The bombings of 17 May 1974 were a series of coordinated car bombings in Dublin and Monaghan.

A new Irish TV documentary has claimed that the purpose of the Dublin/Monaghan bombings in 1974 was to start a civil war. The bombings were carried out by Loyalists acting under orders from British Army agents the documentary revealed.

The bombings of 17 May 1974 were a series of coordinated car bombings in Dublin and Monaghan. Three exploded in Dublin during rush hour and a fourth exploded in Monaghan almost 90 minutes later. They killed 33 civilians and a full-term unborn child, and injured almost 300.

The bombings were the deadliest attack of the conflict known as the Troubles, and the deadliest terrorist attack in the Republic's history. Most of the victims were young women, although the ages of the dead ranged from five months to 80 years.

Following the documentary there have been calls for the Irish government to immediately request all collusion files be made public.

“Collusion”, a special RTE program aired on Monday, and examined the extent of collusion between security forces and loyalists paramilitaries. It’s available to watch online, worldwide, on RTE Player International.

A top Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officer raised the issue of paramilitary collusion personally with Margaret Thatcher but his concerns were ignored. Successive British governments refused to launch any internal investigation into the collusion activities of its own army including shoot to kill death squads.

The documentary features claims from a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) gang responsible for the bombings that the intention was to start a civil war and includes interviews with many of the major players in policing and security over the past three decades.

The program claims that the British Army decided early on that it could not fight a war on two fronts and concentrated its efforts on "destroying" the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA), while simultaneously stating publicly that it was dealing with the conflict in an even-handed way.

The army’s secret Force Research Unit (FRU) recruited and ran agents within paramilitary organizations during the Troubles.

A recent book “Lethal Allies” by Anne Cadwallader estimated one Loyalist gang based in Mid Ulster may have killed as many as 120 Catholics.

The documentary, “Collusion,” features an interview with former Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde, who said that the FRU commander Gordon Kerr should have faced a public trial.

In 1987, Kerr recruited former soldier Brian Nelson as an agent. Nelson's job was to infiltrate the UDA and for the next three years, he colluded with murder gangs to shoot IRA suspects and innocent nationalists.

One of those murdered was Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane.

Former Special Branch head Raymond White said that the message he received from the British government at the time on the use of agents in the war was "carry on - just don't get caught.”

In the documentary, former Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan claims that the British government was still attempting to hide levels of collusion as late as 2003, six years after the Good Friday Agreement.

Baroness O’Loan told the program that when she been investigating new murders involving collusion, senior British Government officials attempted to pressure her not to continue.

The investigation eventually revealed shocking levels of collusion between police officers and what O’Loan described as ‘serial killers.’ Her report found that Special Branch officers gave the killers immunity and officers ensured the murderers were not caught.

A new collusion investigation has been launched into 19 other linked killings, according to the documentary.

Meanwhile an Irish senator has demanded the British ambassador be called in by the Irish government to answer questions on evidence of collusion.

The murder of Catholics by the British Army and Government exposed by RTE requires a full enquiry by the Foreign Affairs and the Good Friday Agreement Committees the senator says.

Senator Mark Daly, a member of the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee, last week proposed that there would be a joint enquiry with the Good Friday Agreement Committee into the growing evidence of a coordinated, planned and deliberate campaign of murder and terror by the British Government with the full knowledge and approval of the British Prime Minister. A decision will be made this Wednesday at the committee meeting on a joint enquiry.

"As a result of the RTE programme 'Collusion' showing the knowledge by British Prime Ministers of the murder of Catholics with British army assistance, it is time for the Irish Government to stop asking and start demanding" stated Senator Daly.

"Soft diplomacy has got us nowhere it's time to ask the EU, UN and the Hague war crimes tribunal to carry out investigations. The British Prime Minister and State were no better than a third world dictatorship ordering a terror campaign by murder gangs who deliberately and indiscriminately murdered Catholic and Irish Citizens.

The evidence is that in the case of the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings, which was the biggest mass murder in the history of the state, the British army were involved. Yet despite a motion passed by the Dail (Parliament), despite the British government being accused of mass murder of Irish Citizens on the streets of our towns and cities, this British government and the Prime Minister David Cameron has refused to release the files that would show it was not involved. The only conclusion the Irish people can come to is that the files would show its responsibility for this mass murder of Irish people."

RTÉ Player International is available to download from the app store for free, users can access 100 hours of free content, refreshed daily and the full content offering of 500 hours can be accessed and watched free of advertising for a monthly subscription of €8.99 ($8.99/ £6.99) through the Apple Store.

For more information visit or follow the RTÉ Player International on Twitter at @RTEPlayerInt or on Facebook at