Emotional scenes as Claudy remembers

PACEMAKER BELFAST  31/07/2017'A 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
PACEMAKER BELFAST 31/07/2017'A 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

There were emotional scenes in Co Derry last night as relatives of victims and survivors gathered for a poignant service to mark 45 years since the Claudy bombing.

Nine people were killed by three IRA car bombs that exploded in the middle of the village on July 31, 1972. No one has ever been prosecuted for the three blasts.

PACEMAKER BELFAST  31/07/2017'DUP Leader Arlene Foster during A 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

PACEMAKER BELFAST 31/07/2017'DUP Leader Arlene Foster during A 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

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

Along with party leader Arlene Foster, a large contingent of DUP figures attended, including the MP Gregory Campbell, MLAs George Robinson and Gary Middleton, and a number of local councillors.

UUP Councillor Mary Hamilton, who was herself injured by one of the three car bombs, attended the service with her former party leader, Lord Empey.

Victims campaigner Kenny Donaldson said it had been a particularly poignant service.

Mary Hamilton, a survivor of the Claudy 'bombing',  attending the special service marking the 40th anniversary of the event.  INLS 1231-554MT.

Mary Hamilton, a survivor of the Claudy 'bombing', attending the special service marking the 40th anniversary of the event. INLS 1231-554MT.

“The families were at the front, along with the choir and those taking part in the service,” he said.

“There was no special place for the politicians, who were there to lend their support to the families and the victims.”

Mr Donaldson added: “It was a very poignant service.”

DUP MP Gregory Campbell, speaking before the service, said: “The police and the policing ombudsman have examined files down through the years and relatives seem to be no closer today to getting truth and justice than they were 45 years ago.

“There is one group of people who can do more to break the logjam than any other, that is the surviving members of the IRA who carried out the attack and those with knowledge of the planning.”