Page last updated at 09:53 GMT, Friday, 26 February 2010

Dublin-Monaghan bombs investigator Judge Barron dies

Justice Henry Barron, right, died in hospital on Thursday
Justice Henry Barron granted the first divorce in the Republic in 1997

A former judge at the Republic of Ireland's Supreme Court has died.

Justice Henry Barron, who granted the first divorce in the Republic in 1997, passed away after a short illness at a Dublin hospital on Thursday. He was 81.

After retiring in 2000, he conducted an investigation into the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings.

His report was critical of the Fine Gael/Labour government of the day, which he found could have done more to catch those responsible.

It was also highly critical of the Irish police investigation into the Ulster Volunteer Force bombings, which claimed 33 lives - the largest loss of life during Northern Ireland's troubles.

The report could not reach a conclusion as to whether there was collusion by British authorities, but found that there were grounds for suspecting the bombers may have had help from members of the British security forces.

Mr Barron also investigated 18 other loyalist murders carried out in the Republic.

His report was presented to the Irish government's joint committee on justice in December 2003.

It examined the bombings of Kay's Tavern in Dundalk, Dublin Airport, the Three Star Inn in Castleblayney and other incidents in the 1970s - including the Miami Showband murders at a bogus British Army checkpoint at Buskhill, near Newry.

After studying the report the committee found that British security services colluded with loyalists involved in a series of attacks in the Republic.

Margaret Irwin of the Justice for the Forgotten group, which has campaigned for a full inquiry into the 1974 bombings, paid tribute to Mr Barron.

She said that the group was "very sad" to hear of his death and offered its condolences to his family.

Mr Barron is survived by two sons, two daughters and ten grandchildren.

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