Church won’t comment on Claudy bombing until after ombudsman’s reports published

The Catholic Church has said it will comment on a call by Gregory Campbell to release any files that relate to the Claudy bombing - after the Police Ombudsman publishes his report on the atrocity.

The East Derry MP, has urged the Catholic Church to release any files it may hold on the alleged role of a priest in the 1972 atrocity, which claimed the lives of nine people.

The DUP MP, Gregory Campbell, was reacting after senior Catholic cleric, Bishop Noel Treanor, last week publicly lent his support to a campaign for an inquiry into the Army killings in 1971 of 11 people-including a priest - in the Ballymurphy area of Belfast.

Gregory Campbell said the onus was now on the Catholic Church to be "as unequivocal about Claudy as they appear to have been about Ballymurphy."

Three bombs decimated the village of Claudy in July 1972. Six people died on the day, with three more victims passing away in the following week.

It's alleged that a parish priest, James Chesney, who passed away in 1980, drove one of the cars containing an explosive device into the village.

Mr Campbell said that, considering Dr Treanor's "particularly definitive stance" on Ballymurphy, the question to be posed back to the church is why "they have not opened up in terms of what they know" about Claudy.

The DUP man also said that if such files do exist they should be handed over to the appropriate authorities.

A spokesman for the Catholic Church said the Church will comment after the publication of the report by the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman.