Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Foreign Affairs Brendan Smith TD has called on the Minister for Foreign Affairs to ensure that the mechanism for getting to the truth of Troubles era violence, agreed at the Stormont House talks, will be set up as a matter of priority. Deputy Smith has also contacted the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to provide access to files and papers relating to the Dublin-Monaghan bombings in 1974.
Deputy Smith commented, “I am extremely concerned about the timeline for the establishment of the initiative. Despite provisions contained in the Good Friday Agreement to investigate historical atrocities, resource cuts within the PSNI last year led the dismantling of the investigation team, which to date has not been replaced.
“Thousands of families on both sides of the border have been devastated by the barbaric bombings and shootings which were almost commonplace at the height of the Troubles. These people have a right to have these crimes fully investigated, and it is imperative that Minister Charlie Flanagan continues to press the British Government to secure approval for the unit.
“Few places along the border escaped the brutality of the Troubles. I have repeatedly called on the British Government to provide access to files and papers relating to the 1974 Dublin-Monaghan bombings so that an investigation can be carried out, and the families can receive some sort of closure. This issue must be constantly pursued so that the truth can be established.
“The Stormont House Agreement provides for an independent commission on information retrieval; however this body requires legislation before it can be set up. I would urge Minister Flanagan to move this legislation without delay so that the difficult legacy of the Troubles can be acknowledged and reconciled”.