Claudy victim prays for Manchester bomb families

Nine people, including three children, were killed in the Claudy bombings in 1972
Nine people, including three children, were killed in the Claudy bombings in 1972

Claudy bomb victim Mary Hamilton has said that “no cause justifies killing,” stating she was speaking as someone who has experienced first hand what the survivors of the Manchester Arena bomb attack on Monday are going through.

The local Ulster Unionist (UUP) councillor, who was badly injured when three bombs exploded in Claudy on July 31, 1972, killing nine, was commenting after 22 people were killed at an Ariane Grande concert in the city centre.

“I want to express my sympathies to the people of Manchester as someone who has experienced at first hand what the families are going through, as I was caught up in the three-bomb attack in the village of Claudy 45 years ago and it is as vivid as yesterday. My thoughts and prayers are with them,” she said.

Three children were killed by the Claudy bombs, the youngest nine-year-old Kathryn Eakin who was cleaning the windows of the family grocery store. William Temple aged 16 and 15-year-old Joseph Connolly also died.

The IRA did not claim responsibility. On the 40th anniversary of the atrocity, former IRA commander Martin McGuinness described the attack as “appalling and indefensible”

A fresh investigation was launched by the PSNI after the case was passed to them from the Historical Enquiries Team.

Mrs Hamilton said she hoped the families of the Manchester victims could somehow find solace in the wake of the bomb attack but knows that their lives will be changed forever.

“I pray that God will comfort them and help them through the days ahead and as someone who knows that their lives will never be the same again I can only ask why?...because no cause justifies taking lives.”