Claudy bombing investigation halted due to lack of evidence

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THE police investigation into the Claudy bombing, which is believed to have been carried out by a south Derry branch of the IRA, has been suspended due to lack of evidence.

In 2010 the Police Ombudsman released their report into the 1972 atrocity, revealing a Desertmartin-based priest Fr James Chesney has been suspected of involvement, but was never arrested or questioned.

On Friday, relatives of the victims, were informed that the police probe had ground to a halt.

UUP MLA Tom Elliott who was at the meeting with the PSNI, said: “The news that the Police have suspended the investigation due to a lack of evidence and information was met with a mixture of frustration and anger.”

He added: “Claudy is often referred to as the forgotten atrocity. On the 31st July 1972 three car bombs took the lives of nine civilians. The investigation into it has been a catalogue of failures right from the start.

“The involvement of a Catholic priest, Father James Chesney was known but covered up, and there is a strong suspicion that the involvement of others may be the reason why the full facts have never been allowed to emerge.

“Concern has been raised that many of the gaps are caused by political interference. It is vital that anyone who may have any information, including the deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness should come forward and disclose it to the police.

Cllr. Mary Hamilton who was injured in the bombing said: “The victims of Claudy deserve justice, even after all this time. I simply do not believe it is acceptable for the Police to drop this investigation and I would urge them to redouble their efforts.”