Thursday, 18 January 2018
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
45. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his plans to discuss the need for the British Government to provide access to papers and files pertaining to the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 1974 with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, as requested in motions passed unanimously in Dáil Éireann on three occasions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2710/18]
Dealing with long-outstanding issues relating to the legacy of the conflict in Northern Ireland are of the utmost importance to the Government. The Programme for a Partnership Government highlights this priority, with specific reference to implementation of the All-Party Dáil motions relating to the Dublin Monaghan bombings.
I acknowledge also those across the House who work on a cross-party basis with the Government on this issue and the tireless efforts of Justice for the Forgotten.
The All-Party motion on the 1974 Dublin Monaghan bombings that was adopted by the Dáil on 25 May 2016 has, like those adopted in 2008 and 2011, been conveyed to the British Government. These motions call on the British Government to allow access by an independent, international judicial figure to all original documents relating to the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, as well as the Dublin bombings of 1972 and 1973, the bombing of Kay’s Tavern in Dundalk and the murder of Seamus Ludlow.
The Government is committed to actively pursuing the implementation of these all-Party Dáil motions, and has consistently raised the issue with the British Government.
I am actively engaged with the British Government on an ongoing basis on this issue, as are officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. I discussed the matter with the former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Brokenshire, and I will likewise be pursuing the issue directly with the new Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Karen Bradley.
As part of this engagement, the Government underlines that the Dáil motions represent the consensus political view in Ireland that an independent, international judicial review of all the relevant documents is required to establish the full facts of the Dublin Monaghan atrocities. I have also advised that the absence of a response from the British Government is of deep concern to the Government and indeed this House, and I have emphasised the urgent need for a response from the British Government.
The Government will continue to engage with the British Government on the request in relation to the Dublin-Monaghan bombings, and pursue all possible avenues that could achieve progress on this issue, consistent with the request made by this House.