No.10 rules out inquiry into alleged British
collusion in Dublin bombings

Irish Independent
2 Feb 2005

BRITISH Prime Minister Tony Blair has ruled out an
inquiry to re-examine allegations of collusion between
British security forces and the perpetrators of the
Dublin and Monaghan bombings in the 1970s.

In a letter to Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, he said that
the British government concluded there would be no
further benefit to the public interest in setting up
such an inquiry.

And he also said it would not be possible to conduct
another major search for material relating to the
1972/73 bombings within the timescale of Mr Justice
Barron's extended inquiry into the atrocities.

Contents of the letter emerged yesterday as an
Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice, Equality,
Defence and Women's Rights continued its quest for
British documents related to the Dublin and Monaghan
bombings in 1972 and 1974.

In his letter, which was dated January 10 and signed
"Yours ever, Tony", Mr Blair noted that Mr Ahern had
given him a copy of his aide memoire on the
Dublin-Monaghan bombings. He had since received
another letter about Justice Barron's report into the
Dublin bombings and a subsequent note handed to his
secretary last month.

He was now in a position to respond to all of those
documents, he said.

Mr Blair told the Taoiseach that successive British
governments had condemned the Dublin and Monaghan
bombings. Mr Blair's government welcomed the
establishment of the Barron inquiry and cooperated
with it as fully as possible by conducting a "thorough
search" of all government records and ensuring that
all potentially relevant information uncovered,
including intelligence information, was shared with
the investigation.

Mr Blair said his government noted Mr Justice Barron's
conclusions that while allegations of collusion
between British security forces and the perpetrators
of the bombings were not fanciful, he had not seen
evidence to corroborate it. Meanwhile, former Irish
ambassador to Washington Sean Donlon urged the
committee to seek two sets of specific papers from the
British as part of their probe into the bombings.

He referred to the first set as the Laneside papers,
which might indicate a pattern of communication
between the British and the UVF and UDA.

The second set of papers related to the work of
general intelligence committee, which was chaired by a
senior Downing Street official. However, because of
the nature of its work, it was likely the authorities
would not be particularly forthcoming, he said.

Fergus Black

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