Families attend a memorial service 50 years after the Claudie bombings.

Families of those killed in the Claudie attacks paid tribute to their loved ones during a solemn memorial event dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the attack.

an intercommunal service with readings and hymn singing took place in the village of Co. Londonderry.

Nine people, Catholics and Protestants, were killed and 30 injured in a three car bomb attack in Claudie on July 31, 1972. Three children were among the dead.

The attack was blamed on the Provisional IRA, although the group never claimed responsibility. No one has ever been convicted of bombings.


Service in Claudie in memory of the nine people killed in three bombings in the city in 1972 (Liam McBurney/PA)

Representatives of nine families of the victims took part in Sunday’s commemoration, which was attended by hundreds of local residents.

Relatives of the victims read prayers at the service, and then laid flowers at separate memorial plaques dedicated to the victims, which are installed on the wall behind the memorial statue.

Among those killed were nine-year-old Catherine Eakin, who washed the windows of her family’s grocery store, Patrick Connolly, 15, and 16-year-old William Temple.

The adults who died were Artie Hawn, 38, Joseph McCluskey, 39, Elizabeth McElhinney, 59, James McClelland, 65, Rose McLaughlin, 52, and David Miller, 60.

Several families of the victims are continuing legal action against the Catholic Church after a police ombudsman’s report in 2010 revealed that the suspect was a Catholic priest, the late Father James Chesney.

The report said police, the state and the Catholic Church covered up his alleged role in the bombing.


Aftermath of the 1972 Claudie bombings (Pennsylvania)

Attending Sunday’s event, James Miller, grandson of David Miller, said it was important to remember those who had died.

“Today I am here to remember my grandfather, the grandfather I never enjoyed,” he said.

“I was three years old when he was killed, he was brutally taken from me and my family.

“I never had to jump on his lap, I never had to play football with him, we believe that a great man was stolen from us.

“We remember because we don’t want to forget these people, we don’t want to forget what happened to all nine of Claudie’s innocent victims.

“They were brutally mowed down, some of them in their prime—they were young, they were old, they were Catholics, they were Protestants, men and women, and they were all brutally taken away.”


Flowers on plaques at Cloudy service (Liam McBurney/PA)

The South East Fermanagh Foundation (SEFF), a group of survivors, has supported families over the past 12 months in developing a range of projects and activities to mark the anniversary.

After the service, the guests were invited to the nearest community center for the official presentation of a new book about the bombings.

The foreword was written by former world boxing champion Barry McGuigan, who has family ties to the youngest victim, Katherine Eakin.

The center also featured a piece of art created by students from two local elementary schools.