Claudy bomb: Police Ombudsman report due into NI attack

#1
Apologies if this has been posted already. BBC News - Claudy bomb: Police Ombudsman report due into NI attack

Claudy bomb: Police Ombudsman report due into NI attack
Father James Chesney was a parish priest at the time of the bombing
Northern Ireland's Police Ombudsman is due to publish his report into the alleged involvement of a priest in a 1972 IRA bombing in County Londonderry.

Nine people, including an eight-year-old girl, were killed in the village of Claudy in one of the most controversial incidents of the Troubles.

There was an alleged deal between the UK government and the Catholic Church not to arrest Father James Chesney.

Fr Chesney was moved across the Irish border by the Church after the attack.

The priest, who died in 1980, had been the curate in Cullion, a small parish in County Londonderry.

No-one convicted

The Ombudsman's investigation began in 2002 when the police revealed that the force in 1972, the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), had information which indicated that the priest was an active member of the IRA and was involved in the bombing.

Continue reading the main story A dark day in the bloodiest year [/news/uk-northern-ireland-11012814] Who was Father James Chesney? [/news/uk-northern-ireland-11068725] What did the priest know? [/news/uk-11061344] The Claudy victims [/news/uk-northern-ireland-11026426]
The statement said that the Secretary of State at the time, Willie Whitelaw, and Cardinal Conway, the leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland, had discussed the activities of the priest.

It added that all opportunities to catch those who bombed Claudy had not been taken.

Also in 2002 the Bishop of Derry Edward Daly, told the BBC that when questioned by his church superiors Fr Chesney had denied any involvement with the IRA "utterly, unequivocally, vehemently".

However, Fr Chesney did say that he had "republican sympathies, very strong republican sympathies".

Continue reading the main story Claudy bombingsClaudy is a small village, with a mixed Protestant and Catholic population, six miles south-east of LondonderryNine people were killed in the three blasts, which happened on 31 July 1972No warnings were given by the bombersThe IRA never claimed involvement, but were assumed to be behind themLocal priest Father James Chesney rumoured to have been a member of the IRA unit responsibleHe was transferred by the Catholic Church across the border to Co DonegalHe died in 1980 without ever being questioned by the police over the atrocity
The Ombudsman, Al Hutchinson, has been examining the original RUC investigation.

No-one has ever been convicted of the bomb attack in which both Protestants and Catholics were killed.

The youngest victim was eight-year-old Kathryn Eakin who was cleaning the windows of the family grocery shop when the first bomb exploded.

The other people killed were Joseph McCluskey, 39; David Miller, 60; James McClelland, 65; William Temple, 16; Elizabeth McElhinney, 59; Rose McLaughlin, 51; Patrick Connolly, 15; and Arthur Hone, 38.

The bombing came in the bloodiest year of the Northern Ireland conflict - almost 500 people were killed in 1972.

As well as the power to investigate complaints against the Police Service of Northern Ireland, the Police Ombudsman also has the authority to probe investigations carried out by the predecessor to the PSNI, the RUC.

More general investigations into incidents during the Troubles are handled by a dedicated group of PSNI detectives - the Historical Enquiries Team.

Continue reading the main story “Start QuoteThe rumour which has been swirling around the County Londonderry village for the past 38 years is there was no justice for the nine people killed, simply a cover-up”
End Quote Mark Simpson BBC Ireland Correspondent Claudy: what did the priest know?
'Bring justice'

BBC Ireland correspondent Mark Simpson said the report "is expected to confirm that the authorities at the time were aware of the suspected involvement of a priest in the atrocity - but failed to arrest him".

"Instead, a secret deal was done between the Catholic Church and the state to move Fr Jim Chesney across the border into County Donegal," our correspondent added.

"The rumour which has been swirling around the County Londonderry village for the past 38 years is there was no justice for the nine people killed, simply a cover-up.

"If the Ombudsman's report substantiates it, there will be questions for the Catholic Church to answer."

Speaking in 2002 shortly after the investigation reopened, Merle Eakin, the mother of Kathryn Eakin, said: "We are just hopeful that they will bring justice and the people who are still alive will be brought to justice - that is what we really want."

In 2005, four people, including a Sinn Fein Assembly member, were arrested in connection with the bombing.

They were released without charge a few days later, with Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness calling it a political stunt.
 
#2
I seem to recall it was supposed to have been a priest that bought a huge batch of parkaway timers?

I this the same guy?
 

skid2

LE
Book Reviewer
#3
There will be an embarrassed shuffle for a couple of hours. A designated shinner will come out and take a kicking from the Claudy survivors. Nominated DUP headcase will spout complete ballocks, diverting the story from a no warning three car bomb slaughter in a small Derry village. The Bishop will say he's not in a position to comment because he wasn't there at the time and you can be damn sure on this occasion there will be no notes or files from the Catholic church. The Claudy people will wander around looking sad and bewildered as they realise that there will be no one brought to book for this. A suspicion that one or more of the people not too far from Stormont could tell them exactly what happened on that day will not help......as it dawns on them no matter how much dignity and patience they have even with another twety eight years they will still never get to hear the truth.
 
#4
Well, it's official: there was collusion.

What is it with the Catholic Church? If they're not sexually abusing kids, they're blowing them up!
 
#6
I seem to recall it was supposed to have been a priest that bought a huge batch of parkaway timers?

I this the same guy?
wasn't that Father Patrick Ryan?
 
