Statement by Bertie Ahern on the Fourth Interim Report by the Commission of Investigation into the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings 1974, (30 May 2006)
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Statement by Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), on the publication of the Fourth Interim Report by the Commission of Investigation into the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings 1974 (30 May 2006)
"Following a request from Mr. Patrick MacEntee, SC QC, Sole Member of the Commission of Investigation, the Taoiseach has granted a further extension of the timeframe for the completion of the Report of the Commission of Investigation. The timeframe for completion of the Final Report has now been extended to 31 July 2006.
When the Taoiseach receives the Final Report, he is required by law to consider certain issues prior to publication. This is likely to involve requesting legal advice from the Attorney General. He would also wish to submit it to the Cabinet prior to publication. The timescale involved is impossible to estimate in advance of receipt of the report, but the Taoiseach would wish to publish the report as quickly as possible.
Note for Editors:
Under Section 6 (6) of the Commissions of Investigation Act 2004, in the event of a requirement for an extension of the timeframe of a Commission of Investigation, the Commission must request an extension from the specified Minister. An Interim Report must accompany this request. It is then a matter for the discretion of the Minister concerned, in this case the Taoiseach, to decide whether to publish the Interim Report.
Under Section 38 (2) of the Commissions of Investigation Act 2004, the specified Minister is required to apply to the Court for directions concerning the publication of the Report if the specified Minister considers that the publication of the final report might prejudice any criminal proceedings that are pending or in progress. In order to establish this, the specified Minister is likely to request legal advice from the office of the Attorney General.
The terms of reference of the Commission of Investigation are:
To undertake a thorough investigation and make a report on the following specific matters considered by the Government to be of significant public concern.
(1) Why the Garda investigation into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings was wound down in 1974?
(2) Why the Gardai did not follow-up on the following leads:
(3) In relation to the missing documentation:
To take account of investigative work already undertaken into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 1974, including the Report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry, the Final Report of the Joint Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence and Women’s Rights, Inquest Statements and the Internal Garda Investigation.
To provide a final report to An Taoiseach not later than six months from the date of establishment of the Commission."
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