Belfast Telegraph

TD calls for new probe into UVF Belturbet blast that killed teens

By Staff Reporter

An Irish politician has called for a fresh investigation into a loyalist car bomb that killed two teenagers in the Co Cavan town of Belturbet 45 years ago.

Cavan-Monaghan TD Brendan Smith said no one was ever brought to justice for the killings.

The blast on December 28, 1972 killed local girl Geraldine O'Reilly (15) and Paddy Stanley (16) from Clara in Co Offaly.

Paddy was working with a gas delivery lorry and was to leave Belturbet that day. He had to stay overnight due to bad weather, and was calling his family from a phone box when the bomb went off.

The soccer, Gaelic football and hurling keeper had been nominated for an under-21 GAA All-Star award before he died.

Geraldine lived two miles outside Belturbet and was travelling to the town to get a bag of chips at the time of the bomb. She was a keen Irish dancer and her mother left her dancing costume and school uniform hanging on her bedroom door for years afterwards.

Their families have continued to press for an inquiry into the bombing, and that call was repeated by the Justice for the Forgotten group, which said the families should get the answers.

"The Government must forcefully insist to the British and Northern Ireland authorities that maximum co-operation is needed to ensure a full and proper investigation into the bombings and murder of innocent people in Belturbet on December 28, 1972.

"All obstacles to such a long overdue investigation must be removed," Mr Smith told the Irish Times. "It is now 45 years since that desperate act of brutality was carried out ending the lives of two young, innocent people."

The UVF was thought to be behind the Belturbet bombing just two weeks after two people were killed and 127 hurt when two car bombs exploded in the centre of Dublin on December 1, 1972.

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