News Letter
14 March 2012

UNIONISTS once again asked that Dublin come clean about collusion yesterday after a top RUC officer revealed that Taoiseach Jack Lynch blocked investigations into the IRA bombings at Narrow Water in 1979.

Eighteen British soldiers were murdered outside Warrenpoint when the IRA detonated two massive bombs from across the bay in the Republic of Ireland. Yesterday a former RUC deputy assistant chief constable told the Smithwick Tribunal in Dublin that Mr Lynch had told the Garda that the IRA bombings were “a political crime” and that no help should be given to the RUC in their investigations.

UUP Policing Board member Ross Hussey said the news was “absolutely shocking”. He added it will “confirm the worst fears of many in the unionist community in Northern Ireland as to how committed successive governments in the Republic actually were to assisting in the fight against republican terror and saving innocent lives”.

He said: “If the most senior elected politician in the Republic regarded the murder of 18 soldiers as a ‘political crime’ and forbade the Garda to assist in the investigation as a result, then that is a shocking and terrifying indictment of the thinking that was prevalent in the corridors of power in Dublin at that time.”

He said the Smithwick Tribunal “is now demonstrating that the Dublin government was actively seeking to frustrate an investigation into mass murder”.

TUV leader Jim Allister noted that on Monday, present Taoiseach Enda Kenny publicly pressed UK Prime Minister David Cameron about collusion in the murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane.

“That a senior RUC officer should reveal that Jack Lynch instructed the Garda not to cooperate with the investigation into the Warrenpoint massacre will not surprise unionists who lived through the IRA’s campaign and saw gunmen frequently receive sanctuary just over the border. But now that the issue has been highlighted yet again it behoves the Republic to be more open about their role in keeping the IRA campaign alive.”

DUP victims spokesman Jeffrey Donaldson MP also alluded to Mr Kenny’s ongoing criticism of the UK Government’s past conduct, saying there are “many unanswered questions about the role of some elements in the Republic during the Troubles”. He added: “Rather than the Irish prime minister criticising HM Government’s approach to the past, it would be fitting for his government to focus on the failings in that jurisdiction during those dark days.”

l DUP MP David Simpson says House of Commons figures show that the Republic refused to extradite 93 per cent of people wanted for terrorist offences in the UK in the 25 years from 1973-97. In the same period, 42pc of requests for non-terrorist offences were granted.