31 January 2008 Edition
BLOODY SUNDAY - British Government should take responsibility
BY ELLA O’DWYER
THE Bloody Sunday Organising Committee has called for a major mobilisation for Derry this weekend to commemorate the massacre of 14 Civil Rights marchers by the Parachute Regiment on 30 January 1972 and “to stand with us in our efforts to achieve truth around the events of that day”.
The main march will take place on Sunday, assembling at 2.30pm at the Creggan Shopping Centre.
Speaking to An Phoblacht on Monday, 28 January, Tony Doherty of the Bloody Sunday Organising Committee – son of the late Patrick Doherty, one of the victims of the atrocity – called for a big turn-out at this year’s commemoration.
“In 1972, a number of weeks after the killings there was the Widgery Inquiry. The families of the victims saw that as a whitewash, accepting versions of events given by representatives of the British Army. Now it’s the 36th anniversary of Bloody Sunday and we’re approaching the conclusion of the Saville Inquiry, which was announced by Tony Blair (under pressure from the families of the victims) on the 28 January 1998 – ten years to this day. The Saville Inquiry of 1998 is still to be concluded.
“We’re expecting this inquiry to be completed around May of this year. That’s what makes this year’s commemoration so important and we’re optimistic that Saville will do the right thing.”
One of the key events around the commemoration will be the Bloody Sunday Memorial Lecture, which will be delivered by former Police Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan, giving her first public address since retiring from the office. It takes place on Saturday, 2 February in the Calgach Centre at 7:30pm. There will also be exhibitions, films, drama and panel discussions.
Tony Doherty said:
“We’re particularly calling for people to mobilise on a national basis to support the families in our efforts to achieve truth and justice around the events of Bloody Sunday.
“The blame must be put at the feet of the British Army and the government of the day and the British Government of today should take political responsibility for the actions of their soldiers in 1972.
“I don’t know the reasons why but there was definitely a plot to kill innocent civilians on Bloody Sunday and that’s what the Parachute Regiment did, and quite deliberately.
“We’re hoping people will come from all over Ireland to stand with us in our efforts to achieve truth around the events of that day. Bloody Sunday was a turning point in Irish history, particularly in the city of Derry, throughout the Six Counties and all over the country.
“Society for generations has been reaping the whirlwind of British policy throughout the world – Bloody Sunday in Derry was only one example.
“There is a groundswell of opinion in Ireland and internationally around the truth about Bloody Sunday and the British Government of today should take political responsibility.”
• The full programme for the week of events commemorating Bloody Sunday is available at: http://www.veryderry.com/bloodysunday08/or by contacting 0487 136 0080.
THIS year’s Bloody Sunday commemorative poster depicts a face comprised of four fragments of people’s profiles: lawyer Rosemary Nelson, killed in 1999 by loyalists; Gerald Donaghey, killed on Bloody Sunday 1972 by the Parachute Regiment; Joan Connolly, killed by the British Army in Ballymurphy, Belfast in 1971; and Israeli Arab Asil Asleh, killed by Israeli police in 2000