‘Mum will go to her grave without knowing truth about William’s murder’

David Temple
David Temple

Martin McGuinness has been slammed for offering full disclosure on the death of an IRA man in Londonderry in 1972 - while refusing to discuss the nearby IRA bomb in Claudy on the same day.

David Temple says his seriously ill mother Nettie, aged 90, will likely go to her grave without knowing the truth about how her son William died in the bomb attack - unless the Deputy First Minister tells all that he knows about it.

Mr McGuinness firmly denies any involvement in the attack.

No one has ever admitted planting the Claudy bomb which killed nine people on July 31, 1972. However, the Police Ombudsman has attributed it to the IRA.

There has been widespread scepticism about Mr McGuinness’ denial of involvement, as he openly admits he was second-in-command of the IRA in Londonderry at the time - some six miles away.

“Martin McGuinness is being very selective about what deaths he is going to talk about,” Mr Temple said of the Sinn Fein MLA’s offer last week to help the inquest of IRA man Seamus Bradley, who was shot dead by the Army on the same day as the Claudy attack.

Writing for the News Letter in 2010, journalist Liam Clarke said the IRA carried out the Claudy attack to draw soldiers out of Londonderry, where they were trying to regain control of republican areas in Operation Motorman. It was during this operation that Mr Bradley was shot – an action declared lawful by the Historical Enquiries Team.

“But what about the Claudy families?” Mr Temple asked.

“Our mother is seriously ill in hospital and is going to go to her grave without knowing the truth about what happened.

“She would like Martin McGuinness to tell everything he knows about Claudy.

“He is on record saying he was a senior member of the IRA at that time and was a friend of Fr Chesney’s.”

The Police Ombudsman says the government and Catholic Church covered up that IRA man Fr James Chesney was involved in the bombing.

Mr McGuinness confirmed that he met the priest on his deathbed.

“Our family is still suffering after all these years. William was only 16 when he died – he was out delivering milk,” Mr Temple said.

“He was really looking forward to life and to a career in the dairy industry.”