Northern Ireland

Claudy victim Marjorie Leslie calls for meeting with Martin McGuinness

Marjorie Leslie
Image caption Marjorie Leslie said Martin McGuinness should answer victims' questions

A victim of the 1972 Claudy bombings has said she wants to meet Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness, to ask the former IRA leader for answers on the atrocity.

Tuesday marks the 40th anniversary of the attacks which killed nine people.

Marjorie Leslie, who survived the bombs, said she wanted a face-to-face meeting with the deputy first minister.

She said: "Just because Martin McGuinness is up and sitting in Stormont doesn't mean he's untouchable, because he's not," she said.

"I think he has to meet me, and the likes of me, to answer our questions".

'Indefensible'

Ms Leslie was one of dozens of people caught up in the three no-warning car bombs which exploded in the County Londonderry village on 31 July 1972.

No group has ever claimed responsibilty for the attack but the IRA have been consistently blamed for carrying it out.

Mr McGuinness was a senior IRA leader in Derry at the time.

Earlier on Tuesday, Mr McGuinness decribed the Claudy bombings as "indefensible and appalling" and said the attacks were wrong and should not have happened.

However, the DUP MP for East Londonderry, Gregory Campbell, claimed Mr McGuinness was "bound to know the IRA activists who were involved in this actrocity".

"He should name them, let's hear who they were. Who are the people who carried out this atrocity?" Mr Campbell asked.

Mark Eakin, whose 8-year-old sister Kathryn died in the attacks, said he would be contacting deputy first minister about the attack within weeks to "see what he can do".

He has already held two telephone conversations with the Sinn Fein MLA regarding the Claudy attacks.

His sister was cleaning the windows of their family's grocery store when the first bomb exploded.

Image caption Mark Eakin's 8-year-old sister was killed in the Claudy bombings

'Truth'

Mr Eakin said: "I would like for him to press for more police to investigate Claudy and the other atrocities to a proper level, where victims feel they are actually getting an investigation and something not sitting for, we're talking now, forty years with Claudy. It's a long haul."

In his statement on Tuesday, Mr McGuinness said the 40th anniversary of the Claudy bombings was one of a number of significant anniversaries that were being marked this summer, including the deaths of civilians who were killed by the security forces.

He added that "all of the families of those who died or were injured deserve and are entitled to the truth about the deaths of their loved ones".

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