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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 April, 2005, 20:16 GMT 21:16 UK
Commission to probe 1974 bombings
Members of the Justice for the Forgotten Group
Relatives of some of those killed in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings
The Irish government has announced that it is to establish a commission of investigation io examine the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 1974.

The inquiry will focus on specific aspects of the Irish police investigation at the time.

It will also examine why the garda inquiry was wound down in 1974 and why specific leads were not followed up.

The loyalist UVF was suspected of carrying out the attacks which killed 33 people, but no-one was convicted.

The commission will be chaired by Patrick MacEntee, one of the Irish Republic's leading barristers, who has been asked to report back to Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern within six months.

Mr Justice Henry Barron, who produced a report on the bombings for the Irish government in 2003, concluded there were many unanswered questions about the police investigation.

His report said there were grounds for suspecting the bombers may have had help from members of British security forces but there was no conclusive proof.

The commission, which is designed to be less costly and more efficient than tribunals, has been given wide ranging powers.

Witnesses can be directed to attend hearings to answer questions and also ordered to produce and disclose documents. It may also enter premises to inspect files.

However, a spokesperson for Justice for the Forgotten, a support group victims' families, has voiced concerns that it may not be represented at the inquiry.

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