Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Families demand access to Bloody Sunday findings

The annual Bloody Sunday commemoration has heard calls for the families of those killed to be given access to the Saville Inquiry report immediately.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness was among those who joined the annual rally which follows the route of the original protest.

John Kelly, whose brother Michael was one of the 13 men and boys shot dead by soldiers in the Bogside area of Londonderry on January 30 1972, spoke on behalf of the families before thousands who turned out for the 38th commemoration march and rally yesterday.

Addressing the march, Mr Kelly said the families were demanding that they are given the report at the same time as the Government.

“We have shown great patience but our patience is growing very thin indeed. We have had delay after delay and for the past two years we have anticipated that our hopes will be realised only to have our hopes dashed,” he said.

Mr Kelly said the families had “grave concerns” the final report will go to the Government before anyone else. “Even soldiers' lawyers from the Ministry of Defence will also be called in to see it with the possibility of removing material to protect their soldiers. We have made it clear we don't want any censoring of the report.”

Mr Kelly added: “We have waited 38 years and many family members and half the wounded have passed away. We say enough is enough: Lord Saville we say give us the report and set the truth free.”

Earlier from the stage erected at William Street, where the original march was blocked en route to the Guildhall, relatives of each of those killed on Bloody Sunday gave a personal account of their family's suffering since that day.

A minute's silence held as a protest against the delays of the Saville Inquiry findings was also dedicated to Strabane man Charles Love, who died on a Bloody Sunday commemoration march 20 years ago.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness told those gathered: “When Tony Blair, the then British Prime Minister, announced a new inquiry under Lord Saville, peoples’ expectations were understandably raised in the hope that the end of the campaign was imminent.

“But few believed that we would be met with the level of obstruction and destruction of evidence that took place during the inquiry by those who fear truth. Given that it is now over 12 years since the announcement of the Inquiry and almost five years since the inquiry concluded taking evidence, you the families have again displayed tremendous patience while awaiting the outcome.”

Mr McGuinness said he has told Gordon Brown that the families must be given the report at the same time as the Government.

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