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Last Updated: Friday, 20 June, 2003, 14:49 GMT 15:49 UK
Car bombs inquest re-opens
Thirty-three died on the Troubles' bloodiest day
Thirty-three died on the Troubles' bloodiest day
An inquest into the deaths of victims of the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings has been formally re-opened.

Thirty-three people died when car bombs were detonated in Dublin and Monaghan on 17 May 1974.

It was the biggest loss of life on a single day in the Troubles.

Twenty-six people were killed in Dublin, and ninety minutes later seven others died in a bombing in Monaghan. More than 250 people were injured in the attacks.

On Friday, Dublin coroner Dr Brian Farrell formally re-opened the inquest into the deaths of 26 people in the city, and a 27th man who died after injuries in Monaghan.

It could be early next year before verdicts are reached.

The move has been welcomed by victims' families.

Alice O'Brien of the group Justice for the Forgotten, lost four members of her family in the bombings, and said she has waited a long time for this day.

"We seemed to come up against a brick wall," she said.
Alice O'Brien
Alice O'Brien: Pleased at re-opening of inquest

"It's only this year that we're really starting to get somewhere. The inquest means an awful lot to us."

The Coroner's Court took less than an hour to decide to re-convene.

Dr Brian Farrell said he had not taken lightly the decision to re-open the inquests after 29 years as he did not want to intrude on the grief of families.

But, he said, it had become clear to him that such a move would have the support of a considerable number of relatives.

The jury at the inquest is unlikely to sit until after a report is published in September.

A separate inquiry, chaired by Mr Justice Henry Barron, was set up by the Irish Government three years ago to investigate the bombings.

His report will go before the Irish Government's joint committee on justice.

The inquiry was set up in Dublin after years of accusations that the British security services colluded with loyalist paramilitaries to launch the attacks.

The bombings took place while Protestant workers held a general strike in Northern Ireland to bring down the power-sharing government set up under the Sunningdale Agreement.

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