Droppin Well pub bombing 'heinous and depraved', says Northern Ireland Minister on 40th anniversary

The Droppin Well Pub after the attack

A pub bombing that killed 17 people 40 years ago was "heinous and depraved", a Northern Ireland Office minister has told Parliament.

Speaking at Westminster ahead of the anniversary of the atrocity in Ballykelly, Co Londonderry, Lord Caine said all terrorism was "unjustified and unjustifiable", adding there was "always an alternative to murder".

The Irish National Liberation Army was responsible for one of the largest death tolls of the Troubles in 1982.

The republican paramilitary group detonated a bomb at the Droppin' Well pub on December 6, killing 11 soldiers and six civilians.

Lord Caine told peers he had been "honoured and humbled" to attend a service in Ballykelly on Sunday to mark the 40th anniversary of the bombing.

He said: "In working as a Government to build a stronger, shared future for Northern Ireland, we should never forget that all terrorism, then as now, was totally unjustified and unjustifiable. There was always an alternative to murder."

Associating himself with the minister's remarks, DUP peer Lord Hay of Ballyore said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families as they come up to the 40th anniversary of that awful tragedy."

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