Belfast Telegraph

Bloody Sunday 40th anniversary march is vital, say organisers

By Brendan McDaid

Organisers of the 40th anniversary Bloody Sunday commemoration march have said they feel the event is vital to achieve full justice.

Many of the relatives of those killed are expected to stay away from this year’s event following a ‘final’ march in 2011 after the publication of Lord Saville’s Inquiry.

The 39th anniversary march was organised in an atmosphere of celebration after the decade-long inquiry vindicated the families’ conviction that those shot in Londonderry on January 30 1972 were innocent.

Some of the relatives and the wounded along with civil rights veterans, however, announced their intention to organise their own march for Sunday, January 29 at 2.30pm, this year.

They have said they want to ensure the campaign continues as they await word on whether the paratroopers who shot 14 men dead and wounded dozens of others on Bloody Sunday are to face prosecution.

Kate and Linda Nash, whose brother William was shot and killed and whose father Alex was also shot and injured as he tried to reach his dying son, are among the organisers.

They said there had been a lot of interest in the event, with a succession of relatives and surviving wounded declaring they will be taking part.

The organisers held a meeting at the weekend to discuss the event, which will be staged along the traditional route from Creggan Shops, under the banner of March for Justice.

Kate Nash told the Telegraph most of the preparations had been put in place.

“We will be looking at how far we have come in 40 years. Basically the platform is planned — we will have speakers at the event but there will be no politicians,” she said. “This is a march about the people and the concerns they have.”

Speaking about the differing opinions among relatives over the march, she added: “We are very aware that the Bloody Sunday families have always remained dignified and people have made their own minds up if they want to come on the march. We have said we would encourage as many people as possible to attend all, or as many of, the events being organised as possible this year.”

It is understood the Bloody Sunday Trust will this week announce that high profile barrister Michael Mansfield QC, who represented some of the families at the Saville Inquiry, will deliver this year’s annual Bloody Sunday Lecture.

The lecture will form part of a programme of commemorations being organised separately from the march and due to be launched over the coming days.

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