17 May 2006

Justice group pushes for full public inquiry

Daily Ireland

Victims’ families say minister’s remarks support case for new probe

By David Lynch

A government minister’s remarks support the case for a full public inquiry into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, campaigners claimed yesterday.
Tomorrow is the anniversary of the greatest loss of life in a single day of the Troubles.
The campaign group Justice for the Forgotten represents relatives of the 33 people killed on May 17, 1974.
“Justice minister Michael McDowell made comments in Seanad Éireann last March that we found very interesting,” said campaign secretary Margaret Urwin.
“The points he makes about the Breen and Buchanan inquiry can be made about the Dublin and Monaghan bombings and more so.”
Ms Urwin called on Mr McDowell to make the case at cabinet level for a public inquiry into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings.
On March 24 last year, Mr McDowell made a statement in the Seanad in support of the establishment of an inquiry into the 1989 killings of the RUC officers Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan.
“Pursuant to the Weston Park agreement, the state is under a political and moral obligation to establish a public inquiry into the brutal murders of these two RUC officers,” the minister said last year.
“We do so not just out of those obligations imposed on us by acceptance of Judge [Peter] Cory’s report but out of a genuine desire to see justice done in the form of ascertaining the truth. I believe that the form of public inquiry proposed and its proposed terms of reference constitute the most open, expansive and powerful form of inquiry available here or anywhere else to ensure that the full truth emerges.
“We owe it to the families left behind, the people of Northern Ireland and the people of this jurisdiction, given the concerns raised about the organ of the state, to put in place an inquiry of this kind.”
“The barbarity of the offence that will be investigated by the inquiry under discussion was matched by that which occurred in these other cases [the killings of Pat Finucane, Robert Hamill, Rosemary Nelson and Billy Wright].
“Regardless of the identities of the victims, the families should not be placed in some hierarchy of sympathy.
“Everybody is equally entitled to whatever rights can be vindicated under the constitution and to the greatest extent possible by an inquiry of this kind.”

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