Dé Luain, Feabhra 01, 2010

Bloody Sunday 2010 – Set the Truth Free


In one of the largest Bloody Sunday commemorations of recent years, thousands of people marched through Derry City yesterday [Sunday] in solidarity with the families of the dead and the injured.

Tracing the route of the original civil rights demonstration, marchers departed from Creggan Shops and made their way through the cold winter’s day to William Street where, in 1972, the march was stopped on its way to the Guildhall.

Around 150 éirígí activists and supporters took part in the march.

On arrival at William Street, the driving rain and dark skies set a sombre scene of remembrance for those who were butchered by the British Parachute Regiment close to that spot.

On the stage, relatives of each of the 14 dead, along with the wounded, briefly recounted the pain that had been inflicted upon their families and demanded that the British government admit the truth of what happened on January 30, 1972.

Following a minute’s silence, John Kelly, whose brother Michael was shot dead by the Paras, read a statement from all of the Bloody Sunday families.

Kelly demanded that the long-delayed Saville Report be published immediately and expressed concern that the report will be seen by the British government and the British Ministry of Defence before even the families of the dead will see it.

“They say that patience is a virtue and we’ve shown great patience but our patience is now wearing very thin indeed,” he said.

“We’ve had delay after delay waiting for the report of the Bloody Sunday inquiry. For the past few years we’ve hoped that the report would be released only to have our hopes dashed.”

éirígí general secretary Breandán Mac Cionnaith said the determination of the Bloody Sunday families was an inspiration to all those campaigning for justice.

“Judging by the large attendance at yesterday’s march, it is clear that nationalist Ireland will not allow the British government’s dodging of the blame for what happened on Bloody Sunday to rest,” he said.

“It is totally unacceptable that the British establishment will have access to, and the ability to censor, Saville’s report before even the relatives of the victims are allowed to see it. The report should be published without delay.

“The long campaign that has been fought by the Bloody Sunday families and the people of Derry for the British government to admit what it did in the city has been an inspiration to victims of injustice around the world.”

Mac Cionnaith continued: “The actions of the British army in January 1972 drowned in blood the peaceful civil rights movement and made it clear that there could be no civil rights without national rights.

“38 years later, the task of removing the perpetrators from Ireland remains. That is the only way to ensure there will be no more Bloody Sundays in this country.”

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