14 June 2007
LETTER TO HISTORY IRELAND
With reference to Gordon Gillespie's article 'Sunningdale and the 1974 Ulster Workers' Council strike' (May/June issue), we in Justice for the Forgotten were extremely disappointed that an incorrect date was given for the bombing of Dublin and Monaghan, an error that was replicated in your editorial.
The no-warning car bombings in Dublin and Monaghan occurred on Friday, 17th May 1974, an atrocity that caused the greatest loss of life in a single day of the entire Northern conflict - 34 deaths including an unborn baby. One would expect that your prestigious historical magazine would have ensured that the date of this outrage be recorded correctly.
Gillespie states that the bombings were 'later claimed by the UVF'. They were not claimed, in fact, for nineteen years afterwards. The Ulster Volunteer Force issued a statement on 15th July 1993 for the sole purpose of refuting the findings of collusion by the producers of the Yorkshire television programme: Hidden Hand: the forgotten massacre, which had been broadcast the previous week. The statement claimed that the UVF acted alone, without the assistance or direction of the British security forces.
However, a number
of military experts have disputed the capability of Loyalist paramilitaries
to carry out such an operation. One such expert, Lt. Col. Nigel Wylde
(British Army retired), an ammunition technical officer (ATO) who commanded
No. 1 Section of 321 Ordnance Disposal Unit in Belfast from June to October
1974, was commissioned by Justice for the Forgotten in 2001 to examine
their capability. He states in his report:
Gillespie contends that the atrocity had little impact on events in Northern Ireland at the time, that is, during the Ulster Workers' Council strike. While that is undoubtedly true, it had a major effect in this jurisdiction and resulted in the Irish Government maintaining a very low profile on Northern affairs for several years afterwards.
We share the view
of your editorial (May/June issue) that the MacEntee report was frustratingly
inconclusive as to why the Garda investigation was prematurely wound down.
We in Justice for the Forgotten have a particular view on this and will
continue our own research, which has assisted the MacEntee investigation
as well as the four Barron Inquiries. Our research is conducted, not simply
for historical reasons, but more importantly, to attempt to inform the
bereaved families and survivors who have been denied the truth for 33
Justice for the Forgotten
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