New evidence claims a Catholic priest serving in Derry planned the 1972 Claudy bombing.

On 31 July 1972, three car bombs exploded without warning in the centre of the village of Claudy in County Derry. The Irish Republican Army (IRA) was blamed for the explosion which killed nine people, six adults and three children.

They have always denied any involvement.

Ulster Unionist councillor Mary Hamilton claims she has received new evidence alleging a Catholic priest, Father James Chesney, who was serving in Derry, planned the Claudy bombing.

She believes Father Chesney who died in 1980, confessed his involvement to another priest 'Father Liam' now living in England. On the thirtieth anniversary of the bombing, Father Liam wrote to Mary Hamilton to clear his conscience. If there is a new investigation into the Claudy bombings,

He will then reveal himself and come forward and tell us all he knows and all that he was told.

Mary Hamilton is convinced the letter is genuine and is calling on the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) chief constable and the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland to investigate the claims.

These allegations have been made previously and dismissed by the Bishop of Derry Doctor Séamus Hegarty, as being,

Spurious and unsubstantiated.

The bishop maintains that Father Chesney was held in good standing while serving in Claudy.

No one has ever been charged in connection with the Claudy bombing.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 17 September 2002. The reporter is Brendan Wright.