A victim’s cousin of the Claudy bombing has called for a public inquiry into the 1972 atrocity also known as Bloody Monday.
Adrian Eakin from Coleraine has said that the full truth has yet to be disclosed despite lasts weeks’ publication of a Police Ombudsman’s report into the bombing. Adrian’s cousin Kathryn (8) was the youngest victim of the attack.
Nine people including an eight year old girl were killed and more than 30 injured by the atrocity which occurred on July 31st, 1972. Three vehicles exploded on the main street in the village of Claudy without warning, it became known as Bloody Monday.
Speaking to the Coleraine Times Adrian said “We are glad that this report has come out and confirmed what we knew, that the parish priest James Chesney and South Derry Brigade of the IRA carried out these bombings. But nothing less than a full public inquiry into the atrocity will satisfy the families of the Claudy bombings.”
Kathryn had just arrived home from a vacation that morning and was cleaning the windows of her father’s pub and shop on Main Street when the bomb went off.
“She was a totally innocent victim. The bombings were meant to have been a sectarian attack but Protestants and Catholics both bled and died in the street that day.”
Last week’s report discloses collusion between the Northern Irish police, government and the Catholic Church at that time to cover up the involvement of Fr James Chesney.
The findings concluded that Fr Chesney was the head of the IRA in South Derry and was believed to have been directly involved in the bombing. A detective who wanted to arrest Fr Chesney after the attack was told by the Assistant Chief Constable that "matters are in hand".
Soon after the attacks, Fr Chesney was moved to a parish in Donegal. He denied any involvement in terrorist activities when questioned by his superiors.No action was ever taken against Fr Chesney who died from cancer in 1980 aged 46.
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