Gregory Campbell has called on the Catholic Church to release any files it may have on the Claudy bombing. Campbell has pointed to the recent fact that Bishop Noel Treanor has called for an enquiry into the events of 1972 in Ballymurphy and has released the Church’s documents pertaining to that episode.
The Claudy bombing in 1972 resulted in 9 deaths including that of Kathyrn Eakin aged 9. The IRA has been widely blamed for the atrocity but has never admitted responsibility. A number of people have been arrested as recently as 2005 but no one was charged. In 2002 Father Chesney was publicly named as one of the murderers but at that time Bishop Edward Daly, told the BBC that Father Chesney had denied any involvement with the IRA “utterly, unequivocally, vehemently”. However, he did tell his superiors that he had “republican sympathies, very strong republican sympathies.” Whether this should be taken to imply that the Church carried out an investigation is unclear but there certainly is significant evidence to suggest that the Church knew of Chesney’s actions. It remains to be seen if the Church will be as forthcoming over Claudy as it seems to be being over Ballymurphy.