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Survivors of atrocity step up collusion legal case

By Alan Erwin

Victims of the worst single atrocity of the Troubles are pressing for full disclosure in a legal action over alleged British collusion with the loyalist murderers.

Survivors and relatives of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings want a High Court order for the Ministry of Defence, Secretary of State and PSNI to serve their defences to claims lodged two years ago.

A pregnant woman was among 33 people killed when the no-warning bombs occurred in Dublin, and Monaghan on May 17, 1974. Hundreds were hurt. No-one was ever charged with the attacks, claimed by the UVF.

Lawsuits were filed amid suspicions that the terrorists received assistance from elements within the British security and intelligence services. Nearly 20 of the actions were listed together for the first time at a preliminary High Court stage yesterday.

Lawyers began attempts to secure further information from the defendants. They want disclosure from the PSNI, MoD and the Secretary of State's representatives in a bid to substantiate claims of British collusion.

Outside court solicitor Kevin Winters, of KRW Law, said: "This application is significant because we cannot push for release of important materials until defences are filed. The legal process can be terribly frustrating for families bereaved in the conflict, so there is an obligation on all of the parties, including ourselves, to try and expedite matters."

He added: "We anticipate the court putting in place a timetable for the next stages of the civil proceedings."

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