McGuinness Claudy atrocity questioning ‘halted by politics’

Nine people died in the Claudy bombings of 1972
Nine people died in the Claudy bombings of 1972

Martin McGuinness was set to be questioned by police over the Claudy bomb atrocity about one decade ago but the investigation was called off for political reasons, it has been claimed.

The Daily Telegraph newspaper on Wednesday quoted an unnamed source as saying that by 2007 police had enough evidence to quiz Mr McGuinness over his possible role in the triple bombing of civilian targets in the small Co Londonderry village on July 31, 1972 – at a time when he was a senior figure in the region’s IRA structure.

Martin McGuinness, sporting black hair and a moustache, after being arrested in Co Donegal in the early 1970s

Martin McGuinness, sporting black hair and a moustache, after being arrested in Co Donegal in the early 1970s

It quoted the source as saying detectives had an “appetite” to pursue Mr McGuinness over the matter.

“But when they approached senior officers they were told point blank: ‘We’re not prosecuting Martin McGuinness’,” the report said.

“It was felt by the top brass of the PSNI that it would’ve been simply too damaging to the peace process.”

Nine people died in the bombing, the youngest being aged eight.

About six months after the bloodbath, Mr McGuinness told a Dublin courtroom: “I am a member of the Derry brigade of the IRA, and I am very, very proud of it.”

The PSNI neither confirmed nor denied that Mr McGuinness was due to be questioned in relation to the case.