Further extension for bombings probe

Tuesday 28 February 2006 22.41
1974 bombings - 33 killed in Dublin & Monaghan
1974 bombings - 33 killed in Dublin & Monaghan

The Commission inquiring into the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings appears to have made a breakthrough in its investigation.

33 people died in loyalist bombings in Dublin and Monaghan on 17 May, 1974. Nobody was ever brought to justice for the atrocity.

In a third interim report to the Government, the sole member of the Commission, Patrick MacEntee, says he has already received certain security and intelligence documentation, and hopes to receive more in the next month.

Mr MacEntee has also met one person he had been trying to identify and meet with for a considerable period of time, and is hopeful of identifying and meeting with two more people who may be able to help his inquiry.

The Government has extended the deadline for the submission of Mr MacEntee's report to the end of May to allow him pursue his current line of inquiry.

It is understood the new assistance is being granted to him by people with links to British intelligence.

Part of the terms of reference for the commission is to inquire into the failure of the gardaí to follow up on a number of leads, including an alleged sighting of a British Army corporal in Dublin at the time of the bombings.

It is also to inquire into a suggestion that a man with contacts with the UVF stayed at a Dublin hotel at the time, and information on a white van with English registration plates which appeared to be linked with a British Army officer.

He is also inquiring into missing documentation, and into why the Garda investigation was wound down in 1974.