Claudy victim’s brother calls for new probe into 1972 bomb

The aftermath of the Claudy bombing in July 1972
The aftermath of the Claudy bombing in July 1972

The brother of a teenager killed by in the Claudy bombing has called for a fresh investigation as the 45th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Monday, July 31 marks 45 years since three IRA bombs ravaged the small Co Londonderry village, murdering nine innocent people and injuring many others.

Families and friends of the victims will gather together on the anniversary to remember loved ones, including William Temple from Donemara, Co Tyrone.

The 16-year-old was a milkman’s helper and his round included the village of Claudy. He had been injured by the first explosion, but was killed instantly in the third.

Ahead of Monday’s anniversary, William’s brother David said the pain of losing him is as fresh today as it was 45 years ago.

He added: “When Martin McGuinness died earlier this year refusing to provide any accountability around Claudy, many feared that the truth of Claudy may be buried with him.

“But there remains within our community those who are clear on what happened in Claudy and they must make themselves known.”

Police suspended their investigation into the bombing in 2013, telling relatives of the victims that their inquiries would not resume unless new information or evidence is received.

Mr Temple said the Historical Enquiries Team review of Claudy was “totally inadequate”, leaving families “with more questions than answers”.

He added: “The Claudy families have been treated with contempt down the years; we simply have not factored in the priorities of those who should be there to do what is right by us.

“My family want Claudy to be given the focus and priority that it never has been. We want a proper investigation which has a starting point of going to and uncovering the truth of what happened.

“I want those who carried out the bombings to be held publicly accountable for their actions.”

Monday’s service of remembrance and thanksgiving will be held at 7.30pm in the car park which houses the memorial to the Claudy victims.

Clergy from the Catholic Church, Presbyterian Church and Church of Ireland will facilitate the service, with the involvement of family representatives.

A youth choir from victims’ group South East Fermanagh Foundation will also perform at the event. It will be comprised of young people whose grandparents and other relatives were murdered through terrorism.

Kenny Donaldson, director of services at victims’ group South East Fermanagh Foundation (SEFF), said Claudy is one of the “horrific atrocities of the Troubles which has gone unresolved”.

He added: “Martin McGuinness and others have gone to their graves denying answers to the families, but there are others who continue to hold information concerning that day who have the power to ease the pain and suffering of those they so grievously wronged.”

SEFF is helping to organise the commemoration event, which will take place in the village on Monday at 7.30pm.