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Brother of Claudy bombing victim urges Joe Brolly to ‘reveal what he knows’ after comments in interview


Joe Brolly

Joe Brolly

Joe Brolly

The brother of a teenager killed in the 1972 IRA Claudy bombing has urged GAA pundit Joe Brolly "to reveal what he knows", following his comments that he donated a kidney in 2012 to “atone for the taking of human life by people close to me”.

The PSNI confirmed they are reviewing what he said. 

Mr Brolly made the remarks to Virgin Media Sport, in which he described feeling "ecstatic" after donating a kidney to a stranger.

“Then I hit the wall shortly after that. I think for years I had blocked out childhood – I couldn’t even remember childhood properly," he said.

“I realised soon afterwards that the reason I’d given the kidney was to, I think, atone for the taking of human life by people close to me, and to sort of somehow make amends for that.”

Mr Brolly did not elaborate any further on his remarks, however David Temple, whose 16-year-old brother William was killed in the Claudy bombing along with eight other innocent civilians, branded his comments "disgraceful".

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Mr Brolly did not specify what he was referring to and whether his comments were in any way referring to the Claudy bombing.

Following calls for an inquiry into the atrocity, the PSNI detained four people in connection with the bombing in 2005 - including Mr Brolly's father, the late Francie Brolly - who was a Sinn Fein MLA at the time - however they were released without charge the next day and denied involvement.

Francie Brolly subsequently started legal action against the PSNI over his arrest, but the matter was 'stayed' and he did not proceed with the case.

David Temple told the Belfast Telegraph: “My family and those of all the other victims have never got justice and are still seeking answers.

"Claudy still is very controversial. Joe Brolly can't just release wee bits of information here and there, it's not fair on the families."

Mr Brolly has been contacted for comment.

In relation to the GAA pundit's comments to Virgin Media Sport, the PSNI said: “We are aware of comments made in the interview, and of subsequent press reporting in relation to those comments, and will review the content of the interview.”

It is believed officers from the PSNI's Legacy Investigation Branch are reviewing the footage.

Kenny Donaldson, of Innocent Victims United, urged the police to examine the video in order to "establish if there are grounds for Mr Brolly to be spoken to on these matters".

In September of this year, relatives of three of the Claudy bombing victims settled legal action against the police and the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) over the atrocity.

Settlements were agreed "without an admission of liability" from the PSNI and NIO.

Back in 2010, a Police Ombudsman's report found that Catholic priest Father James Chesney, who died in 1980, was a suspect and was moved by the church to a parish the Republic a year after the bombing.

The report said the police, state and the Catholic Church had covered up his suspected role in the bombing. No action was ever taken against Fr Chesney.

William Temple's family, and those of victims David Miller (60) and James McClelland (64), were involved in the legal action.

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