Most Rev Sean Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland: Statement – Claudy Bombing
Any possible involvement of a priest, either directly or indirectly, in the Claudy bombing or in any other act of terrorism, brings distress, shame and grief to me and to all Catholic priests, and indeed to the whole Catholic community.
My first reaction to the possibility of any such allegation being true is one of absolute horror. My heartfelt sympathy is for the relatives of the victims whose grief has not lessened over time and must be intensified by the prevailing suspicion and speculation with respect to this shameful crime.
This ultimately was and is a matter for the civil authorities and the Police who at the time did not arrest or prosecute possible suspects. The Church will co-operate fully with any ongoing investigation.
In order to enable the relatives of victims to find a degree of closure regarding this horrific tragedy, this is not a time for recrimination or more speculation, but for the truth. To that end and despite many of the protagonists now being deceased, the search for the truth must continue and every effort must be made to find answers to the yet outstanding questions. The Catholic Church will obviously fully co-operate in that search.
20 December 2002
Fr Eugene Sweeney
Tel: (028) 375 22045
From Republic of Ireland: (048) 375 22045
NOTE TO EDITORS:
The following statement was issued by Most Rev Seamus Hegarty, Bishop of Derry at lunchtime today:
Today the Claudy bombing of 1972 is foremost in our minds. The victims and their families are particularly in our thoughts.
I understand that the police are currently giving a press conference on the Claudy bomb of 1972 and that they may release details of a most serious nature. I understand that new details may be released that will constitute new material that until now has been unknown to the Derry Diocese. I will take the information revealed at the press conference very seriously and will examine it carefully. Considering the seriousness of the subject matter I wish to take time to give adequate consideration to it before making a response.
Fr Kevin Mc Elhennon, Diocese of Derry Tel: 028 712 62302