The bomb attack, planned and carried out by the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) on 6 December 1982, saw 17 killed - eleven British soldiers and six civilians, with thirty more people left injured. It’s considered to be the most deadly attack of the INLA’s paramilitary campaign, and one of the most deadly attacks carried out during the Troubles.
Cllr McCaw has said: “Today, my thoughts and sympathies are with the friends and families who were left bereaved in the wake of this tragic event, as well as those who were injured in the attack and the wider community at large, for whom this is an incredibly difficult time of mourning and reflection.
“In contrast to the thoughtless criminals who planned this and planted the bomb in an effort to cause destruction, the people of Ballykelly have been able to rebuild with the greatest courage and dignity, despite the scars left behind by these awful events. Their strength and compassion are endlessly inspiring, and I’m proud to pay tribute to them today despite the unfortunate and upsetting circumstances for having to do so.
“As we remember what has been lost and pay our respects to the memory of the victims and to their loved ones, 40 years on we must also reflect on these events in our continuing efforts to break down divisions and rid Northern Ireland of sectarian violence and intimidation. We must never allow ourselves to slip backwards, but rather keep moving towards a shared and peaceful society.”