Fianna Fáil Leader, Micheál Martin TD, has responded to the reported comments of former NI First Minister Dr Ian Paisley, where he appears to suggest that the attitude of Irish Governments towards the North were in some way responsible for the Dublin and Monaghan bombings in which some 33 people were murdered.

Deputy Martin commented: “The reported remarks of Dr Paisley across a wide range of issues provide a fascinating insight into the attitudes of one of the key players in Northern Ireland at a time of immense turmoil and violence.

“His 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 both by my own party and 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 I would call on the Government to continue that work and press the British Prime Minister to facilitate the truth for these families.”