Yesterday marked the 37th anniversary of the Claudy bombing in which nine people were murdered when three bombs were exploded in the small village. Mary Hamilton one of the local UUP councillors commented:
“Although it will be 37 years since this happened, I can still see clearly and vividly the images of the destruction and carnage. When you see scenes like that, you can never forget.
I was one of the lucky ones who escaped with my life, but many of my friends and people I knew died that day and still it seems we are no closer to justice.
I knew the Eakin family, and it is just so sad that on this anniversary they will not be around to remember their daughter Kathryn but I suppose Billy and Merle are with her now.
My only fear is that many more relatives of the victims of Claudy will also go to their graves without ever seeing anyone brought before the courts for this atrocity. It is just a very, very sad situation. A lot of the relatives feel very helpless and frustrated with the various investigations.” William Hosuton who has liaised extensively with the victims’ families said:
“Time has been a great healer for some of the relatives, but for many others another year has now gone past without any justice or answers.
Whatever the reasons for the lack of progress in the police investigation and the delay in the Police Ombudsmans publication of their report, the continuing lack of progress does nothing to help the relatives of the dead and those who were injured to achieve justice.
Perhaps it is now time for Martin McGuinness, who was effectively the commander of the Derry brigade of the IRA at the time, to follow his own advice given to others and provide as much information as he can to the PSNI in order that those who still carry the scars of that fateful Monday may find some comfort and see some, if not all, of those responsible convicted for the crimes they carried out in Claudy.
Of course despite a number of previous arrests and an apparent confession there have never been any prosecutions and the IRA have even yet to admit responsibility. The PSNIs Historical Enquiries Team has previously investigated the murders but according to the News Letter refused to comment on the investigation into the Claudy bombing.
However, apparently the Police Ombudsman is preparing a report into the murderers and a spokesperson said:
The Ombudsman investigation is now complete and we are in the process of preparing a public report,