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A conspiracy involving a Catholic priest responsible for an IRA bombing is uncovered.
The ombudsman relates how the terrorists had tried to telephone a warning to the RUC from nearby Dungiven but local phones were not working - because the IRA had blown up the exchange some days before. By the time they alerted the police, two of the bombs had already exploded.
Sinn Fein, the political wing of the now-disbanded IRA, called for a truth commission to deliver closure for all families bereaved in the troubles. James Allister, leader of a minority unionist party, Traditional Ulster voice, accused the Catholic Church of being complicit “in covering up mass murder in Claudy.”
Whitelaw’s successor, Owen Paterson, for his part said the British government was “profoundly sorry” that Chesney’s role in the bombings was not properly investigated. Conway, Whitelaw and Shillington have since passed away.
The atrocity was commemorated by Irish poet James Simmons in a work entitled “Claudy,” which included the lines:
"An explosion too loud for your eardrums to bear;
and young children squealing like pigs in the square,
and all faces chalk-white and streaked with bright red,
and the glass and the dust and the terrible dead…
Meanwhile to Dungiven the killers have gone,
and they’re finding it hard to get through on the phone.”