Catholic Church should compensate Claudy families for the IRA crimes of Father James Chesney

Ulster Unionist Alderman Darren Guy has welcomed the news that both the Northern Ireland Office and the Office of the Chief Constable of Northern Ireland have agreed to compensate the families of those murdered by the Provisional IRA in the 1972 Claudy bombings.

Alderman Guy said:

“The families of the Claudy bombings have suffered in silence for too long. The news that the NIO and PSNI have agreed to pay damages to those families who had relatives murdered in Claudy in 1972 is to be welcomed but is too little, too late for many of the families.

“The despicable scheme which was hatched to remove suspected bomber and Catholic Priest Father James Chesney from the jurisdiction was wrong and those involved in the cover-up were a disgrace to the roles that they were entrusted to administer.

“Chesney was also believed to have falsified evidence to protect another accomplice suspected of carrying out the callous murder of innocent men, women and young children including Kathryn Aiken who was only 8 years old and 16 year old William Temple.

“It is a sad indictment of the society in which we live that the truth was hidden from the families by three of the bodies that people are supposed to place faith in. The NIO and the Police have at least now compensated the families.

“I find it hard to understand how the Catholic Church still cannot see fit to apologise to the Claudy families. I would urge the Catholic Church to apologise unreservedly and compensate those families in an attempt to heal some of the wounds that were caused by one of their priests on that fateful August day in 1972. It’s the least they can do.”

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