‘Innocent Ballymurphy victims no different from innocent IRA ones’

The brother of a boy who was blown up by the IRA has said the Ballymurphy findings will reinforce his own desire to see justice done for his sibling.

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 9:12 am

David Temple’s brother William was 16 when he was blown up in the triple car-bombing of the tiny village of Claudy on July 31, 1972, along with eight other people.

He was speaking after an inquest into the three-day fatal shooting spree in west Belfast in 1971 found all the victims had been killed unjustifiably.

All the targets were civilian ones; a pub, a shop, a Post Office, a hotel.

William Temple

He believes that the police, NIO and Irish government all colluded to stifle the investigation into Claudy because of the long-suspected involvement of Father James Chesney – because if he was prosecuted, the authorities feared a wave of loyalist reprisals against innocent Catholic priests.

He told the News Letter he felt for the families of the people killed at Ballymurphy, saying: “They’re innocent victims, just the same as the victims of Claudy; they were just going about their days’ business.”

He added: “I still fight for Claudy and I want to see justice too for those people.

“We’re the same as the Ballymurphy ones. [We hope] victims do get a chance in court to hear why their loved ones died. It has to come out.

“We will try and get our day in court to find out why our loved ones were killed, why was it all covered up.

“We need justice – we need to get there too. I feel sorry for the Ballymurphy people; the Army were heavy-handed.”

Asked if this will add impetus to his desire for justice, he said: “Yes, yes: this will drive me on to get these things. Victims are victims. It doesn’t matter what side of the community you come from.”

More from this reporter:

——— ———

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers — and consequently the revenue we receive — we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to newsletter.co.uk and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Ireland and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Alistair Bushe

Editor ones’