Bomb death cover-up claims family
By Eamonn Wynne - The Nationalist
Saturday 26th February 2005
There had been a cover-up in the circumstances surrounding the murder of a Fethard bus driver in Dublin 32 years ago, his family claimed this week.
The family made their claims after the Dublin City Coroner, Dr.Brian Farrell, on Tuesday began hearing the inquests into the deaths of 30 year-old George Bradshaw, originally from Drumdeel, Fethard and two other CIE workers who were killed in two car bomb attacks in the centre of Dublin in the early seventies.
"We feel that the government and the Gardai don’t want the full facts to come out in the open. Our family wants answers because this has been swept under the carpet for too long", George Bradshaw’s sister, Anna Cooke stated.
George Bradshaw and bus conductor Thomas Duffy died and 131 people were injured when a car bomb exploded at Sackville Place off O’Connell Street on December 1st, 1972.
The following month another car bomb exploded in the same street, killing Tommy Douglas from Stirling, Scotland, who was also working as a bus conductor.
No group ever claimed responsibility for the bombings, but the Bradshaw family believe there was collusion at some level, a view they say is shared by the families of the other victims.
The Bradshaws remains convinced that there had been a cover-up and every little piece of evidence that emerged at the inquests; Justice Henry Barron’s investigation into allegations of collusion between British security elements and loyalist paramilitaries in the early 1970s; and the Oireachtas Justice Committee’s investigation into the bombings, only convinced them of that even more.
Mrs. Cooke said that was why the victims’ families were renewing their calls for a public inquiry into the bombings.
"We as families don’t want anything done in private, what good is that to us. If anything is held behind closed doors then they must have something to hide ", she told The Nationalist.
Welcoming the opening of the inquests, she said that they represented another step forward in the families’ search for justice and truth.
Mrs. Cooke said they had also received a good hearing when they addressed the Oireachtas Justice Committee in Leinster House last week. The Committee said it deplored the lack of co-operation from the British government in investigating the attacks.
Speaking on behalf of the men’s relatives, the Justice for the Forgotten group stated that the government must now bring Britain’s non co-operation to the European Court of Human Rights.
Mrs. Cooke, who lives with her husband Paddy and their family at St. Patrick’s Place in Fethard, attended the opening of the inquests in Dublin on Tuesday with her brother Pat and sisters Rose Brett and Angela Connery.
"November 1972 was the last time I saw George alive, and it is as raw in my mind today as it was then. He loved life, and God how we loved him", Rose Bradshaw Brett told the inquest.
The family will be represented at the Coroners Court each day, with the inquests expected to continue until tomorrow, Friday.
Anna Cooke said that Justice Barron’s investigation (the second report of which was launched towards the end of last year); the inquests and the Oireachtas Justice Committee’s investigation were all very welcome.
"Maybe they won’t be able to cover it up any more and at least it’s out in the open", she said. The case had never received as much publicity as it had in the last year and the family were glad of that.
But she wasn’t sure if these recent developments had helped the healing process, because every time George’s name was mentioned his brothers and sisters could picture his face and it brought it all back to them.
George was one of 13 children (8 girls and 4 boys) born to William and Statia Bradshaw. He attended the local Patrician Brothers School, after which he drove a forklift and a lorry at the Fethard Co-op for 10 years.
At that time he lived on The Green in Fethard with his wife Kay and their daughter Lynn, before the family moved to Sutton in Dublin when George secured a job as a bus driver with CIE, where he was stationed at the Clontarf Depot.
The couple’s second child, Rory, was born after they moved to Dublin.
Described by his sister Anna as a happy-go-lucky person, with a very positive outlook on life, George Bradshaw had only left Fethard ten months when he was killed.
His body was brought home from Dublin to be buried at the Calvary Cemetery on the Killenaule Road in Fethard.
Mrs. Cooke said she had heard a news report about a bomb in the centre of Dublin on the night of December 1st, 1972, but she presumed that George was safe because he was stationed in Clontarf.
However he was on standby duties in Earl Street on the night of the bombing. A relation of George’s wife Kay called to Anna’s house at 4 o’clock the following morning with the tragic news.