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Saville Inquiry has enhanced republican story

The irony about the Saville Inquiry is that, contrary to any well-meaning intention, the outcome of the inquiry will not be applied exclusively to Bloody Sunday.

Already there are analogies and extrapolations to other events and controversial killings, with republicans having succeeded in their ultimate aim. All along some have believed the Saville Inquiry was not about the events of Bloody Sunday, but was designed to develop and entrench a false republican narrative - a narrative that would justify 25 years of republican murders. You can virtually hear the republican apologists already: "We had no option but to take up arms. Look at Bloody Sunday. The state was murdering our people. In the light of the Saville Inquiry our actions of resistance were totally justified. We had no option."

History tells a different story, of republicanism exploiting civil unrest to further their own political agenda. The unjustified and criminal actions of the IRA and all other paramilitaries will be lost in a romanticised notion of community defence. Even John Hume's comment - "It's a united Ireland or nothing" - will be resurrected to endorse the political elements of the campaign.

Nothing justifies "the Troubles". But in allowing the Saville Inquiry to unilaterally investigate one set of killings, our Government has enhanced the republican story. To some, Saville has told the 'truth', to others he never needed to do so, he only had to supply the propaganda.

The true outcome of Saville will be evident to all very soon, but for me, regardless of whether he did the former, he has done the latter.


Portadown, Co Armagh

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