Claudy bombings 'wrong' - McGuinness

Published Tuesday, 31 July 2012
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Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has said the Claudy bombings were "appalling", on the 40th anniversary of the attacks.

Claudy bombings 'wrong' - McGuinness
Martin McGuinness spoke on the 40th anniversary of the Claudy bombings. (© UTV)

Nine people were killed and a number of others seriously injured when three IRA bombs exploded in the Co Londonderry village on 31 July 1972.

In a statement, Mr McGuinness said the deaths and injuries "were wrong".

"All of the deaths and injuries inflicted on totally innocent people in this quiet village 40 years ago should motivate everyone in our society to ensure such terrible tragedies never happen again," the former IRA commander added.

A car bomb exploded outside a pub on the town's Main Street, instantly killing a woman, man and nine-year-old girl, and fatally injuring two others.

The events of that day were appalling and indefensible and they should not have happened.

Martin McGuinness

A second bomb was found in a van close to the post office and, as police cleared the area, people moved towards the Beaufort Hotel, where a third device had been left in a minivan.

The coroner described the attacks as "sheer, unadulterated, cold, calculated, fiendish murder".

In 2010, a Police Ombudsman report found police, church and state colluded to protect Father James Chesney, who was suspected of being involved in the bombings.

The priest was transferred in 1973 to a parish in Co Donegal outside the Northern Ireland jurisdiction and he was never questioned by police.

Fr Chesney died in 1980 in Donegal, and in 2010 it was revealed that Mr McGuinness had visited the priest on his deathbed. But the MP, who had previously denied knowing Fr Chesney, said the Claudy bombs were not mentioned.

It is also 40 years since Catholic teens Daniel Hegarty and Seamus Bradley were shot in Derry by the army during Operation Motorman, which attempted to re-establish a military presence in the Bogside and Creggan areas.

© UTV News
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24 Comments
ulster planter in belfast wrote (869 days ago):
Murderers need help,shelter and support to have operated in N Ireland. These evil acts did not happen without others helping. When the Oxford Street bomb went off on Bloody Friday they stood at the Markets and clapped and cheered. These evil acts were COLLECTIVE. Shame knows no bounds on this forum or when mcguinness opens his mouth. Will the people of Claudy caught up on that murderous day get any justice. Will they have 200 million set aside to uncover the truth. No because it does'nt suit the political agenda. Posted knowing it probably won't be shown.
Wee Grimmy in West Belfast wrote (870 days ago):
Not only did the "two communities" inflict atrocities on each other but so did the State. The British Soldiers who controlled and directed Brian Nelson and RUC Special Branch that controlled Mark Haddock have literally gotten away with murder as have those that give the orders to kill at Ballymurphy, Bloody Sunday & Springhill. IMO we will never be allowed to hear the full truth of what happened because those in authority in "the two communities" and the state have too much to lose.
Alan Anderson in Belfast wrote (870 days ago):
ian in NI. An apology is an apology and its fair to say it can only be taken at face value. No one has legitimised violence and right now NI is the furthest from violence it ever has been. I fail to understand your comment, what should McGuiness do to convince you his apology is genuine?
Martin in Belfast wrote (870 days ago):
Ryan, I agree with a lot of what you say. Both communities have inflicted pain on the other, and of course no one should try to justify any atrocity committed on the "other side". There does appear to be a desire for both sides to claim the high ground on this, but you know what, either all the truth comes out or we all move on together and draw a line under it. I seriously doubt that anyone is going to get justice for Clady. Are the IRA ever going to admit who ordered and carried it out?
Ryan in Belfast wrote (870 days ago):
As an Irish Republican myself, i would definitey say that the Claudy bombings were wrong, especially since a child was killed. But i dont say this as a way of "appeasing" Unionists, i say it in the sense to confirm to the families of whose who lost loved ones that what happened was indeed wrong and shouldnt have happened. But its important for all to realize that attacks that were done on the nationalist community by loyalist paramilitaries and the British army was indeed wrong and unjustifable and thats the problem with some Unionists, they constantly seek to justify what the loyalist paramilitaries and especially the british did on innocent Nationalists.
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