Report claims Catholic priest was involved in 1972 IRA bombing

Attack in Northern Ireland killed nine, wounded 30

Nine people died and 30 others were wounded when car bombs rocked the village of Claudy in Northern Ireland on July 31, 1972. No one was ever charged for the the attacks, which occurred on the same day 12,000 British troops entered Belfast and Londonderry in a bid to gain control during the Troubles. On Tuesday, the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland, an independent body, released a report saying police compromised their investigation into the bombings by consulting government on how to manage the Catholic Church. Though the police were aware of information tying Father James Chesney, who died in 1980, to the incident, the government discouraged the investigation and instead moved Chesney to another parish. Al Hutchinson, the police ombudsman, says that the event must be understood in context of its time: it was thought that the arrest of the priest would aggravate violence and precipitate attacks on the clergy. That said, Hutchinson added that “the decision failed those who were murdered, injured, and bereaved in the bombing.”


Belfast Telegraph

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