The Dundalk Democrat, 21 December 2002:
Author identifies those who may have been responsible
Book on bombing to be launched on Saturday
By Anne Campbell
Journalist Joe Tiernan will launch his controversial book about the Dundalk bombing and other atrocities at the Imperial Hotel this Saturday, 21st December, between 2 and 4pm.
The book "Dublin-Monaghan Bombings and the Murder Triangle", has been over 16 years in the writing and probes the circumstances surrounding the Dundalk bombing of 1975, as well as the two other atrocities. Tiernan names those he believes were responsible for the bombings.
A number of other events such as the bombings of Dublin, Monaghan and Castleblaney as well as the murders of Seamus Ludlow, the Reavey brothers in Whitecross and the shootings at Donnelly's Bar, Silverbridge, which took place just three hours after the attack on Dundalk, are also highlighted.
Two Dundalk men, Jack Rooney and Hugh Watters, were killed when the Dundalk bomb, packed into a car, went off outside Kay's Tavern in Crowe Street on 19th December 1975. A government inquiry into the bombing has been going on for three years, under the direction of Justice Barron.
Joe Tiernan has a formidable reputation as a journalist and has previously worked for RTE's Today Tonight programme, Yorkshire Television and Channel Four.
According to the author, the two men who were responsible for the bombing in Dundalk are now deceased. They may have been responsible for about 150 Catholic murders during the 'Seventies and 'Eighties.
One of the men was murdered by an active IRA unit in Newtownhamilton in 1976, but in the three years before his death, he was operating from a Loyalist enclave of South Armagh with virtual immunity. Tiernan believes this man may have been responsible for about 30 murders between 1973 and 1976.
The other man, who was a leading and feared Loyalist figure of the last 30 years of the Troubles, died of cancer in 1998 and the author suspects that this man was responsible for over 100 murders, including the 33 people who were killed in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings.
Although there are few new details about the circumstances leading up to the bombing of Kay's Tavern, Tiernan poses thought-provoking questions about the Garda investigation into the atrocity. According to him, Superintendent Dan Murphy, now deceased, was in charge of the investigation into the Dundalk bombing, the murder of local man, Seamus Ludlow, and the suspected murder of Captain Nairac.
During the course of researching the book, Tiernan claims he was told by another Garda, now retired, that when he and Murphy asked the RUC for help in tracing the car used in the Dundalk bombing, they refused.
"We knew who planted the bomb but the RUC refused to co-operate with (us) in tracing the car so there was nothing we could do about it", said the retired Garda.
The seemingly gaping differences in the way the Dundalk bombing and the Ludlow murder were handled in comparison to the murder of Nairac is a source of concern, contends Tiernan.
"In arresting and charging the suspected killer of Nairac, the Gardai in Dundalk were only doing their duty", says the book.
"However, the relatives of those killed in Dublin, Monaghan, Sallins, Dundalk and Castleblaney could be forgiven for asking what was going on.
"Dan Murphy is now dead and cannot answer the charges being laid against him. However, justice demands that his activities be brought into the public domain".
Despite legal challenges to his book, Tiernan has published the book himself and only a few hundred copies of the book will be made available.
Speaking about the publication of the book, Maura McKeever, whose father, Jack Rooney, died in the Dundalk bombing, said that she was delighted with the author's efforts in tracing those responsible for her father's death.
"I am glad that Joe has finally got the book out", she said. "I hope it will prompt the government to look deeper into what has been happening with the authority's investigations into these atrocities.
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