Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Claudy - what next?

The relatives of the victims of the PIRA's Claudy bomb attack have made it clear they want more than the Ombudsman's report so should it go to an full inquiry?

The Case For:

1. The scope of the Ombudsman's report was limited in what it could investigate:

"...the Office’s statutory powers were limited to the investigation of alleged criminality or misconduct by police officers and not by the Government, Security Agencies or the Catholic Church."

The Ombudsman could not thoroughly investigate the PIRA, Government or the Church about Father James Chesney.

2.  The Ombudsman report was restricted to one event.  It appears highly likely Chesney had more victims than the Claudy bombing.  A police intelligence report states Chesney:

"particularly active officer of the Provisional I.R.A." implicated in "most of the bombings and murders in County Derry"

Relatives yesterday said they were informed Chesney continued in his PIRA activities (1m40secs in) after he was moved.  So there were potentially more victims before and after Claudy that were denied justice.

The Case Against:

1.  The key individuals are dead (as articulated by Owen Patterson).  It is hard to believe that three bombs were made and planted by just Chesney and Man A so possibly others involved are still alive.

2.  Particular incidents receiving higher levels of attention does create a hierarchy of victims (However, this principle has already been breached in Northern Ireland)

3.  Cost - in our chastened times this does have to be a consideration.

4. Denial - The PIRA (and in particular its members) hold much of the needed information.  The organisation continues to deny involvement.  This leaves two options either they change their story as they have done on numerous occasions before or a member breaks their silence (as occurred recently with the discovery of the remains of one of the disappeared, Charlie Armstrong).

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