Dublin City Councillors tonight agreed to an emergency motion tabled by Fianna Fáil, condemning the comments of former Northern Ireland First Minister Ian Paisley on the Dublin and Monaghan bombings.

The motion, which was moved by Fianna Fáil Councillor Jim O’Callaghan read:

“The City Council condemns the insensitive and ill informed comments of the former First Minister of Northern Ireland, Reverend Ian Paisley, who has asserted that the murder of 33 people in Dublin and Monaghan was brought about by the actions of the Irish government. We the elected representatives of the people of Dublin City call upon Reverend Paisley to withdraw his remarks or explain why responsibility for the murders should not rest with the people who planted the bombs.” – The Fianna Fáil Group.

2014 marks 40 years since 33 people were murdered in horrific attacks which saw three car bombs set off in Dublin city and another in Monaghan.

Councillor O’Callaghan commented: “Dr. Paisley’s contention that Irish political leaders at that time had in some way brought the Dublin and Monaghan bombings on themselves is, however, entirely without foundation.  Various Governments of that time, led by Fianna Fáil and by other parties, had an absolute obligation to highlight and oppose the appalling abuses and discrimination against northern nationalists.

“Indeed, Dr Paisley himself is reported as now acknowledging that the behaviour of the Stormont administration and the denial of basic democratic and social rights to Catholics was wrong.  The idea that an Irish Government would not be entitled to highlight and speak out against such abuses has long ago been discredited. Its re-emergence is regrettable.

“What the interview and these comments do highlight is the ongoing failure of the British Government to make the full file on the issue available to the families of the victims of the bombings.

“In Fianna Fáil, we have long campaigned for these files to be made available and we are calling on the Government to continue that work and press the British Prime Minister to facilitate the truth for these families.”