**Sorry I did not post this in a timely way--major issues at home...

--From correspondents in Dublin
May 17, 2004

PRIME Minister Bertie Ahern joined survivors of Ireland's deadliest
terrorist atrocity today to remember the day 30 years ago when
Northern Irish extremists killed 33 people with car bombs.

A lone bagpiper played as survivors laid floral wreaths at a memorial
to the dead on Dublin's Talbot St, where one of four car bombs
detonated without warning amid shoppers and commuters on May 17, 1974.

An outlawed anti-Catholic group, the Ulster Volunteer Force, later
claimed responsibility, but suspicions have long lingered that
British soldiers or police from Northern Ireland were involved.

Last year, a judge-led probe commissioned by Ahern's government found
reasonable suspicions, but no proof, of British security force
involvement. It recommended that Britain establish a public inquiry
with full investigative powers, but Britain rejected the call.

Justice for the Forgotten, a pressure group for victims of the Dublin-
Monaghan bombs, today called on Mr Ahern to launch a public inquiry
within the Republic of Ireland immediately and to press for full
British cooperation.

Mr Ahern said that would be pointless because the key potential
witnesses - among them former members of the outlawed UVF and British
security forces - were either dead or unwilling to participate.

"We could be here having an inquiry, but 49 of the top 50 people we
want couldn't come, so we wouldn't actually achieve anything," Mr
Ahern said.

At a connected memorial ceremony today in Monaghan, where a bomb
killed seven people about 90 minutes after the three Dublin blasts,
several survivors said their families have struggled for decades to
overcome the loss.

"They say time heals and in some ways it does, but it really is very
tough going," said Iris Boyd, whose 73-year-old father, Archie
Harper, was fatally wounded by shrapnel in the head. "Our lives have
never been the same since Daddy was killed ... and we have never been
told who really killed him and all the others."

The Dublin-Monaghan bombs were by far the bloodiest terrorist attacks
committed in the Republic of Ireland during the past 35 years of
conflict over neighbouring Northern Ireland, a part of the United
Kingdom. Nobody was ever charged in connection with any of the

The attacks helped to destroy Northern Ireland's first major peace
agreement, the Sunningdale accord of 1973, which established a new
Catholic-Protestant administration for the province.

In May 1974, Protestant workers mounted mass protests that brought
the province to a standstill and toppled the power-sharing system.

Most Protestants objected that the Sunningdale deal required the
Northern Ireland administration to forge formal political links with
the Irish Republic - the same basic formula that formed the basis for
the province's Good Friday peace accord in 1998.

The Associated Press

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