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The Irish News, 14 March 2007:
Long awaited report on bombings given to Ahern
By Valerie Robinson
The injured and bereaved of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings reached a potentially crucial milestone yesterday with the completion of an eagerly-awaited report into the atrocities.
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has received the findings of the Commission of Investigation into the car bomb attacks which killed 33 people, including a heavily pregnant woman, on May 17 1974.
No-one was ever charged with the bombings but the UVF has long been suspected of planting the devices amid allegations of British security force collusion.
The report, following an investigation by criminal lawyer Patrick MacEntee, will be studied by the attorney general and the Cabinet before being made public.
Mr Ahern thanked Mr MacEntee and his staff for their work.
"The Dublin and Monaghan bombings were a terrible atrocity and it is important that we uncover the truth of what happened.," he said, adding that he intended to publish the document "as soon as possible".
Greg O'Neill, solicitor for the Justice for the Forgotten group, said yesterday marked another milestone in its campaign to get the full facts surrounding the attacks into the public domain.
Mr O'Neill said in compiling a previous report in 2003, Judge Henry Barron had been limited by his inability to compel witnesses or the production of documents.
The judge, who also accused the British authorities of failing to cooperate, concluded that British intelligence links to the bombings could not be ruled out.
Describing the Barron report as a "worthwhile undertaking", Mr O'Neill said the MacEntee inquiry had had the power to call witnesses and to question them under oath.
The barrister was requested by the government to investigate why the original garda investigation into the four devastating explosions was wound down within months.
He was also instructed to probe why gardai failed to follow up a number of potentially important leads, including information about a white van with an English registration and a subsequent contact made with a British army officer on a ferry boat.
Mr MacEntee also made inquiries about a male guest in Dublin's Four Courts Hotel between May 15-17 and his contacts with the UVF, as well as the alleged sighting of a British army corporal in Dublin at the same time of the bombings.
There were also questions surrounding official documents that Judge Barron had been unable to locate.
The lawyer is believed to have made unprecedented progress in his inquiries through contact with individuals linked to British intelligence, who met him and provided him with documentation.
Justice for the Forgotten has expressed hope that the latest report will be published before the Dail breaks for Easter.
Sinn Fein last night called for publication as soon as possible and for a Dail debate on collusion before it rises for a general election.
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