Monday, July 25, 2005

27 killed by British bombs in Dublin?


On May 17, 1974, two car bombs exploded in Dublin. They were timed and placed to cause the maximum level of casualties and disruption, while leaving escape roads free for the attackers.

Some hours later a fourth bomb, apparently intended to divert police and security forces from individuals trying to cross back from the Irish Republic into Northern Ireland, exploded in the border town of Monaghan.

Twenty-seven people were killed in Dublin and six in Monaghan.

This was the worst single atrocity of the war in Ireland.

Don Mullan, at Relatives for Justice, has written about British Military Intelligence and the Dublin and Monaghan bombs.

A Yorkshire Television documentary, in 1993, claimed the UVF were aided by British Military Intelligence in carrying out the bombings.

The Yorkshire Television documentary, 'Hidden Hand: The Forgotten Massacre' alleged British intelligence had provided the bombers with military assistance.

Previous UVF bombs were primitive. The Dublin and Monaghan bombs involved 'an extraordinary degree of military sophistication'.

“Hidden Hand” named four suspects: Billy Hanna, Harris Boyle, 'the Jackal' later named as Robin Jackson and Robert McConnell.

“Hidden Hand” stated that McConnell, Boyle and “the Jackal” were controlled by British Army Captain Robert Nairac.

Hanna was allegedly run separately by the British Army from Lisburn and 3 Brigade HQ in Lurgan.

The documentary alleged the Garda (Irish police) and the RUC knew the identity of the bombers in the days following the explosion.

The Yorkshire Television claims are supported by professional analysts such as Lieutenant Colonel George Styles.

In 1983, French journalist Roger Faligot alleged that an SAS Brigadier and Captain took part in the Dublin bombings.


On 1 December 1972, the Irish parliament was debating the Offences Against the State (Amendment) Bill, which proposed to secure a conviction of IRA membership on the sworn testimony of a garda superintendent.

The Fine Gael party had strong doubts about the legislation. The Labour party was going to vote against the bill.

Just before the Bill was to debated, bombs exploded at Liberty Hall and Sackville Place, killing two CIE workers and injuring many civilians.

The Bill was carried by 69 votes to 22.

In August 1973, Prime Minister Jack Lynch is reported to have said that both he and the Irish Cabinet had a 'suspicion' that the 1972 bombs had been the work of British Intelligence.


The RTE (Irish TV) documentary 'Friendly Forces', voiced real 'suspicion', if not probability, that British Military Intelligence were involved in the 1974 bombing of Dublin and Monaghan.


Former captain Fred Holroyd, a former MI6 spy who was stationed in Ireland, has stated that Loyalists did not carry out the 1974 attack unaided. He describes Loyalist skills at that time as "pretty primitive".

In 1984 Holroyd, during a BBC Breakfast television interview, spoke about his undercover contacts with the Garda, Ireland's police force.


WSWS wrote about the Baron report on the Dublin bombs.

In Ireland, the Barron report, in 2003, 'confirmed British collusion in 1974 Dublin bombings.'

Irish Supreme Court judge Henry Barron's report makes many extremely damning points.

In January 1974 Northern Ireland got a power sharing executive ( Unionist, Social Democratic and Labour Party, and Alliance Party).

Barron’s report notes the allegation that elements within the British security forces in Northern Ireland were trying to destabilise the Northern Ireland executive. These elements wanted to defeat the IRA using military force.

Barron studied “Hidden Hand”. Barron largely accepted the evidence of two of the main interviewees - convicted killer John Weir, a former RUC officer in Armagh’s Special Patrol Group (SPG), and Colin Wallace, a former information and covert psychological operations officer in the army’s Information Policy Unit.

In “Hidden Hand” Weir explained that he had become part of a group of police who had attacked Catholics. Weir said RUC officers made no efforts to stop them.

Colin Wallace reportedly exposed :

1. the black propaganda used against opponents of army policy.
2. a plot by elements of MI5 to bring down the Wilson government.
3. child abuse at the Kincora Boys’ Home.

Wallace believed that the intelligence services were blackmailing a leading loyalist involved in the abuse to ensure his assistance in their efforts at manipulating the loyalist gangs.

Wallace was framed for manslaughter in 1981. Wallace’s conviction was quashed in 1996.

Barron described Wallace as a “highly knowledgeable witness” whose analyses and opinions “should also be treated with seriousness and respect.”

Barron looked at the evidence supporting the view that security forces directly assisted the Dublin and Monaghan attacks.

Evidence of collusion by the armed forces involved leading loyalist Billy Hanna.

Hanna appears to have been very close to certain soldiers and plainclothes officers.

Barron stated:

1. the view that members of the security forces had been involved in the bombings is “neither fanciful or absurd.”

2. Some of the suspects had relationships with British intelligence and/or RUC Special Branch.


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