A man whose young brother was among nine people murdered in the triple bomb atrocity at Claudy said Martin McGuinness’s knowledge of the IRA’s crimes has now been “buried along with him”
When he was aged 22, David Temple lost his 16-year-old brother William as a result of the last of three blasts during the IRA’s 1972 attack on the Co Londonderry village.
Now a 63-year-old retired fitter and welder living in Castlederg, he said of Mr McGuinness: “I link him a lot to Claudy.”
At the time of the attack, Mr McGuinness was second-in-command of the IRA in Londonderry, and Claudy is only around eight miles from the city.
The still-unsolved bombing occurred on the same day the Army moved in to parts of the city in a bid to retake areas that had fallen under IRA control (Operation Motorman).
“He buried everything he knows, which a lot of people, Roman Catholic and Protestant, would’ve wanted to hear,” Mr Temple told the News Letter.
“What happened to their loved ones? That’s also buried along with him.
“Martin had an opportunity to tell the people of Claudy why the IRA bombed Claudy.”
However, this was an opportunity the Sinn Fein man never availed of, he said.
“[McGuinness] made a choice in his life, either to go the state, righteous road, or go the way he went. He chose the violent way to go.
“Martin McGuinness owes a lot of things to a lot of people.
“[One thing] he’s never done is tell the truth to victims about what happened to their loved ones. He took this all to his grave with him...
“People are still hurting after 45 years, including myself.
“We never give up the hope that somebody somewhere will learn the truth of Claudy and the likes of Enniskillen.”
The three bombs had exploded outside a pub, a post office, and a hotel on July 31 that year.
David’s brother William had been working as an apprentice at a milk bottling plant and was not even supposed to be in the village at the time of the explosions, but volunteered to go along on an errand.
A report had appeared on Wednesday in The Daily Telegraph, citing an anonymous source who said in around 2007 police were preparing to quiz Mr McGuinness about the Claudy killings, but that the probe was dropped due to political considerations.
Police declined to confirm or deny Mr McGuinness had been in line to be questioned.
Mr Temple said that he had heard this tale “many times”.
The PSNI has said four people were arrested in relation to the atrocity in 2005, but the PPS decided not to prosecute them, and that interviews in 2013 and 2014 failed to yield any new information.
The case is currently among the huge caseload of files awaiting review by the PSNI’s legacy team.