a former chief constable in the UK. His team is seeking documentation from both the British and Irish authorities. We have been pleading with the British Government for years to hand over documents, but that has fallen on deaf ears to date. Thankfully, the security service, MI5, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, PSNI, and the Minister for Defence are now co-operating with Mr. Boucher's investigation, known as Operation Kenova.What is disappointing is that, to date, the Garda has not handed over any documents whatsoever regarding this investigation. That is considerably disappointing for the families of the victims. I understand that the Garda's interpretation of whether this is called an investigation or review is part of the problem. It is difficult that although the terms of reference were signed off on this some time ago by Mr. Drew Harris, the Garda Commissioner, we are still in a limbo with regard to whether we call what is happening an investigation or a review. Quite frankly, for the families who have been waiting 48 years, that is simply not good enough.

I ask the Leader to ask the relevant Minister to come to the House at the earliest opportunity to tell us the exact cause of the problem and the delay, and why the terms of reference that were signed off on have become an issue. I would be grateful if the Leader could do this as a matter of urgency because the families of the victims have been waiting 48 years for answers. That is far too long.

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