Deputies, Senators, Councillors,
Survivors of the bombings,
Relatives and friends of the deceased and representatives of Justice for the Forgotten,
Táimid go léir anseo inniu chun comóradh a dhéanamh ar íospartaigh na mbuamálacha i mBaile Átha Cliath agus i Muineacháin ar an 17 Bealtaine 1974 agus daichead a hocht mbliana caite: ar na daoine a chaill a mbeatha chomh maith leis na daoine eile ar gortaíodh go tromchúiseach ar an lá sin iad. Is mar gheall ar thrí bhuama a pléascadh i gcroílár Bhaile Átha Cliath i rith bhuaicthráth tráchta an tráthnóna, agus ar bhuama eile a pléascadh ina dhiaidh sin 90 nóiméad níos déanaí i mbaile Mhuineacháin, a chaill an méid is mó daoine a mbeatha in aon lá amháin le linn na dTrioblóidí.
33 people killed.
They were parents; children; partners; siblings; and especially poignantly, included one pregnant woman.
Many more were seriously injured.
A Friday afternoon at the beginning of the summer, with the weekend just about to begin; but for them, it never would.
And it was a terrifying ordeal as well for so many others here in the city centre that day. Those who were seriously injured had their lives forever altered, while many more for whom the impact would linger long after the ringing in their ears had stopped, were profoundly changed.
In more ways than one, these cowardly and callous acts struck at the heart of this city and of this country.
Those who perpetrated these hateful crimes in Dublin and Monaghan town set out to shatter our communities and sow discord.
In this, they failed.
The fact that we are gathered here today in solidarity almost half a century later is a powerful demonstration of that.
That we successfully went on to forge a peace process and secure the Good Friday Agreement is testament to the commitment and resilience of all communities on this island.
The Government I lead remains committed to seeking out the truth of the tragic events of that day and their aftermath.
We do so to right a wrong and to try and bring closure to survivors and to victims’ families. We stand in solidarity with them.
We have raised these issues with the British Government consistently, and at the highest levels – highlighting the three Motions passed in the Dáil with the unanimous support of all shades of political opinion.
We will continue to engage with the British Government with a view to ensuring access by an independent, international judicial figure to all original documents relating to the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings.
As recently as February, we had further Statements on Legacy in the Dáil, and it is very reassuring that there continues solid and determined agreement and support across the House on this matter.
It has been our consistent position that the basis for progress on legacy is the Stormont House Agreement that was reached between the two Governments and political parties back in 2014.
Any attempt to depart from that Agreement would need to be discussed by both Governments and with all of the parties in an inclusive process; and there would need to be serious and credible engagement with victims and families.
Because of the pandemic, we were not able to gather on this occasion for the last few years, so it is very welcome to see the full ceremony return today.
Thank you for inviting me to lay a wreath on behalf of the Government and to be part of today’s ceremony.
Thank you to Justice for the Forgotten, for organising this event and for your continuing, unstinting advocacy.
And thank you especially to the family and friends of the deceased and the survivors of the bombings; for your dignity, for your unswerving determination to honour the memory of those whose lives were taken, and for your absolute commitment to finding the truth.
While we continue to work together for a shared future, we must do so remembering and honouring the memory of the innocent victims of a violent past.