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ITV apology over Parachute Regiment documentary Northern Ireland screening

 

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Paratroopers in Derry’s Bogside on Bloody Sunday when 14 innocent people were shot dead

Paratroopers in Derry’s Bogside on Bloody Sunday when 14 innocent people were shot dead

Paratroopers in Derry’s Bogside on Bloody Sunday when 14 innocent people were shot dead

ITV apologised for any offence caused after screening a Parachute Regiment documentary in Northern Ireland on the eve of the anniversary of the Bloody Sunday killings.

The Paras: Men Of War was broadcast on ITV-owned UTV  on Thursday evening.

The last episode of the three-part series is to air on January 24, just days before the Bloody Sunday anniversary.

Thirteen people died after members of the Parachute Regiment opened fire on civil rights demonstrators in Londonderry on January 30, 1972. A 14th victim died later in hospital.

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The landmark Saville Inquiry concluded in 2010 that all those killed or injured were innocent.

Prime Minister David Cameron issued an official apology in the House of Commons, describing the killings as "unjustified and unjustifiable".

Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan said the decision to air the documentary in Northern Ireland was "unbelievably insensitive".

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Scenes from 'Bloody Sunday' in Londonderry, Northern Ireland

Scenes from 'Bloody Sunday' in Londonderry, Northern Ireland

Paddy Doherty, who was killed on Bloody Sunday.

Paddy Doherty, who was killed on Bloody Sunday.

30th January 1972: An armed soldier and a protestor on Bloody Sunday when British Paratroopers shot dead 13 civilians on a civil rights march.

30th January 1972: An armed soldier and a protestor on Bloody Sunday when British Paratroopers shot dead 13 civilians on a civil rights march.

Frederick Hoare

A young Fr Edward Daly carries a blood-soaked hankie as he leads a group of men trying desperately to carry John 'Jackie' Duddy to safety. Duddy (17) was the first fatality of Bloody Sunday after being shot from behind by paratroopers

A young Fr Edward Daly carries a blood-soaked hankie as he leads a group of men trying desperately to carry John 'Jackie' Duddy to safety. Duddy (17) was the first fatality of Bloody Sunday after being shot from behind by paratroopers

A young Fr Edward Daly carries a blood-soaked hankie as he leads a group of men trying desperately to carry John 'Jackie' Duddy to safety. Duddy (17) was the first fatality of Bloody Sunday after being shot from behind by paratroopers

A young Fr Edward Daly carries a blood-soaked hankie as he leads a group of men trying desperately to carry John 'Jackie' Duddy to safety. Duddy (17) was the first fatality of Bloody Sunday after being shot from behind by paratroopers

Bloody Sunday

Bloody Sunday

A scene showing a British paratrooper near Glenfada Park in Derry where Bloody Sunday took place.

A scene showing a British paratrooper near Glenfada Park in Derry where Bloody Sunday took place.

Hugh Gilmore (third left) seen clutching his stomach as he is shot during Bloody Sunday.

Hugh Gilmore (third left) seen clutching his stomach as he is shot during Bloody Sunday.

PA

William McKinney, killed on Bloody Sunday.

William McKinney, killed on Bloody Sunday.

Lt Col Derek Wilford, the former commander of the members of the Parachute Regiment involved in the Bloody Sunday shootings

Lt Col Derek Wilford, the former commander of the members of the Parachute Regiment involved in the Bloody Sunday shootings

PA

A protest parade in was staged in Londonderry in January to mark the 40th anniversary of Bloody Sunday

A protest parade in was staged in Londonderry in January to mark the 40th anniversary of Bloody Sunday

Hugh Gilmore who was killed on Bloody Sunday.

Hugh Gilmore who was killed on Bloody Sunday.

Bloody Sunday Trust

Michael McDaid who was killed on Bloody Sunday.

Michael McDaid who was killed on Bloody Sunday.

Bloody Sunday Trust

Bloody Sunday:  Up to 20 soldiers still face being formally questioned by police for alleged murder, attempted murder or criminal injury during the notorious incident

Bloody Sunday: Up to 20 soldiers still face being formally questioned by police for alleged murder, attempted murder or criminal injury during the notorious incident

Fred Hoare

Soldiers taking cover behind their sandbagged armoured cars during  Bloody Sunday

Soldiers taking cover behind their sandbagged armoured cars during Bloody Sunday

PA

Lord Chief Justice, Lord Widgery in his room at the Old Bailey as he looks through his report on the "Bloody Sunday" shootings

Lord Chief Justice, Lord Widgery in his room at the Old Bailey as he looks through his report on the "Bloody Sunday" shootings

PA

Jim Wray who was killed on Bloody Sunday.

Jim Wray who was killed on Bloody Sunday.

Bloody Sunday Trust

John Young who was killed on Bloody Sunday.

