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Saville report dominates blogosphere

No doubting the big story of the week – as with the mainstream press, bloggers pore over the detail of the Saville report.

Mairtin at From the Balcony says: “There should be a generous response to British PM Cameron's apology for Bloody Sunday. It was 38 years in the making but all the more sweet for that.”

Jude Collins was at Derry’s Guildhall for the report’s publication. After watching David Cameron on the big screen, “we watched the relatives of the victims’ families, grinning with relief, tearing up the disgraced Widgery report and declaring ‘We have overcome!’”

Over at O’Conall Street , Conall McDevitt said that a “huge and festering wound was cleansed”. Derry businessman Mark Nagurski blogged at ListenDerry : “With hope, today might also one day be seen as the beginning of a new future for the city and everyone in it.”

On twitter, Mark Durkan’s speech reacting to the report publication in the House of Commons was widely received on both sides of the Irish Sea as deeply moving and poignant. Afterwards @MarkDurkan tweeted: “Lord Saville's report has totally exonerated everyone shot on Bloody Sunday. Today the families can proclaim 'We have overcome'.”

Journalist @EamonnMallie noted the possibility that prosecutions could yet flow from the report, adding: “Lord Saville and Selwyn Black are two men who intervened and exited the stage leaving a hell of a trail in their wake.”

Mark Devenport looks ahead to other potential inquiries and asks: “Is there a model for dealing with the past which can provide truth and justice without enriching lawyers and draining the public coffers at a time when vital services will inevitably be under strain?”

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Those questions, and others, will persist for some time to come.

Moving on to a separate (and altogether more miniscule) area of controversy, and the Creationism debate somehow continues. This time The Caleb Foundation would like to see a Creationist exhibition installed at the Giant’s Causeway Visitors’ Centre.

Scientists believe that the Giant’s Causeway was created 60 million years ago by volcanoes. The Caleb Foundation thinks the Causeway was formed less than 6,000 years ago through an act of God.

Needless to say the Foundation’s online forum has been a hotbed of frank discussion. Too frank it seems. According to the forum administrator contributors are merely interested in scoring “cheap points, to mock, to abuse, or just simply to show off”. Surely not!

But think of Culture Minister Nelson McCausland? How are things at The Minister’s Pen ? In his 11th post on the matter, Nelson confides to readers: “I have... been deeply disappointed by the nature of some of the letters and e-mails I have received. These range from the e-mail that started with the greeting 'you moron', through to those that simply addressed me with foul language.” Shame, shame.

There’s nothing like an open and honest debate to divide the country. But still, Creationists can console themselves that they still have an ally in Professor Billy McWilliams at 1690 an’ all thon . Billy volunteers an Ulster Scots interpretation to mainstream science.

According to Billy, “the Laird did invent the hexagon an' piled a rake o' them up randomly, aiven drappin' a lock o' them in the sea. The Laird didst luk at his thing, an calt it the Giant Causeway."

Amen to that.

Elsewhere, Ultonia has uncovered the most genuine, unique voice in modern politics. You won’t have heard of him because he’s just too darn honest (and unelectable). But according to Ultonia, Dale Peterson has pulled off the campaign ad “that you wish you could run”.

“His internet ad became something of a sensation even described as the best political ad ever,” says Ultonia. Check it out.

So how did brutal honesty work out for Dale? Sadly, he came third in a three-way race. Sometimes a little nuance and fewer guns is no bad thing.

And finally, a word of condolences to the family of one local blogger. Sadly, Horseman from Ulster’s Doomed passed away yesterday. Leading the tributes was Mick Fealty of Slugger O’Toole .

According to Mick: “He was tenacious, intelligent, probing and utterly committed to bringing about the end of Northern Ireland by peaceful and largely intellectual means.

“I never knew him personally, even though he was a very long time reader (and not always a fan!) of Slugger O’Toole. For his commitment, energy and, above all passion, he will be much missed, even by those with whom he so profoundly disagreed.”

Farewell then, Horseman. Always thought-provoking, you will be sorely missed.

Geoff McGimpsey blogs on Northern Ireland politics and current affairs at http://bobballs.wordpress.com