Irish village commemorates 1985 Air India bombing

Ahakista, Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland, June 22, 2004 - The plaque at the front of the memorial to the victims of the Air India bombing. DOC 002 (Photo: Special to The Vancouver Sun) [PNG Merlin Archive]
Image courtesy BBC
Image courtesy BBC

Dublin: A memorial service was held in the Irish village of Ahakista in County Cork on Tuesday to honour the Air India Flight 182 crash victims who died when a bomb exploded on board off the Irish coast 30 years ago, media reported.

Family members of the 329 passengers and crew, who lost their lives in the 1985 crash, gathered at the sundial monument to honur the victims, RTE News reported.

The memorial service was attended by India’s Minister of State for External Affairs Gen. V.K. Singh (retd), Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan and Canadian Minister of Justice Peter MacKay.

The sundial monument displays the exact time the aircraft exploded midair.

“There can never be justification for the murder of innocents in pursuit of any political end. Unfortunately terrorism continues to plague our world and we have seen many repugnant and malevolent acts in the last 30 years,” UTV Ireland quoted Flanagan as saying.

Air India Flight 182 was flying from Toronto to London when it crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, killing 329 people on June 23, 1985.

Most of those killed were Canadian nationals of Indian origin and it is believed the crash was caused by a bomb planted by Sikh extremists.

A Sikh electrician, Inderjit Singh Reyat, was eventually convicted on a manslaughter charge over the bombing and was sentenced to 15 years in jail.