Senator Mark Daly:
The purpose of this Adjournment matter is to query the response from the British Government in respect of the requests for release of the files on the Dublin and Monaghan bombings. I am aware the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has said it will continue to talk about the issue, but that is not the same as releasing files. Those files have been in secure locations for the past 40 years. As stated recently in this House by me and others, if my country was accused of mass murder, the first thing I would say is that we had nothing to do with it, we have nothing to hide, we have information that might be of assistance and if we can be of assistance in identifying the perpetrators we will assist our neighbours. One cannot say on the one hand that we have improved relations with our neighbours, as we have in many areas in the past 40 years, while on the other hand they are accused of the largest killing in one day where collusion is suspected. Many reports, including the Barron report, have said it is most likely that the British security forces were involved. The question is whether it had sanction. Was it cleared at the highest level?
Minister for European Affairs:
I thank the Senator for raising this issue. As he is aware, the legacy of the past continues to seriously disrupt political and community life in Northern Ireland. The Government is committed to playing an active and constructive role in dealing with the issues, including through raising relevant matters with counterparts in the British Government. The Government continues to support the all-party Dáil motions of July 2008 and May 2011 urging the British Government to allow access by an independent international judicial figure to all original documents in its possession relating to the Dublin-Monaghan bombings. In May 2014, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade raised this matter with Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Theresa Villiers, who undertook to reflect afresh on the Government’s request to grant access to the relevant documents. The Government has expressed its solidarity with the victims and survivors of the Dublin-Monaghan bombings and their families. The Taoiseach, the Minister of State with responsibility for development and I participated in memorial events on the 40th anniversary of the bombings and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade recently announced renewed funding for Justice for the Forgotten, a group which works with the families affected by the bombings, through that Department’s reconciliation fund.