STRAGE DI CLAUDY. MARTIN McGUINNESS INCONTRO’ PADRE CHESNEY
Martin McGuinness ritratta le sue precedenti dichiarazioni confessando di aver incontrato Padre Chesney sul letto di morte. Nessun riferimento alla strage di Claudy
L’incontro tra Martin McGuinness, vice Primo Ministro nordirlandese ed ex leader del Provisional IRA, e Padre James Chesney avvenne nel 1980 e si protrasse per non più di 25 minuti.
Nessuna confessione, nessun riferimento ad un suo coinvolgimento nell’attentato che vide l’esplosione di 3 autobombe a Claudy il 31 luglio del 1972, nelle parole del sacerdote al n. 2 del Sinn Fein.
“Io non sapevo nulla di una qualsiasi connessione con Claudy anche in questa fase o su eventuali accuse contro di lui (Padre Chesney). Ne ero ignaro e non ci sono state argomentazioni in merito durante la nostra molto breve conversazione, che è durata forse 25 minuti, e mai ci si avvicinò. Quel che è stato chiaro è che era molto a favore del movimento repubblicano “. I loro discorsi sarebbero stati incentrati sull’unità d’Irlanda.
McGuinness ha anche negato le responsabilità della strage attribuite alla Brigata Derry del Provisional IRA di cui era un giovanissimo leader.
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- Bomb suspect priest met Martin McGuinness (independent.co.uk)
- MP met Claudy bomb suspect priest (bbc.co.uk)
- Sinn Fein chief met priest involved in ’72 bombing (sfgate.com)
- Claudy: forgotten no longer (sluggerotoole.com)
- Claudy bombing: priest’s role in IRA attack ‘was covered up’ (telegraph.co.uk)
- Report on Claudy bomb attack due (bbc.co.uk)
- Claudy bombing: Father Chesney, the ‘Provo Priest’ (guardian.co.uk)
- ‘Priest was protected in 1972 bombing probe’ (independent.co.uk)
- ‘Priest protected in bomb report’ (mirror.co.uk)
- Apology over Claudy bomb ‘cover-up’ (mirror.co.uk)
McGuinness met Claudy dying priest (UTV)
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has revealed he made a deathbed visit to the priest suspected of the 1972 Claudy bombing.
Father James Chesney, who died from cancer in 1980, aged 46, was never questioned by police despite being suspected of involvement in the attack.
Mr McGuinness, who had previously denied knowing the parish priest, said that during their 25-minute meeting, which was requested by Fr Chesney shortly before his death, the Claudy bombs were not mentioned.
He said the priest spoke of his goal of a united Ireland.
“I knew absolutely nothing about Father Chesney whatsoever before, during or for many years after the Claudy bombing. I will go on to say, as the years progressed, I did become familiar with his name. Whenever he was dying with a very serious illness, I was asked, would I go to meet with him in Donegal? And I did go to see him”, Mr McGuinness confirmed on Wednesday.
“I knew absolutely nothing about any connection with Claudy even at this stage or about any allegations against him. I wasn’t aware of it and there were no discussions about it during our very short conversation, which lasted maybe 25 minutes, and it never came up. What was clear is that he was very supportive of the republican movement”.
Mr McGuinness also denied that the Derry brigade of the IRA, of which he was a 22-year-old member in 1972, had any involvement in the Claudy attacks.
Nine people were killed and 30 were injured in the Co Londonderry village when three car bombs exploded in quick succession on 31 July 1972.
Last month, a Police Ombudsman report found police, church and state colluded to protect the Catholic priest, who was transferred in 1973 to a parish in Co Donegal outside the Northern Ireland jurisdiction.
In the House of Commons, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg reiterated an apology on behalf of the Government for the cover-up.
But he re-stated the Government’s view that there would be no public inquiry into the bombing.
“The Government is profoundly sorry that Father Chesney was not properly investigated for his suspected involvement in this hideous crime at the time and that the victims and their families have quite simply been denied justice.”
“However, I do also want to reiterate that although after the attack the Government acted wrongly in not insisting that the RUC properly investigate Father Chesney, it was terrorists that were responsible for this despicable and evil attack which took innocent lives including that of an eight- yea-old girl”.
“A public inquiry isn’t being considered on the grounds that there isn’t simply likely to be any further evidence to consider.”
Mr Clegg, who was standing in for Prime Minister David Cameron, was answering a question from East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell.
The 1972 Claudy bombing occurred six months after Bloody Sunday on the bloodiest month of the bloodiest year of the Troubles.