Ulster Unionist Justice Spokesperson, Tom Elliott, has commented on the 40th anniversary of the Claudy bombings in 1972 when the IRA murdered nine people.
The Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA said:
‘Today our thoughts are with the families of the victims who were caught up in the IRA terrorist attack which occurred on the morning of Monday 31st July 1972. Three car bombs exploded in the village of Claudy in County Londonderry and as a result, nine people were brutally murdered, the youngest only eight years old. There were also numerous injuries. The Police Ombudsman’s Report into the bombing stated that the atrocity caused untold grief to all sections of the community.’
‘The Claudy Bombing came in the aftermath of Bloody Friday and in what was one of the worst years of IRA violence. I note that Martin McGuinness has rightly called the attack ‘indefensible and appalling’ but this means little when it is followed up by seeking equivalence for these IRA murders with the actions of the British Army who were seeking to combat that threat.
To use the anniversary of what happened at Claudy as a means to attempt to revise history is shocking and certainly insensitive to victims’ families. The Ulster Unionist Party will continue to oppose Sinn Fein’s predictable and thinly veiled attempts to rewrite the role of the State throughout the IRA’s terrorist campaign.’
‘There have never been any convictions for the Claudy bombings and it is clear that if we want to deal effectively with the past Martin McGuinness must come forward with the vast amount of information which he has on murders and other terrorist activity throughout the troubles and take responsibility for the role he played; something he as yet has failed to do - It is time that the deputy First Minister provided that information to the security services.”