29 November 2005

Sinn Féin man quizzed in relation to IRA bomb murders


29/11/2005 - 11:34:47

**See also Who was Father James Chesney?

A Sinn Féin Assembly member was among four people being questioned today about an IRA atrocity which claimed the lives of nine people 33 years ago.

East Derry MLA Francis Brolly was among three men and a woman arrested today by police investigating the triple car bomb attack which ripped apart the village of Claudy in 1972.

One of those detained is a pensioner, and all are in their late 50s or 60s.

No-one has ever been brought to trial for the murders.

The youngest victim of the attack was eight-years-old.

The Police Service said those arrested were a 67-year-old man and a 60-year-old man, who were both detained in Dungiven, Co Derry, a 50-year-old man arrested in the Portglenone area of Co Antrim, and a 58-year-old woman detained in Dungannon, Co Tyrone.

Police launched a fresh probe into the bombing under a senior detective in 2002 when they revealed a local Catholic priest had been part of the IRA gang which bombed Claudy.

Father James Chesney, who died in 1980, was named as the priest concerned.

Police alleged a cover-up had been hatched between the British government and the then Catholic primate Cardinal Conway to keep the priest’s involvement secret when rumours began that he was linked to the bombing.

Cardinal Conway moved the priest across the border to Co Donegal where he died eight years later.

His name became public after a letter detailing his involvement, written by a “Father Liam”, emerged in 2002.

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