John Young who was killed on Bloody Sunday.

Bloody Sunday Trust

William McKinney who was killed on Bloody Sunday.

William McKinney who was killed on Bloody Sunday.

Bloody Sunday Trust

Kevin McElhinney who was killed on Bloody Sunday.

Kevin McElhinney who was killed on Bloody Sunday.

Bloody Sunday Trust

Gerard McKinney who was killed on Bloody Sunday.

Gerard McKinney who was killed on Bloody Sunday.

Bloody Sunday Trust

Gerald Donaghey who was killed on Bloody Sunday.

Gerald Donaghey who was killed on Bloody Sunday.

Bloody Sunday Trust

Alana Burke who was eighteen when she was run over by an armoured personnel carrier on Bloody Sunday.

Alana Burke who was eighteen when she was run over by an armoured personnel carrier on Bloody Sunday.

Bloody Sunday. January 1972

Bloody Sunday. January 1972

Patrick Doherty who was killed on Bloody Sunday.

Patrick Doherty who was killed on Bloody Sunday.

Bloody Sunday Trust

Bloody Sunday. Funeral. Mrs Ita McKinney, 9 months pregnant cries behind the hearse carrying her husband James from St Mary's, Creggan.  2/2/1972.

Bloody Sunday. Funeral. Mrs Ita McKinney, 9 months pregnant cries behind the hearse carrying her husband James from St Mary's, Creggan. 2/2/1972.

Michael Kelly  who was killed on Bloody Sunday.

Michael Kelly who was killed on Bloody Sunday.

A man receiving attention during the shooting incident in Londonderry, which became known as Bloody Sunday

A man receiving attention during the shooting incident in Londonderry, which became known as Bloody Sunday

Bloody Sunday.   30/1/1972

Bloody Sunday. 30/1/1972

Bloody Sunday.   30/1/1972

Bloody Sunday. 30/1/1972

Bloody Sunday.   30/1/1972

Bloody Sunday. 30/1/1972

JAMES WRAY IN HIS HOME IN THE BOGSIDE DERRY HOLDING THE COAT WITH BULLIET HOLES IN THAT  HIS SON ALSO CALLED JAMES WRAY WAS KILLED ON BLOODY SUNDAY

JAMES WRAY IN HIS HOME IN THE BOGSIDE DERRY HOLDING THE COAT WITH BULLIET HOLES IN THAT HIS SON ALSO CALLED JAMES WRAY WAS KILLED ON BLOODY SUNDAY

The start of a grim day in Derry. Civil Rights marchers make their way through Creggan.  They defied a Government ban and headed for Guildhall Square, but were stopped by the Army in William Street.  31/1/1972

The start of a grim day in Derry. Civil Rights marchers make their way through Creggan. They defied a Government ban and headed for Guildhall Square, but were stopped by the Army in William Street. 31/1/1972

Bloody Sunday 1972

Bloody Sunday 1972

Linda Nash carries flowers with the number 14 inscribed during yesterdays annual Bloody Sunday Parade in Derry. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 29.1.12

Linda Nash carries flowers with the number 14 inscribed during yesterdays annual Bloody Sunday Parade in Derry. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 29.1.12

Martin McKeown

A memorial to those killed on Bloody Sunday in the Bogside area of Derry

A memorial to those killed on Bloody Sunday in the Bogside area of Derry

The memorial to the 14 people who died on Bloody Sunday in Derry rises from among the sea of umbrellas as all the families came together in an ecumenical service. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Civil Rights mark.The service included contributions from Father Michael Canny and Reverend David Latimer, left.  Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 29.1.12

The memorial to the 14 people who died on Bloody Sunday in Derry rises from among the sea of umbrellas as all the families came together in an ecumenical service. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Civil Rights mark.The service included contributions from Father Michael Canny and Reverend David Latimer, left. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 29.1.12

Martin McKeown

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Scenes from 'Bloody Sunday' in Londonderry, Northern Ireland

"Disgusted and dumbfounded that UTV are showing 'Paras: Men of War', glorifying the Parachute Regiment, on the cusp of the anniversary of Bloody Sunday when the Paras slaughtered 14 innocent people on the streets of Derry," he tweeted.

He called for the airing of the final episode of the documentary to be postponed until a later date.

An ITV spokesperson said that the documentary made no mention of Bloody Sunday and was not connected to other events in Northern Ireland.

"The three part series, The Paras: Men of War is an ITV commission, which is being shown on the ITV network, including UTV. The series is entirely contemporary, following young men going through the recruitment course now, charting their progress during the training and beyond," the spokesperson said.

"This series does not examine historical events and makes no mention of Bloody Sunday or other events in Northern Ireland.

"If any viewers were offended by the timing of the series, we apologise.”

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