Claudy IRA bombings: Why is Bloody Sunday more important than Bloody Monday, families ask?

Mary Hamilton, who was injured in the Claudy bombings on 'Bloody Monday' and David Temple, whose brother David was murdered in the attack at the village memorial on a previously anniversary. Photo: Margaret McLaughlin � please by-line
Mary Hamilton, who was injured in the Claudy bombings on 'Bloody Monday' and David Temple, whose brother David was murdered in the attack at the village memorial on a previously anniversary. Photo: Margaret McLaughlin � please by-line

Ahead of the 47th anniversary today, families of the nine people murdered in ‘Bloody Monday’ are asking why they have been ‘forgotten’ in comparison to the Bloody Sunday families.

The IRA murdered nine civilians with three car bombs in the village just outside Londonderry on July 31, 1972. A simple remembrance ceremony will take place at the village memorial today.

Father James Chesney was found to have been an IRA chief suspected of involvement in the Claudy bombings. PA Wire

Father James Chesney was found to have been an IRA chief suspected of involvement in the Claudy bombings. PA Wire

Mary Hamilton was 31 when she was caught up in the bombings, only six months after the nearby Bloody Sunday, in which 13 people were killed by troops.

“I will never give up the fight for justice for Claudy because we owe it to the families and all the rest of the survivors” said the former UUP councillor, who still suffers severe pain from her injuries.

“Bloody Sunday and all the other cases are moving forward but nobody seems to care about us. All this talk of bringing soldiers to justice, but what about bringing the so-called IRA ‘soldiers’ to justice for all their bombings?”

David Temple’s 16-year-old brother William was also murdered. “It is 47 years since Claudy and Bloody Sunday is getting back into the news,” he said. “But there is not a thought about Claudy. As far as I am concerned our campaign for justice will never stop. Look at the Loughinisland investigation ongoing - why stop the Claudy probe?”

James Miller’s grandfather David Miller, 60, was also murdered. “It is a sombre run-up to the 31 July,” he said.

He is one of three families engaged in legal actions against the PSNI, Catholic Church and Northern Ireland Office (NIO) to get full access to files about the atrocity.

The Police Ombudsman published a scathing report about their role in 2010 but since then a further 18 boxes of evidence have come to light, mainly held by the PSNI, he said.

“All three have been very uncooperative. Our lawsuit began four years ago and we hope to be in court quite soon.”

Ahead of the 47th anniversary today, families of the nine people murdered in ‘Bloody Monday’ are asking why they have been ‘forgotten’ in comparison to the Bloody Sundayfamilies.

The IRA murdered nine civilians with three car bombs in the village just outside Londonderry on Monday 31 July 1972. A simple remembrance ceremony will take place at the village memorial today.

Mary Hamilton was 31 when she was caught up in the bombings, only six months after the nearby Bloody Sunday, in which 13 people were killed by troops.

“I will never give up the fight for justice for Claudy because we owe it to the families and all the rest of the survivors” said the former UUP councillor, who still suffers severe pain from her injuries.

“Bloody Sunday and all the other cases are moving forward but nobody seems to care about us. All this talk of bringing soldiers to justice, but what about bringing the so-called IRA ‘soldiers’ to justice for all their bombings?”

David Temple’s 16-year-old brother William was also murdered. “It is 47 years since Claudy and Bloody Sunday is getting back into the news,” he said. “But there is not a thought about Claudy. As far as I am concerned our campaign for justice will never stop. Look at the Loughinisland investigation ongoing - why stop the Claudy probe?”

James Miller’s grandfather David Miller, 60, was also murdered. “It is a sombre run-up to the 31 July,” he said.

He is one of three families engaged in legal actions against the PSNI, Catholic Church and Northern Ireland Office (NIO) to get full access to files about the atrocity.

The Police Ombudsman published a scathing report about their role in 2010 but since then a further 18 boxes of evidence have come to light, mainly held by the PSNI, he said.

“All three have been very uncooperative. Our lawsuit began four years ago and we hope to be in court quite soon.”

In 2010 the Police Ombudsman found that the RUC, the NIO and the Catholic Church covered-up the suspected role of South Derry IRA commander and Catholic priest, Fr James Chesney, in the Claudy bombings.

The ombudsman said the Secretary of State, the leader of Ireland’s Catholics and the RUC Chief Constable connived to move him to Donegal and ensure that he was not questioned.

In 2010 Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness admitted going to meet Chesney on his deathbed, having initially denied doing so. The families believe McGuinness was involved in the atrocity as a local IRA commander. Those murdered were;- Elizabeth McElhinney, 59; Joseph McCloskey, 39; Kathryn Eakin, eight; Rose McLaughlin, 52; Patrick Connolly, 15; Arthur Hone, 38; David Miller, 60; James McClelland, 65 and William Temple 16.