It was reprehensible that the family was not alerted to the imminent release of the Barron probe into the killing of the 47-year-old by a four-man loyalist gang near Dundalk in May 1976.

Publication of the long-awaited report by Mr Justice Henry Barron into the circumstances surrounding his murder is to be welcomed.

Convinced there had been a cover-up and collusion on both sides of the border, the family have long demanded a public inquiry into these allegations.

Neither the naming of the four men accused of the killing, nor the belated acknowledgement that garda management were remiss in doing their job, are likely to weaken demands for a full-scale inquiry.