Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Why we left the Bloody Sunday committee

Last Friday (January 7) we the undersigned formally stepped down from 'The Bloody Sunday Weekend Committee'.

We have always sought to promote discussion and debate around Bloody Sunday. Every year the committee utilises the anniversary as an opportunity, not just to commemorate but through the lens of Bloody Sunday, to explore and find resonance with other human rights and justice issues both nationally and internationally.

Having experienced a deepening divergence of positions within the committee in recent years and more acutely in the earlier part of this year during 'The Set The Truth Free Campaign' (prior to The Bloody Sunday Inquiry delivering its report), our political differences came to a head in discussions around how the committee should characterise this year's commemorative march and programme of events.

While we all agreed that Lord Saville's conclusions coupled with the British Prime Minister's apology on June 15 represented a remarkable and unprecedented achievement for the families, the wounded, and the wider campaign, we three could not in all conscience support the characterisation of that day as a victory.

According to the inquiry we are asked to believe that just nine paratroopers and one disobedient officer carry the full weight of this colossal miscarriage of justice. So, the British political, military and judicial establishment have no questions to answer.

They have effectively been declared innocent. Consequently we cannot support the view that this year's march can be characterised as a victory. This however is the shared view of most of the other members of the committee.

Jim Keys

Stephen Gargan

Jim Collins

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