Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Dublin and Monaghan Bombings: Statement by Taoiseach.

Tuesday, 21 May 1974

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 272 No. 12

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The Taoiseach: Information on Liam Cosgrave  Zoom on Liam Cosgrave  Members of the House have asked to be associated with the expression of sympathy already tendered by the Government to the victims of the bombings in Dublin and Monaghan last Friday and their relatives. I have received similar messages of condolence from [1794] the British Prime Minister, Mr. Wilson, the Leader of the Opposition there, Mr. Heath, the Chief Executive Minister, Mr. Faulkner and many other leaders of Church and State who have asked that their sympathy too should be made known to the victims of these mindless outrages and their relatives.

Nothing I can say will adequately describe the feelings of shock and horror caused by the destruction of human life and hope last Friday. It was without exception the worst single outrage in these islands—measured in terms of human death and misery, caused deliberately by man against man since the end of the Second World War.

As a result of the bombings, more than 30 men, women and children alive on Friday afternoon are now dead. More than 100 are injured. The persons caught up in this calamity bore no malice towards those who destroyed or maimed them. Their lives were no threat to those who treated them as enemies. But because they happened to be in certain streets at certain times, they are now dead—or disfigured for life. Those responsible have reaped their grim harvest.

What do they hope to gain? What does any man of violence in these islands hope to gain? For the blood of the innocent victims of last Friday's outrage—and of the victims of similar outrages in the North and in England—is on the hands of every man who has fired a gun or discharged a bomb in furtherance of the present campaign of violence in these islands—just as plainly as it is on the hands of those who parked the cars and set the charges last Friday. In our times, violence cannot be contained in neat compartments and justified in one case but not in another. Those who practise it must anticipate an answer in kind. What they are creating in the end is a world where reason and compassion are dead and only might is right. To them I would say that the only unity they are capable of creating is the unity, in opposition, of all decent men and women, to their values and methods.

I said last Friday that it was on [1795] occasions like this that we appreciate the dedicated work of the Garda, Army, fire, medical, nursing and other emergency services. The Government look for and will give all possible support to the forces in their efforts to apprehend the perpetrators of last Friday's outrage—and of all crimes of violence in this island or elsewhere.

It only remains for me to ask the House to rise in expression of sympathy with those killed or injured last Friday and with their relatives and friends.

Members rose in their places.

Mr. J. Lynch: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  On behalf of the Fianna Fáil Party I join with the Taoiseach in extending sincere sympathy to the relatives of those who were killed so cruelly and suddenly and whose lives were so suddenly cut off in last Friday's bombings, and to those who were injured and their relatives.

Like the Taoiseach, I find it difficult to find words that adequately express my feelings and those of any decent and responsible person. It is difficult to express our feelings of sympathy, horror and condemnation. Every person and every organisation which played any part in the campaign of bombing and violence which killed and maimed people and destroyed property in Belfast, Derry or any other part of our country and indeed in Britain over the past five years, shares the guilt and the shame of the assassins who actually placed these bombs on the streets of Dublin and Monaghan last Friday.

Not only must we make every effort to identify and bring to justice those responsible but we must do all we possibly can to create a climate between all Irish men and women which will eventually eradicate fears, suspicions and hatreds that generate such callous and cowardly acts of violence.

I join with the Taoiseach in expressing appreciation to the Garda, the Defence Forces, the medical and nursing profession, as well as to the [1796] ambulance men and the volunteers who not only offered blood but who were actually on the spot. I understand that a Member of this House was one such person who gave aid and succour to the victims.

I want to assure the Government on behalf of the Fianna Fáil Party that they will have our support in implementing measures that will best achieve the aims we seek.

Mr. Blaney: Information on Neil T.C. Blaney  Zoom on Neil T.C. Blaney  On behalf of the Independent Fianna Fáil organisation, which I have the honour to represent in this House, might I also join with the Taoiseach and the Opposition in expressing my sympathy and the sympathy of my organisation to the people of Dublin and Monaghan in their sad loss and tragedy. We who mainly come from the Border area appreciate more fully than most the suffering and hardship which these people have now encountered in the city here and in the Border county.

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