107. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the progress in the investigation of the Belturbet bombing of December 1972; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [40928/16]


Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The bombing at Belturbet in December 1972 took two young lives in a dreadful act of violence. Our deepest sympathies are with the families who were bereaved by this atrocity. They, like the families of so many others killed over course of the troubles in unjustified and callous acts, bear the pain of loss to this day.
I am informed by the Garda Authorities that the bombing at Belturbet and the two deaths caused by it were the subject of a thorough Garda investigation at the time. Expertise was provided by the Defence Forces. The investigations at that time involved close liaison with the authorities in Northern Ireland. However, although every avenue of inquiry open to the investigation was pursued it was not possible to uncover evidence to sustain a prosecution for this crime. It remains a source of deep disappointment that no one has been brought to justice for these murders.
I have been informed by the Garda Authorities that the investigation into these murders remains open. Regrettably it is the case that with the passage of over 40 years and in the absence of any new evidence emerging, one must be realistic about the prospects of successful prosecutions. Nonetheless, the Garda Authorities will pursue fully any new information or evidence that may be made available and would work with the PSNI to seek to progress the investigation in such circumstances. Anyone who has any relevant information in respect of this atrocity should bring it to the attention of the Garda Authorities.