President Higgins calls for truth and justice during 50th anniversary of Dublin-Monaghan bombings


Michael D Gaeilge - Michael D Gaeilge, TG4TV michael d higgins michaeld80 G4p58VlhUxXChXriRD, tags: bombings - Giphy / TG4TV

A solemn ceremony took place in Dublin on May 17, commemorating the 50th anniversary of a tragic series of bombings that occurred on this day in 1974.

Three synchronous explosions occurred in Dublin city centre and one in Monaghan town, claiming the lives of 35 individuals, among them two unborn babies. Over 300 others were injured.

In 1993, the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), a loyalist paramilitary group, admitted to committing the most lethal actions during the Troubles, resulting in a significant loss of life.

A memorial located at Talbot Street was the setting for a poignant ceremony honouring those who were affected.

During the occasion, a solemn ritual took place as President Higgins laid a wreath to honour those who are no longer with us.

Speaking at the occasion, Higgins acknowledged the “manifest failure” of both the Irish and UK governments to respond adequately to this horrific incident.

He expressed his deep regret that no one has been held accountable for these crimes against civilians and workers, despite their blatant disregard for human life.

The President voiced his concerns regarding systemic issues within state institutions, implicating potential alliances between law enforcement officers and loyalist militias, lost or undisclosed forensic evidence, and reluctance to provide access to relevant data.

Justice demands that they deserve the truth – no more, no less.

President Michael D Higgins

Higgins asserted that families of the victims deserve more than just an empathetic ear; they deserve the truth.

In addition, he condemned the current British Government’s Legacy Act as working against those seeking justice. He said that “the enactment of that unilaterally sourced legislation has resulted in families who have spent decades fighting for an effective investigation into their cases of not only facing further uncertainty and delays but of the deprivation of legal rights.”

A strategy of feigned amnesia, or hoping time will deliver one, is simply not an option, nor is any strategy of continuing the protection of previous evasions or failures to act.

President Michael D Higgins

Higgins urged all parties involved to deal ethically with legacy issues, emphasizing that a strategy of feigned amnesia or hoping time will resolve matters is not an option.

He encouraged support for the families’ call for the truth to be fully revealed, even if it may cause embarrassment or discomfort.

At the gathering arranged by the Justice for the Forgotten organization, which advocates for families who have lost loved ones and survivors, Simon Harris and Micheal Martin, holding the positions of Ireland’s prime minister and deputy prime minister respectively, were present.

At the event was the head of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), Jon Boutcher, and Sir Iain Livingstone, who oversees Operation Kenova, along with other attendees.

In attendance, to mourn, were the two previous Irish prime ministers, Leo Varadkar and Bertie Ahern.

President Higgins concluded with, “Today, we honour the memories of those who died, the more than 300 people injured, and the bereaved, both those living and those who have died in the years since. Today, Dublin and Monaghan remember.”

Later that evening, Higgins was set to lay a wreath in Monaghan at the local government’s representation.

A prayer for justice and healing

At St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Martin and Boutcher joined others in commemorating the victims of the bombings at a memorial Mass. Archbishop Dermot Farrell presided over the service, reciting the names of the deceased and appealing for understanding and recovery.

Prior to the ceremony, Mr Martin committed to releasing all Government-held files related to the bombings to investigations.

Pray that those with the power to be able to deliver that justice, which will ultimately bring peace, will come quickly so that all may be fully healed of that awful atrocity and tragedy.

Archbishop Dermot Farrell

Martin acknowledged that the Legacy Act posed significant challenges but emphasized the importance of addressing these issues ethically and respectfully.

In honouring the memory of those who perished in this tragic event, let us not forget the importance of seeking the truth, securing justice, and promoting reconciliation as we continue to grapple with the emotional and psychological scars left behind by these bombings.

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