Sunday Life

Bombings report is 'Ireland's Hutton'
Inquiry into Dublin/Monaghan atrocities branded a 'whitewash'

By Sunday Life Reporter

29 February 2004
A HIGH-profile ex-British Army intelligence officer believes the Barron Report into the 1974 UVF Dublin and Monaghan bombings is a "whitewash".

Dirty tricks whistle-blower, Captain Fred Holroyd described the Barron inquiry into the atrocities as "Ireland's Hutton".

Thirty three people were killed and scores more injured in the loyalist bomb attacks.

Judge Henry Barron's recent report on the atrocities named three prime suspects, but was inconclusive on whether members of the British security forces colluded with the terrorists.

Holroyd, who was based at the British Army's 3 Brigade HQ in mid-Ulster during the 1970s, confirmed he had spoken Judge Barron during his inquiry into the UVF bombings.

However, he claimed the inquiry had missed out on valuable evidence.

Capt Holroyd added that the report had let the Garda and RUC "off the hook".

Judge Barron said in his report that Mr Holroyd had made "number of factual errors, memory lapses and contradictions".

But Holroyd also claimed there were inaccuracies in the report.

He said a colour Polaroid picture of murdered IRA Commander, John Francis Green, could not have been taken by Garda officers, as claimed at the hearing.

Holroyd said that, based on his experience, Garda officers had only a black and white camera at that time, which he had supplied to them along with a quantity of black and white film cartridges.

"All colour film cartridges were reserved for 4 Field Survey Troop at Castledillon, where Robert Niarac (an undercover Army intelligence officer) was based.

"The Garda did not have access to colour films at that time," he said.

Capt Holroyd's comments are likely to add further to the concerns of victims' families who have called for a full public inquiry into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings.

The families and supporters of victims have demanded that any new inquiry must be "cross-jurisdictional" after Barron conceded that a lack of co-operation from the British Government had "limited the scope" of his report.

Addressing the collusion issue, the Barron Report stated that the UVF units who carried out the cross-border bombings would have been capable of doing so "without help from any section of the security forces in Northern Ireland".

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