Claudy's 'disproportionate' suffering

CLAUDY suffered disproportionately worse than most places affected by the conflict in Northern Ireland.

Friday, 27th August 2010, 4:49 pm

In total,13 individuals either from the area were killed as a direct result of the troubles. The 13 fatalities are equivalent to one percent of the population of the village.

At the 2001 census, 1,316 people populated Claudy. 77.9 per cent of the village were from a Catholic background and 22.4 per cent came from a Protestant background.

The death rate in Belfast by comparison was equivalent to just over half a per cent and that in Londonderry to a quarter of a per cent.

As well as the nine victims of the Claudy bombings, four other victims were closely associated with the village.

On December 20, 1972, Ellis Hamilton, a part-time member of the UDR was shot dead by the IRA as he worked in his capacity as an electrician at Croppy Hill reservoir. The 28-year-old man was married with one child. Mr Hamilton was the brother of Ernie Hamilton, then owner of the hotel in Claudy and a future UUP councillor in Londonderry. His sister-in-law, Mary Hamilton is still a UUP Councillor in the city and was badly injured in the Claudy atrocity.

Later on the same day of Mr Hamilton's murder, loyalist gunmen entered Annie's Bar at Gobnascale in Londonderry and murdered five people.

On January 4, 1973, 48-year-old James Hood was shot dead as he returned home to Straidarran near Claudy. Mr Hood was second in command of C Company, UDR 5th Battalion. He was married with three children.

18-year-old Colin Lynch was shot dead by the UDA/UFF on February 17, 1976 when the loyalist grouping fired an automatic weapon into McLaughlin's Bar in the village.

On April 14, 1994, 76-year-old Samuel Montgomery died. The retired farmer and former Sub Divisional Commander of the B Specials, who was from Claudy, died as a result of the wounds he received during the murders at the Rising Sun Bar on October 31, 1993.