350. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the further progress regarding the need for a full and comprehensive investigation here and in Northern Ireland into the bombing in Belturbet, County Cavan, in December 1972 which caused the death of two young persons and injuries to many others; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31173/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The murder of two innocent young people in Belturbet in December 1972 was an appalling act of brutality. The perpetrators of this bombing demonstrated a callous disregard for human life which, as the Deputy has stated, claimed two lives and injured many other people.
The Deputy will be aware that this crime was methodically investigated by An Garda Síochána at the time, with technical assistance from the Defence Forces and the close cooperation of the authorities in Northern Ireland. It is a source of great regret that, in spite of a comprehensive investigation, it was not possible for those responsible to be prosecuted for their crimes. In the absence of justice, the bombing of Belturbet continues to inflict an intolerable suffering on the families of those who died and those who were injured.
As I previously informed the Deputy in my response to his question of 6 February, the passage of 45 years and the absence of new evidence being produced has diminished the prospect of a successful prosecution in this case. Nonetheless, the Garda investigation remains open and any new information or evidence will be thoroughly investigated both in Ireland and in Northern Ireland with the assistance of the PSNI. I would call on anyone with information about this crime to bring it to the attention of the Garda authorities.