Claudy bombing is the forgotten atrocity: victims

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Victims of the Claudy bombings have described the suspected IRA attack as the forgotten atrocity of the Troubles ahead of a special open air ceremony on its 45th anniversary next Monday night.

David Temple’s brother William was aged just 16 when three car bombs ripped through the village on July 31 1972, killing him and eight others and wounding many more.

Speaking ahead of the cross-community service, the Donemana man said the pain of that day has never left his family.

“The day we lost our loved one is as fresh today as it was in the immediate aftermath,” he said.

“When Martin McGuinness died earlier this year and went to his grave refusing to provide any accountability around Claudy, many fear whether the truth will ever be known.

“The families of Claudy come from across the community - Protestant and Roman Catholic, our tears are the same and our pain is no different. It is so important for my family that we are able to join together with others on Monday night to collectively remember our loved ones and give thanks for their lives.”

UUP Alderman Mary Hamilton, who was badly injured in the attack, said: “There are people who have gone to their graves who were comforted by their relatives and able to say goodbye but none of the victims of Claudy had that privilege.

“We are the forgotten people. The pain of that day still lives on and will never leave us.

“Our lives have changed and will never be the same.”

Mr. Temple said the families of the Claudy victims will not give up their fight for justice nearly 50 years after one of the worst atrocities of the conflict.

“The Historical Investigations Unit (if it is ever legislated for) must re-examine Claudy, we will not accept the crumbs under the table any longer,” he said.