Northern Ireland

Claudy bomb: Victim's brother "no confidence" in legacy plans

Victims Image copyright Victim's families
Image caption Nine people died when three bombs exploded in Claudy. From top left: Rose McLaughlin; Patrick Connolly; David Miller; Kathryn Eakin; Joseph McCluskey; Elizabeth McElhinney; William Temple; Arthur Hone and James McClelland

The brother of the youngest victim of the 1972 Claudy bombing has said he has no confidence that the government will deal with Troubles legacy issues.

Nine people, Protestant and Catholic, were killed when three bombs exploded in the County Londonderry village in July 1972.

Mark Eakin lost his sister Kathryn, who was 8-years-old when she died.

He said the families remain "broken hearted" while the case remains in "limbo."

Desperate to get to the truth

The Northern Ireland Secretary of State, James Brokenshire, said the government won't rush to an artificial deadline or timescale when it comes to legacy issues.

It is nearly a year since the Fresh Start Agreement was signed which contained new proposals on the past.

Mr Brokenshire says work is being done behind the scenes but cannot be fast tracked until there is agreement.

However Mr Eakin said people were desperate to get to the truth of what happened in Claudy.

Image copyright Mark Eakin
Image caption Kathryn Eakin, the youngest victim, was cleaning the windows of her family's grocery store when the first bomb exploded

He said he understood there was information and "secret files" relating to the bombings that were not being released.

"We are broken hearted. All I am asking of him (James Brokenshire) is to do his utmost to get whatever files and information on Claudy released to the public so that the people there can eventually have the truth."

In 2010, a Northern Ireland police ombudsman's report said detectives had concluded that the late Father James Chesney, who was later moved to the Republic of Ireland, was a suspect.

It said the police, the state and the Catholic Church had covered up his suspected role in the bombing.

No action was ever taken against Fr Chesney, who died in 1980.

Kathryn Eakin, the youngest victim, was cleaning the windows of her family's grocery store when the first bomb exploded.

The other people killed were Joseph McCloskey 39, David Miller aged 60, James McClelland 65, William Temple 16, Elizabeth McElhinney 59, Rose McLaughlin aged 51, Patrick Connolly, 15, and 38-year-old Arthur Hone.

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