New user? Register here:
Email Address:
Password:
Retype Password:
First Name:
Last Name:
Existing user? Login here:
 
 
News >

Cardinal denies Claudy cover-up

by Gregg Ryan Ireland Correspondent

THE Bishop of Derry & Raphoe, the Rt Revd Ken Good, has welcomed the publication of the Northern Ire­land Police Ombudsman’s report into the Claudy bombing of 1972. The report implicates the Revd James Chesney, a Roman Catholic priest, in the bomb­ing, in which nine people were killed.

The Ombudsman’s report cited evidence to support the claim that Fr Chesney was transferred out of the diocese into a parish in County Donegal about six months after the bombing.

Bishop Good has called for a continued pursuit of the truth. “It is right that the truth should come out now. Those who were so cruelly bereaved or injured on that day deserve no less.”

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh, Cardinal Seán Brady, and the current Bishop of Derry, Dr Seamus Hegarty, have both denied that the Church was involved in a cover up. Fr Chesney died in 1980 without ever having been questioned by the Royal Ulster Constabulary. They said that all known material in the possession of the Church had been made available to the Ombuds­man.

A statement from the Cardinal read: “It is shocking that a priest should be suspected of involvement in such violence. This case should have been properly investigated and re­solved during Fr Chesney’s lifetime. . .

“We agree with the Police Om­buds­man that the fact this did not happen failed those who were mur­dered, injured, and bereaved in the bombings. The Cath­olic Church did not engage in a cover-up of this matter. As the Ombudsman finds in his statement, the Church was ap­proached by the Secretary of State [William Whitelaw] at the instigation of senior members of the RUC.”

He said that the Church sub­sequently reported the outcome of its questioning of Fr Chesney to Mr Whitelaw. “The actions of Cardinal Conway or any other Church auth­ority did not prevent the possibility of future arrest and questioning of Fr Chesney” who, until his death, “is known to have regularly travelled across the border, but was never ar­rested, questioned, nor further invest­igated by the RUC”.

On Tuesday, a Church of Ireland spokesman praised the dignity of the bereaved as they continued to seek justice. “The events of that day brought pain and suffering that cast a long shadow over the lives of many families in the Claudy area.”

Job of the week

Rector

North West

DIOCESE OF CHESTER RECTOR for the Parish of Heswall, Wirral Is God calling you to lead our large, lively, outward looking local parish? We value Biblical teaching highly, focus on mission in th...  Read More

Signup for job alerts
Top feature

The message is ‘Less is more,’ more or less

The message is ‘Less is more,’ more or less

James Wallman's new book argues that having more does not make us happy. Cole Moreton tackles his assumptions  Subscribe to read more

Question of the week
Do you agree with a bishop for church-plants?

To prevent multiple voting, we now ask readers to be logged in. This is free, quick and easy, honestly. Click here to login or register

Top comment

Opinion

Teenagers are surprisingly interested in God, but they have an unerring instinct for authenticity, suggests Tess Kuin Lawton  Read More

Fri 6 Mar 15 @ 16:43
Reform asylum system for persecuted Christians, says conference speaker http://t.co/mpAYYvAGnW

Fri 6 Mar 15 @ 16:12
Learning to listen: Agreeing to disagree can be the most creative way forward, argues David Ison http://t.co/6zL1NPQmOc