Ulster Unionist justice spokesman Tom Elliott has expressed “anger and frustration” after claiming that the PSNI have suspended their investigation into the IRA bomb in Claudy in 1972.
Last night the Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA said that he had joined families of the victims of the Claudy bombing and met with the police.
“The news that the police have suspended the investigation due to a lack of evidence and information was met with a mixture of frustration and anger,” he said.
“On 31 July 1972 three car bombs took the lives of nine civilians.
“The investigation into it has been a catalogue of failures right from the start. The involvement of a Catholic priest, Father James Chesney, was known but covered up, and there is a strong suspicion that the involvement of others may be the reason why the full facts have never been allowed to emerge.”
He added: “It is vital that anyone who may have any information, including the Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness should come forward and disclose it to the police.”
In 2002, Mr McGuinness told the BBC he had never met Fr Chesney. But in 2010 he admitted he did meet the priest, just before he died in 1980. The Police Ombudsman said in August 2010 that the police, the Roman Catholic Church and the state were involved in a conspiracy to cover up Fr Chesney’s suspected role in the bombing.
Sinn Fein responded last night that the UUP call for Mr McGuinness to disclose anything he knew was “ridiculous”. A spokesman said: “The IRA in Derry always denied involvement in the bomb and Fr Chesney’s role was never proven.”
At the time of going to press the PSNI had not responded.