THEE BELTURBET BOMBING 1972: TIME NOW FOR AN INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION
KRW LAW LLP (KRW) act on behalf of the family of Geraldine O’Reilly (15) and Paddy Stanley (16) who were both killed on 18 December 1972 when a bomb exploded in Belturbet, County Cavan.
In October 2016 KRW issued High Court civil proceedings against the Chief Constable PSNI, The Ministry of Defence, and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, alleging collusion between the State and Loyalist paramilitaries in the planning and operation of the detonation of the bomb which killed the teenagers. KRW also alleges serious investigative failings by the authorities in the decades following the bombing.
We commend families of Geraldine and Paddy for taking part in the RTE documentary broadcast on RTE on Monday 14 December 2020.
On their behalf we also want to thank all of those involved in the production of the documentary. It was a timely reminder of the need for an independent investigation into this tragedy.
Families who lost their loved ones in this explosion, like so many other Conflict- bereaved families have been searching for answers for an extraordinarily long time. The unjustifiable truth deficit relied upon for so long by state agencies has left them having to resort to litigation. To that end they are no different from the hundreds of other families who have been forced to take a similar route.
Speaking after the documentary, Liam Diver of KRW said
“It is unacceptable for families of the victims to be told they have to wait until 2057 before release of documents and information which would help provide closure to them. This unjustified denial of access to justice creates the context for families to resort to litigation. It is equally appalling to learn that the Secretary of State, Brandon Lewis could dismiss such legal actions as ‘vexatious’. The families of Geraldine O’Reilly and Paddy Stanley, like so many others, will continue to use whatever legal or other remedies are available to them to fight for answers.
It is equally regrettable that the State has tried to sidestep its legal and moral obligation to provide answers by asserting that cases involving State-loyalist collusion in the Republic of Ireland should be issued in Dublin and not in Belfast.
Families of the victims and survivors of the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings 1974 are in the middle of an ongoing High Court battle who challenge the British governments argument that Belfast is not the correct jurisdiction to take these cases.
We say this is retraumatising for the Belturbet families, like all families or victims of British-Loyalist State collusion in the Republic of Ireland to be left in this position.
Their obvious concerns are compounded even further when they learn that Gardaí say investigations remain ‘open’. This may be the case in theory but in practice it is plain nonsense. Absolutely nothing has been done by Gardaí in the last four decades to help these families get the necessary closure they need. Effectively all such families have been badly let down by both the British and Irish authorities. Just how badly they have been let down will be exposed in the course of all pending High Court litigation.”