Justice Minister should release files on Belturbet bombing – Ó Caoláin
Sinn Féin Cavan-Monaghan TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has called on Justice Minister Alan Shatter to release the files in his Department on the loyalist bombing of Belturbet, Co.Cavan, 40 years ago on 28 December 1972, in which two teenagers were killed. The call came after it emerged today that a Freedom of Information request by RTÉ's 'This Week' programme was refused by the Department of Justice.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said:
“The Minister for Justice Alan Shatter should intervene and order the release of the files requested under FOI in relation to the bombing of Belturbet on 28 December 1972 in which two young people died, Geraldine O'Reilly (15) and Patrick Stanley (16).
“It comes as a further disappointment to the bereaved families in their search for truth and justice that files on the Belturbet bombing and the related bombings in Clones, County Monaghan and Pettigo, County Donegal on the same day, should be withheld by the Department of Justice. Minister Shatter should release them without further delay and I am writing to him to request that he do so.
“It is now widely accepted that there was extensive collusion between British armed forces and loyalist paramilitaries, including in bombings in the 26 Counties, during the conflict.
“The admission on the ‘This Week’ programme by Minister of State Joe Costello that the issue of collusion in attacks south of the Border has not been raised sufficiently with the British government by Taoiseach Enda Kenny is a cause of serious concern.
“Given the international spotlight thrown on collusion by the recent report on the murder of Pat Finucane, the Irish Government should be using the opportunity to ensure that all relevant information is released in both Dublin and London.”