British reaction to Dublin bombings 'deplorable'

25/02/2005 - 19:03:34

The lack of British co-operation in the inquests of three men who died in the Sackville Place bombings in the 1970s was deplorable, campaigners said today.

Busmen Thomas Duffy, 24, and George Bradshaw, 30, were killed in a car bomb in Sackville Place, Dublin, on December 1, 1972.

Bus conductor Thomas Douglas, 21, was killed in another explosion in the same street on January 20, 1973.

Today a jury of three men and four women returned a verdict of unlawful killing by persons or persons unknown for all three men at Dublin Coroners’ Court.

They added a recommendation that the transcript of the inquest be sent to the Taoiseach and to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Speaking after the inquest Margaret Urwin, of support group Justice For The Forgotten, said the families were pleased that the inquest had finally been held.

But she said: “The lack of co-operation from the British authorities at all levels established by the state has to be greatly deplored.”

“We are also disappointed by the lack of information in the garda files, so that somebody looking at it today cannot have a clear understanding of what occurred.”

Earlier, the inquest had heard that two bombs went off in Dublin at Liberty Hall and Sackville Place on December 1, 1972, during a Dáil debate on the Amendment to the Offences Against the State Act.

Following a bomb warning called into the Newsletter offices in Belfast and the explosion at Liberty Hall, gardaí came into the CIE bus company canteen on Earl Place and told people there to evacuate the club.

Minutes later a bomb – planted in a silver Ford Escort which had been hired from a rental company in Belfast the day before – exploded in Sackville Place, killing the two men.

Today the inquest heard that Thomas Duffy died as a result of a lacerated aorta from a metal fragment and that father-of-two George Bradshaw died from severe head injuries.

More than 130 people were injured in the attacks on December 1.

On January 20, 1973, Thomas Douglas, who had moved from Scotland to Dublin to work, had just left his bus to buy a newspaper when an explosion occurred on Sackville Place.

The inquest was told that he died as a result of shock and haemorrhage due to multiple injuries.

The red Vauxhall Victor used in the second explosion was hijacked in Agnes Street, Belfast, a Protestant area where a number of cars were hijacked and used for subversive activities, the court heard.

Detective Superintendent John Maloney, who was not involved in the original investigation, said there was no evidence gathered that pointed to the involvement of any specific group or organisation.

No one has ever admitted, or been convicted in connection with, the attacks.

Coroner Dr Brian Farrell said the three men died in appalling circumstances and that he wished to apologise to the families that it had taken so long for inquests to be held.

He said he hoped the families would no longer feel isolated or forgotten.

“The lives of Thomas Duffy, George Bradshaw and Thomas Douglas are a paradigm for the condition of Irish society in the 1970s – striving to move forward to a brighter and better future.

"But their deaths emphasise the shadow of violence which has blighted that development.”

“I sincerely wish we never return to that situation,” he said.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?