Claudy families to sue to ‘root out evil people’

Alan Lewis - Photopress Belfast          24-8-2010'Main Street Claudy in August 1972 when three Provisional IRA car bombs exploded without warning, killing 9 local people and injuring many others. A catholic priest, now deceased,  Father James Chesney, led the bomb gang in 1972.
Alan Lewis - Photopress Belfast 24-8-2010'Main Street Claudy in August 1972 when three Provisional IRA car bombs exploded without warning, killing 9 local people and injuring many others. A catholic priest, now deceased, Father James Chesney, led the bomb gang in 1972.

The son of a man killed in the Claudy bombs says suing the Catholic Church, the police and the government over a subsequent cover-up may be the only way to “root out the evil people” behind the 1972 atrocity.

Gordon Miller - whose 60-year-old father David was killed in the third and final bomb blast - and David Temple, whose 16-year-old brother, William, was killed while helping a milkman on his round in the village, are taking the legal action.

Nine people died and more than 30 were injured when three no warning bombs exploded in the Co Derry village on July 31, 1972.

The IRA was blamed for carrying out the attacks - but never claimed responsibility - and Catholic priest Fr Jim Chesney was suspected of masterminding the atrocity.

A Police Ombudsman report published in 2010 found that the RUC investigation into Fr Chesney was “compromised” after senior officers conspired with the British Government and Catholic Church to protect him.

Ombudsman Al Hutchinson revealed that the police had intelligence suggesting that Fr Chesney continued to be involved in the IRA after the Claudy bombing.

Gordon Miller said this week: “The bombing of Claudy involved issues concerning the Irish and British Governments as well as other agencies that had information regarding the terrorists involved in that terrible atrocity.”

“I feel the only option left is to go down this road in an effort to root out these evil people and to hold accountable those Statutory Agencies who hold any information on the terrorists who were involved in any way with the devastation caused in Claudy.”

David Temple added: “As a family over the 41 years we have never received updates as to how the terrorists were being pursued within the police investigation.”

Both families have appealed for anyone with information to come forward.