Belfast Telegraph

Bloody Sunday families read the Saville report

Families of the Bloody Sunday dead today entered Londonderry's Guildhall to read the Saville report they hope will exonerate their loved ones.





After more than a decade and 30 million words of testimony, the longest and most expensive inquiry in British legal history will culminate with the publication of its findings today.

After a night of anxious expectation in Derry, bereaved relatives hugged each other and cried as they made their way to the venue to get early access to the long-awaited report into the killings of 14 civilians on January 30 1972 by British soldiers.

The relatives clutched placards bearing the photographs of their dead loved ones, with the words: 'Set the Truth Free'.

As they arrived at the Guildhall amid emotional scenes, they were greeted with applause. John Kelly, brother of Michael Kelly who was killed on the day, said he had been unable to sleep last night as he anxiously awaited the release of the report.

"We are not looking for an apology, you cannot apologise to the dead," he said.

But Mr Kelly said he hoped that a 38-year struggle to have the circumstances of his brother's death officially acknowledged was about to end.

The 61-year-old grandfather was among the relatives who formed a silent procession from a memorial to the dead in Derry's Bogside, along the intended route of the ill-fated civil rights march, to the city's Guildhall.

Bereaved relatives hugged and kissed each other, many wiped away tears, as they set out on their poignant journey.

Mr Kelly said he expected soldiers to be found to have broken the law and said it would be up to the Prosecution Service and the Conservative-led Government to accept the findings of what had happened on the day.

He added: "Murder happened here in this city and the politicians will hopefully agree.

"Bloody Sunday had a great impact on the Troubles here. It was a major historical event and today is a major historical event."

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