Claudy victims ‘are never out of our hearts’

Mary Hamilton speaking at the memorial service to mark the 45th Anniversary of the Claudy Bomb, SEFF assisted the families in organising an open air Service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving on Monday Evening  in Claudy.
Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Mary Hamilton speaking at the memorial service to mark the 45th Anniversary of the Claudy Bomb, SEFF assisted the families in organising an open air Service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving on Monday Evening in Claudy. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

Those who organised a vigil to remember those killed and wounded in the Claudy bombing have spoken of how the victims “will always be in our hearts”.

The organisers this week thanked the hundreds who came along to the recent vigil and commemoration event in the village, which marked the 45th anniversary of the tragedy.

Nine people lost their lives and 30 people were injured when three IRA car bombs ripped through the County Derry village on 31 July 1972.

There were emotional scenes in Claudy last week as some of the surviving wounded and relatives of those killed gathered for a poignant service.

Around 300 people attended the open-air service, held at the memorial erected on Claudy’s Main Street in 2000.

Organisers Mary Hamilton, who was wounded in the bombing, and David Temple, whose brother William (16) was among those killed, said that they and the committee were grateful to everyone who turned out.

They said: “We express our appreciation to everyone who attended the 45th-anniversary service in Claudy on Monday, July 31 to remember the victims who lost their lives and those who were injured and still bear the scars to this day. Our sincere thanks.”

Speaking about those killed that day, they added: “They may be out of our lives but they will never be out of our hearts.”

Protestant and Catholic clergy were among those gathered for the service, alongside politicians including DUP leader Arlene Foster and her party colleagues Gregory Campbell MP, and MLAs George Robinson and Gary Middleton.

Mary Hamilton, a UUP Derry City & Strabane District Councillor attended the service with her former party leader, Lord Empey.

Victims campaigner Kenny Donaldson said it had been a particularly poignant service, with everyone standing together to remember the victims.