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Anorak News | Provo Priest Father Chesney, A Sports Car And Nine Dead

Provo Priest Father Chesney, A Sports Car And Nine Dead

by | 24th, August 2010

FATHER James Chesney is dead. When he was alive, Chesney played a part in the 1972 bombing of Claudy. What part he played remains unclear. Nobody was ever convicted of the crime.

The bombing left nine people dead and 30 injured. It was callous.

Three bombs in all were planted in the village of Claudy, 11 miles from Derry. Bomb No. 1 exploded by McElhinney’s shop and bar on Main Street.
Bomb No2 was found. Police helped people move to safety at the Beaufort Hotel. A bomb was in a van outside the hotel.

The Provos did not claim the bombs as their own. But fingers were pointed. And they were pointed at Father Chesney?

Police Ombudsman Al Hutchinson’s new report into the IRA bombing which followed claims that the British Government and the Catholic Church were involved in a cover-up to protect the man suspected of masterminding the attack.

Father James Chesney was transferred to a parish in the Irish Republic, which is outside the UK criminal jurisdiction. He died of cancer in 1980 aged 46. He is not here to defend himself.

So was the Church involved? Did the NIO under Willie Whitelaw collude with Catholic church?

The Catholic Church did not engage in a cover-up of the 1972 IRA Claudy bombing, Archbishop of Armagh Seán Brady and Bishop of Derry Seamus Hegarty said today.

In a joint statement, which followed the release of the Police Ombudsman’s Report into the 1972 bombing, they said the Church did not prevent the possibility of arresting and questioning of suspect Fr James Chesney.

Because the Church does not look after its own and have history of conniving to prevent the truth form getting out? Anyone who was the victim of a Catholic priest paedophile will tell you that.

Says the aforementioned Hutchinson:

“I consider that the police failure to investigate someone they suspected of involvement in acts of terrorism could, in itself, have had serious consequences. In the absence of explanation the actions of the senior RUC officers, in seeking and accepting the Government’s assistance in dealing with the problem of Father Chesney’s alleged wrong doing, was by definition a collusive act”.

As for Father Chesney:

When suspicions about his role first emerged publicly, back in 2002, former local MP and civil rights activist Ivan Cooper recalled his first meeting with the priest who, on that occasion, was accompanied by his wealthy aunt and uncle, Willie and Betty Noon.

It was the early 1970s, some time before the Claudy bombings. “They arrived at my house in a bright red Mercedes,” Cooper remembered. “She was dripping with furs and waving a long cigarette holder. Later, I was invited to their house for what they called ‘soirees’. There was always a fair sprinkling of priests, including their nephew, Father Jim Chesney, who was curate at Cullion, near the village of Desertmartin.

“The Noons had no children; Father Chesney was like a son to them. He was in his late 30s, 6ft tall, dark and strikingly handsome, an extremely magnetic and engaging man. He was a familiar sight, haring along the country roads in his sportscar, and always managed to look sophisticated, even though he always wore his clerical garb.

“He was polite and articulate and I was not aware his political views were very different from his aunt and uncle’s until some time later when I went to a meeting of his parishioners where he asked some pointedly republican questions but in a subtle and courteous way.”

Always good to be polite when the blood and gore are flowing…

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Undated file picture of Father James Chesney. New details about one of Northern Ireland's worst terrorist atrocities, the 1972 bombing of Claudy, are expected to be revealed later today.



Posted: 24th, August 2010 | In: Politicians Comment | TrackBack | Permalink