‘Practice what you preach Martin’

Mary Hamilton and David Temple at the Claudy Bomb Memorial. Photo: Margaret McLaughlin
Mary Hamilton and David Temple at the Claudy Bomb Memorial. Photo: Margaret McLaughlin

UUP Alderman Mary Hamilton has called on the Deputy First Minister to practice what he preaches after he gave an address at a victims conference calling for the State to open files on the past.

Mrs Hamilton, who was injured in the Claudy Bombing on July 31, 1972, when three car bombs exploded mid-morning on the Main Street, where she and her husband ran a hotel, said she had been “repulsed” by the comments made by Martin McGuinness.

The Claudy attack killed nine civilians, and Mrs Hamilton was badly injured in the explosion and still suffers from the effects of shrapnel which embedded itself in her body.

“Martin McGuinness has no right lecturing the State about opening files on the past when he has steadfastly refused for 44 years to meet or acknowledge the victims of the Claudy Bombing.

“For Martin McGuinness to show his face, never mind speak at the conference hosted by the Commission for Victims and Survivors is unpalatable for all those whose loved ones were murdered or injured by acts of terrorism, particularly when he has admitted membership of the very organisation which carried out some of those atrocities.

“The very least Mr McGuinness needs to do is meet the victims of Claudy and for him to call for the files to be released which would shed light on all those murders which took place, including those in relation to the murder of Eillis Hamilton and Jim Hood, who served in the UDR, as well as the many more who died serving their country who have never received any apology or explanation.

“Martin McGuinness is great at calling for people to move on, but those who are related to servicemen who died also have a right to justice and truth.”