Belfast Telegraph

Long wait ends at last for Bloody Sunday relatives

Relatives of the Bloody Sunday dead are expecting the names of all those killed on the day to be cleared by the release of the Saville Inquiry report today.

Families of the victims will form a silent procession this morning from Derry's Bogside along the intended route of the original civil rights march to the Guildhall.

Two relatives of each of those killed and injured will be given advance access under strict security arrangements, as will soldiers involved and some MPs and peers.

Secretary of State Owen Paterson has already received a copy.

Last night, it was reported that the UK security establishment had attempted to dissuade Tony Blair from setting up the inquiry.

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern told the Guardian: “I had to put a lot of pressure on Tony Blair. All the advice he was getting from securocrats was to not go into a full judicial inquiry. I suppose you could understand why now, with the cost and the time.

“But we had done a submission, the Irish government had done a submission, and we had put a lot at stake in building up nationalist confidence that we would be able to work with the British government and work with Tony Blair. So to have them refuse to give us the inquiry, a full judicial sworn inquiry in front of judges at that time, it would have unsettled the nationalist community and unsettled all the organisations that were in Derry fighting the British for a long time.”

Eamonn McCann, chairman of the Bloody Sunday Trust, who was on the march, told the Daily Telegraph that there was an expectation that paratroopers who had done wrong should face a court but not imprisonment.

“That would be the majority opinion in Derry and also among the families,” he said. “There is no great outcry for some 64-year-old guy to be imprisoned at this stage.”

The full report, expected to run to 5,000 pages in 10 volumes, will be fully published at 3.30pm.

Belfast Telegraph


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