#7
There will be an embarrassed shuffle for a couple of hours. A designated shinner will come out and take a kicking from the Claudy survivors. Nominated DUP headcase will spout complete ballocks, diverting the story from a no warning three car bomb slaughter in a small Derry village. The Bishop will say he's not in a position to comment because he wasn't there at the time and you can be damn sure on this occasion there will be no notes or files from the Catholic church. The Claudy people will wander around looking sad and bewildered as they realise that there will be no one brought to book for this. A suspicion that one or more of the people not too far from Stormont could tell them exactly what happened on that day will not help......as it dawns on them no matter how much dignity and patience they have even with another twety eight years they will still never get to hear the truth.
Why do you assume the DUP are talking ballocks?
 
#8
Shock Horror British Government in Conspiracy with Regional Police Force to cover up a number of murders!!!!

Thats the real scandal here!!!
 
#10
Like this was the only priest "at it"..................they were some of the best wheel men in the Province, happily hiding behind a dog collar.
 
#11
I read some time ago that this so-called "Man of God" died 'suddenly' and 'unexpectedly' in 1980 whilst still a relatively young man.
Anybody know what the scumbag died of?


Edited to add : Apparently he died of cancer at the age of 46, I hope it was painful.
 
#12
Re:- Shinners getting kickings and DUPpers talking bollox.... Doubt it.

My prediction is a policy of "Oh dear, what a pity, never mind" from all concerned.

Edit:- Although given that he's now moved to head office I suppose it's possible he'll be found responsible for everything.... Since about 1798.
 
#13
Scumbag Bastard.

All that carnage from someone who is supposed to practice the best work of God.

It looks like the truths of the dirty war are well and truely being washed in public now. I wonder when Adams and McGuinness will be exposed as the greatest tool the British Government ever had in the battle against the IRA.
 

skid2

LE
Book Reviewer
#14
Why do you assume the DUP are talking ballocks?
They usually do. It is highly unlikely that Gregory will let us down on this occasion.
The designated shinner will be hauled out to take the heat in the media, he'll do the usual I don't know who did it. the IRA didn't admit responsibilty and they always do.
Of course they do. You have to admire the talent at rewriting history. The catholic church will blame the cops and the NIO if pushed. Only doing what we were asked to do.
 
#15
They usually do. It is highly unlikely that Gregory will let us down on this occasion.
The designated shinner will be hauled out to take the heat in the media, he'll do the usual I don't know who did it. the IRA didn't admit responsibilty and they always do.
Of course they do. You have to admire the talent at rewriting history. The catholic church will blame the cops and the NIO if pushed. Only doing what we were asked to do.
They always ******* do.
The same party that trounced Trimble for going into government with SF before provo decommisioning, then they done the same thing.
Ps they also had Paisley, the biggest bullshitter going,but at least he was sorta right about the RC church.
 
#16
Shock Horror British Government in Conspiracy with Regional Police Force to cover up a number of murders!!!!

Thats the real scandal here!!!
Still not sure what to make of this report to be honest.
Willie Whitelaw was a good man, I honestly believe that he wouldn't have been party to a cover-up without good reason. I also firmly believe politicians of all flavours are lower than a snakes belly but Whitelaw was of a long extinct breed far superior to the current crop of charlatans.
I can only think that his part in this cover up would be motivated by honourable intent. In July 1972 Whitelaw was trying to bring an end to violence in Northern Ireland and talking to the IRA, I would imagine having a priest arrested for the bombing would have excited public opinion in Ulster to fever pitch and prevented any hope of a negotiated peace.
The fact that those negotiations failed is not actually material to the motives.
 
#18
Still not sure what to make of this report to be honest.
Willie Whitelaw was a good man, I honestly believe that he wouldn't have been party to a cover-up without good reason. I also firmly believe politicians of all flavours are lower than a snakes belly but Whitelaw was of a long extinct breed far superior to the current crop of charlatans.
I can only think that his part in this cover up would be motivated by honourable intent. In July 1972 Whitelaw was trying to bring an end to violence in Northern Ireland and talking to the IRA, I would imagine having a priest arrested for the bombing would have excited public opinion in Ulster to fever pitch and prevented any hope of a negotiated peace.
The fact that those negotiations failed is not actually material to the motives.
Its being put about that there was a cover up as they didn't want the threat of a civil war to become real. They thought that the Protestants may have went apeshit, if they had found that the Catholic church had provided the OC of the IRA in South Londonderry.

If that is true I can understand why they covered it up, but its still wrong that he escaped prosecution to set-up a new parish in Donegal.
 
#19
It's strange that he was not even brought in for questioning, even though he was subsequently seen in Derry frequently after moving to Donegal
 
#20
Its being put about that there was a cover up as they didn't want the threat of a civil war to become real. They thought that the Protestants may have went apeshit, if they had found that the Catholic church had provided the OC of the IRA in South Londonderry.

If that is true I can understand why they covered it up, but its still wrong that he escaped prosecution to set-up a new parish in Donegal.
I'm not arguing that it is right that Chesney escaped justice. Far from it, the man should of hanged.
To be entirely honest I'm not in favour of the state coverin things up either, but as I said I do not believe Whitelaw would have done it without the most genuine of motives.
As well as the threat of Protestant reaction it is probable that Catholics would have believed an arrest of a Catholic priest to be a state attack on the church, it is unlikely that the majority of Catholics (at that point) would have believed a priest would plant a bomb.
 

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