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U2 back Justice for the Forgotten campaign

U2 perform in the first concert of their new world tour in Vancouver
Connla Young

Relatives of people killed in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings have welcomed support from rock legends U2 as their latest world tour kicked off this week.

In a show of solidarity with the Justice for the Forgotten campaign, huge pictures of the 33 people killed in the May 1974 attacks were shown on a giant screen during the opening concert in Vancouver in Canada.

Thousands of people looked on as a striking visual display accompanied the song Raised by Wolves, written about the massacre which took place 41 years ago on Sunday.

In Dublin 26 people died when three car bombs exploded without warning around the city centre during rush hour.

Around 90 minutes later another device went off in Monaghan, killing six people and fatally wounding another.

During Thursday's concert, news reports from the time were played to the audience along with audio clips that included the voice of Ian Paisley, seconds before U2 frontman Bono blasted out the song's haunting lyrics.

The song is set to be played at every concert during the band's Innocence and Experience tour, which will visit 20 cities across the globe this year.

Relatives of those killed have been locked in a battle with the British government to force it to hand over key documents linked to the bombing.

The attack was carried out by the notorious Glenanne Gang which included members of the RUC, UDR and UVF.

Families will gather in Dublin this morning to remember the dead and renew their call for the British government to release all information.

Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke will attend the event while the Irish government will also be represented.

Relatives of victims have welcomed the high-profile support.

Dublin man Pat Fay, whose father Patrick was killed when a bomb went off in Parnell Street, said the band will help bring their story to a new audience.

“This means that the world will finally hear about the huge injustice inflicted upon families who had already suffered devastating lost,” he said.

Bernadette Joly was 23 when she suffered serious injuries to both arms when one of the bombs ripped through Talbot Street.

“We greatly welcome U2's decision to highlight our loss and our need for justice and truth,” she said.

“At last, we feel the world will listen to our plight and demand that London open up the files and set the truth free.”

U2's move came after Margaret Urwin from Justice for the Forgotten wrote to the band last year on behalf of relatives to thank them for writing Raised by Wolves.

In March the campaigner then received a phone call from drummer Larry Mullan, who lived on the same Dublin street as bomb victim Maureen Shields, and who he knew as a child.

Ms Urwin said: “Larry rang me in March and said they were starting their tour and said they were interested in taking up our cause and were we willing to collaborate with them.

“We are hoping it will bring a lot of pressure to bear on the British government.

“The families are delighted.”

Anne Cadwallader, whose book Lethal Allies details the activities of the Glenanne Gang, will speak at today's commemoration in Dublin.

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