The Claudy bombing occurred on 31 July 1972, when three car bombs exploded mid-morning, two on Main Street and one on Church Street in Claudy in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. The attack killed nine civilians, injured thirty and became known as “Bloody Monday”.
Those who planted the bombs had attempted to send a warning before the explosions took place. The warning was delayed, however, because the telephones were out of order due to an earlier bomb attack. The Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) issued an immediate denial of responsibility, and later stated that “an internal court of inquiry” had found that its local unit did not carry out the attack. On the thirtieth anniversary of the boming, there was a review of the case and in December 2002 it was revealed that the IRA had been responsible for the bomb explosions.
A priest suspected of being an IRA leader and masterminding a bombing atrocity was allowed to escape arrest thanks to a secret deal between police, ministers and the Roman Catholic Church, a report revealed yesterday.
Father James Chesney was the ‘prime suspect’ after nine people, including an eight-year-old girl, were killed and 30 injured when three car bombs exploded in the quiet Northern Ireland village of Claudy in July 1972.
Detectives wanted to arrest the Catholic priest, who was believed to be the commander of an active IRA terrorist unit, but the move was blocked by an Assistant Chief Constable concerned about the consequences of such a controversial arrest during one of the most bloody periods of the Troubles.
Many horrible things happened during The Troubles.
Claudy was a very bad one.
And it was made so much worse by the fact that a priest was involved in the bombing.
How any priest or any Christian could plant a bomb and destroy men, women and children is beyond me.
The victims that are still living need help with getting justice.
They particularly need help with finding out Father Chesney’s involvement with Republican paramilitaries was.
They also need to find out if the RCC knew about Father Chesneys.
Can anyone help?
QUOTE FROM SHANE PAUL O DOHERTY
“There are plenty of people in the South Derry Brigade IRA area and elsewhere who have information about the Claudy bombing – they are just not minded to offer it up.
Why should they when church and state, voters and G.A.A. are jointly engaged in normalizing and even glorifying murder and IRA murderers?
They say it’s time to “move on” and to put Human Rights and Human Wrongs away – Truth may also be put away.
This is the foundation on which we are to build our shared future – on an agreed cover up…”