01 December 2005

Four freed in 1972 bomb inquiry


Nine people were killed in the no-warning bomb

Four people who were arrested over an IRA bombing in 1972 have been released without charge, police have said.

Nine people, including three children, were killed when three car bombs exploded in Claudy, County Londonderry.

Sinn Fein assembly member Francie Brolly and freelance sports commentator Seamus Mullan had been detained along with another man and a woman.

Police said a report was being prepared for submission to the Public Prosecution Service.

The arrests were made on Tuesday morning.

A 58-year-old woman in Dungannon was one of those arrested by police re-examining the no-warning bombing in the village.

Police said two men aged 67 and 60 were detained in Dungiven, and a man, 50, was detained in the Portglenone area.

Police said on Wednesday evening that all four had been freed.

'Raise the issue'

Mr Brolly is an assembly member for the East Londonderry constituency.

Seamus Mullan is a freelance journalist who reports on Gaelic games for a number of media outlets, including BBC Northern Ireland.

Mr Brolly is an assembly member for East Derry

Sinn Fein's chief negotiator, Martin McGuinness, condemned the arrest of Mr Brolly.

He said the party would be raising the issue with the British and Irish governments and called for his immediate release.

The party's Mitchel McLaughlin also called the arrest of Mr Brolly "political policing".

Assistant Chief Constable Sam Kinkaid said new lines of enquiry had emerged as a result of reviewing the case.


"As a police service we are mindful of, and always uphold and protect the human rights of any individual we arrest," he said.

"Every person has a right to be deemed innocent until proven guilty and the police service is careful not to publicly disclose the names of those suspected of involvement.

"Equally we are mindful of the responsibility we have to investigate these events and to uphold the rights of those whose lives were taken from them in Claudy in 1972, the rights of loved ones who were bereaved and those whose lives were changed forever as a result of injury and loss."

In December 2002, the police said a priest, who had died, was involved in the Claudy bombing.

It also emerged that both the Catholic Church's cardinal at the time, William Conway, and the then Secretary of State, William Whitelaw, met to discuss the matter.

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