56. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the progress on the investigation into the bombing in Belturbet in December 1972; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15663/17]
Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): At the outset, I wish once again to extend my sympathy to the families of the two people who killed in the atrocity that was carried out in Belturbet in December 1972. Like so many other callous and unjustified acts of wanton violence that took place during the troubles, the bombing at Belturbet robbed two young people of their lives and inflicted untold suffering on their families.
I am informed by the Garda Authorities that the bombing was the subject of a thorough investigation at the time by An Garda Síochána, with expert assistance provided by the Army. Investigations at that time involved close liaison with the authorities in Northern Ireland in an effort to bring the perpetrators to justice. However, although every avenue of inquiry open to the investigation was pursued at that time there was no evidence to bring those responsible for this crime to justice. It remains a source of disappointment that no one has yet been brought to justice for these murders.
Regrettably it is the case that with the passage of over 40 years and in the absence of any new evidence emerging and one must be realistic about the prospects of successful prosecutions in this and troubles-related cases such as this. That said, the investigation into the bombing and the two murders it entailed has not been closed and the Garda Authorities will pursue fully any new information or evidence that is made available.
I call on anyone who has any relevant information in respect of these events to bring it to the attention of the Garda Authorities in the hope that it could help to bring resolution to this case.