The brother of a Claudy bombing victim has made an emotional plea for help in bringing his killers to justice.
William Temple was just 16 years old when three IRA bombs ripped through the quiet Londonderry village of Claudy.
Nine innocent civilians – aged between eight and 65 – died as a result of the July 1972 atrocity.
No one has ever been convicted of the murders.
David Temple said he was not prepared to let the crime be “marginalised to the recordings of history”.
Last week, the PSNI informed the victims’ families that the criminal investigation had been suspended and would only be reopened if new evidence emerged.
Mr Temple, along with a relative of another victim, has now issued writs against various bodies involved in the original investigation.
“Forty-one years ago my brother was cruelly murdered along with eight others in the sleepy village of Claudy.
“That day rocked the lives of our family as it did for many others. As the years have passed it doesn’t get any easier, the sense of injustice that we feel is so hard to manage.
“Aside from the horrific loss of life caused by the Provisional IRA’s attack on the Claudy community, what has been particularly difficult to accept over the years is the apparent unwillingness and lack of courage demonstrated from many in positions of authority to actually do the right thing by those affected.
“Is it really too much to expect to see terrorists brought to justice for the crimes they visited upon a community which they inflicted without care for the person’s religion or political outlook? My brother William was innocent as were the eight others who left this earth on that day.”
The civil court action has been launched against the Derry Diocese of the Catholic Church, the PSNI (formerly the RUC) and the NIO. Once served, the writs will compel the recipients to disclose all relevant information held in relation to the case.
In 2010, a Police Ombudsman’s report on the bombing found that certain actions by the Derry Diocese, the RUC and the state – centred around Catholic priest Father James Chesney – “compromised the investigation of the Claudy bombing; failed those who were murdered and injured; and undermined the police officers who were investigating the atrocity”.
Fr Chesney, who died in 1980, is suspected of having had a role in the atrocity.
However, the report found “no evidence that police had information which, if acted upon, could have helped them to prevent the bombings”.
When the critical ombudsman’s report was published, Secretary of State Owen Paterson said the Government was “profoundly sorry” that the priest had not been properly investigated.
Mr Temple said there was never any justification for taking life “in the furtherance of political objectives”.
He said: “For too long those who inflicted the carnage have been given a status and credibility that they have not deserved.
“They were terrorists and whilst they continue to escape justice they remain criminals.
“I have watched many false dawns over the years come and go – the truth of Claudy has continued to be out of our reach.
“In recent months I along with others have had our hope renewed. In pursuing a civil litigation approach we are sending out a message that it is not acceptable for any institution which is in place to serve the interests of our welfare and people to behave in a way which is contrary to that mantra.”
Mr Temple added: “My brother and the other eight innocents can never be brought back but I and others remain determined to see truth and justice delivered in this life for the families of Claudy.
“This atrocity must no longer be marginalised to the recordings of history. It is a live unsolved atrocity of terrorism and we are committed with the support of others to finish the job that has been started.
“When I meet my brother in heaven I want to look him in the eyes and say, ‘I did all I could’.”