Thirty-three people died on the Troubles' bloodiest day

A memorial to the victims of the Monaghan bombing in the Republic of Ireland has been dedicated by Irish President Mary McAleese.

Seven people were killed in the attack on the town centre on 17 May 1974.

The atrocity occurred just 90 minutes after a bombing in Dublin killed 26 people, including a pregnant woman.

A total of four bombs exploded and resulted in the biggest loss of life on a single day in the Troubles.

The Ulster Volunteer Force admitted 10 years ago that it was responsible for the bombings.

However, no-one has ever been convicted of the attacks which injured more than 250 people.

On Sunday, President McAleese met relatives of the Monaghan victims before officially dedicating the memorial.

Evelyn Conlon, who has written a book commemorating the tragedy, said it will mark an important day for the town. "I think it is about time there was some kind of public recognition of the people who lost their lives," she said.

Survivors and relatives of those killed in the bombings want a public inquiry into the attacks.

In April, an inquest into the bombings re-opened almost 30 years after the attacks.

The inquest came a month after an Irish parliamentary committee recommended that a public inquiry into the bombings should be held in the UK.

Security forces

It also recommended an inquiry into the investigation by the Gardai at the time.

Last December, a report by Mr Justice Henry Barron said there were grounds for suspecting the bombers may have had help from members of British security forces, but there was no conclusive proof.

The Barron report said the group responsible for the attacks in Dublin was capable of doing so without help from any section of the security forces in Northern Ireland.

However, this did not rule out the involvement of individual members of the security forces.

Many of the grieving relatives believe the UVF was helped by British intelligence service operatives aiming to warn the Irish Government not to interfere in Northern Ireland's affairs.

The bombings took place while Protestant workers held a general strike in Northern Ireland to bring down the power-sharing government set up under the Sunningdale Agreement.

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