Po­lice Om­buds­man con­firms doc­u­ments handed over in col­lu­sion in­ves­ti­ga­tion

In­for­ma­tion dis­closed to rel­a­tives of those killed in Dublin and Mon­aghan bomb­ings

The Irish Times - - Home News - RO­NAN McGREEVY

Hun­dreds of doc­u­ments re­lat­ing to the al­leged col­lu­sion of RUC of­fi­cers with a loy­al­ist terror gang in the 1970s have been handed over to the Po­lice Om­buds­man for North­ern Ire­land.

The om­buds­man, Dr Michael Maguire, is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the ac­tiv­i­ties of the Glen­nane gang which has been im­pli­cated in 120 mur­ders dur­ing the Trou­bles, in­clud­ing the Dublin and Mon­aghan bomb­ings.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion, called Op­er­a­tion Ne­wham, in­cludes not just the Glen­nane gang but other ac­tiv­i­ties by the Ul­ster Vol­un­teer Force (UVF) in mid-Ul­ster.

A spokesman for the om­buds­man con­firmed: “We have re­ceived ma­te­rial from a range of agen­cies as part of our Op­er­a­tion Ne­wham in­ves­ti­ga­tion which is con­sid­er­ing the ac­tions of po­lice of­fi­cers in re­la­tion to the mid-Ul­ster UVF in the 1970s.

“This has in­cluded in­for­ma­tion from the MoD [min­istry of defence], PSNI [Po­lice Ser­vice of North­ern Ire­land], An Garda Síochána and var­i­ous other de­part­ments which hold ma­te­rial of rel­e­vance to Op­er­a­tion Ne­wham.”

The doc­u­ment han­dover was in re­sponse to a re­quest from the om­buds­man’s of­fice.

The Glen­nane gang op­er­ated out of South Armagh and was ac­tive on both sides of the Border. It has been im­pli­cated in the Miami Show­band mas­sacre of 1975 along with bomb­ings in Bel­turbet, Dun­dalk and Castle­blayney in the 1970s.

Of­fi­cials from the om­buds­man’s of­fice met the Jus­tice for the For­got­ten group in Dublin on April 24th at which they dis­closed the han­dover of the doc­u­ments.

Jus­tice for the For­got­ten has been cam­paign­ing to find out who bombed Dublin and Mon­aghan.

Spokes­woman Mar­garet Ur­win said it was un­clear if the doc­u­ments in ques­tion per­tained to the Dublin and Mon­aghan bomb­ings or to other killings car­ried out by the gang. She said it is likely to de­lay the pub­li­ca­tion of the om­buds­man’s re­port into Op­er­a­tion Ne­wham.

“This could put off the day when the re­port is com­plete be­cause he [the om­buds­man] has so much ma­te­rial to ex­am­ine,” she said.

An­nual com­mem­o­ra­tion

More than 100 rel­a­tives and friends at­tended the an­nual com­mem­o­ra­tion for the vic­tims of the bomb­ings yes­ter­day . The cer­e­mony took place at the mon­u­ment erected on Tal­bot Street, Dublin, to re­mem­ber the dead.

A to­tal of 34 peo­ple (27 from Dublin and seven from Mon­aghan) were killed on Fri­day, May 17th, 1974.

‘‘ This could put off the day when the re­port is com­plete

Min­is­ter for Jus­tice Char­lie Flana­gan said the Gov­ern­ment re­mained com­mit­ted to find­ing out the truth about the bomb­ings and he shared the frus­tra­tion of rel­a­tives who have waited so long for an­swers.

Mr Flana­gan said the Stor­mont House Agree­ment of 2014 had made pro­vi­sion for the set­ting up of legacy bod­ies in re­la­tion to the Trou­bles.

The Bri­tish gov­ern­ment last week launched the con­sul­ta­tion on the draft leg­is­la­tion which would es­tab­lish the in­ves­ti­gat­ing bod­ies.

PHO­TO­GRAPH: CYRIL BYRNE

Wendy Do­herty (a sur­vivor) whose mother, Co­lette died with her son Tyler at the 44th an­niver­sary cer­e­mony of the Dublin Mon­aghan Bomb­ings at the me­mo­rial on Tal­bot Street yes­ter­day.

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