20 May 2010 Edition
Bloody Sunday families tell new Secretary of State: 'No excuses - publish the Saville Report'
RELATIVES of those killed and wounded on Bloody Sunday have called on the North’s new Secretary of State, Owen Paterson, to publish Lord Saville’s report into the 1972 Derry massacre “immediately”.
The long-awaited report of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry was completed by Lord Saville in March and has been ready for publication since. However, the British Government’s insistence on carrying out national security checks delayed its publication under the Labour Government, with its release delayed yet further by the recent general election.
John Kelly, whose brother, Michael, was one of the 14 men murdered on January 30th 1972, spoke on behalf of the relatives and wounded.
“The families and wounded of Bloody Sunday call on Owen Paterson as the new Secretary of State to instigate the publication of Lord Saville’s report immediately. Mr Paterson himself has said that publication of the report was top of the agenda but we feel we still have to push the issue to ensure its immediate release,” John Kelly said last Thursday, May 13th.
“[Former Secretary of State] Shaun Woodward has already signed off on the report and all the preparations have been put in place for its publication so there should be no excuses.
“There is no reason why Owen Paterson should delay this further and we call upon him to release this report into the public domain and to the world immediately.
“We also call on the support of local politicians and Westminster politicians to put pressure on Mr Paterson to release the report without further delay.
“We have waited over 38 years to hear the truth and have dealt with numerous delays. We are not prepared to take any more.
“We have prepared ourselves for what is sure to be a difficult and traumatic report into the death and injury of our loved ones. If we are forced to wait any longer, then the British Government will be playing with the feelings of the families.”
Having waited over 38 years to hear the truth and dealt with numerous delays, relatives are not prepared to take any more
McGuinness calls new British Prime Minister on cuts and Bloody Sunday report
DEPUTY First Minister Martin McGuinness spoke with the new British Prime Minister David Cameron by telephone last Wednesday (May 12th), after the appointment of Owen Paterson as the British Secretary of State.
Speaking later that evening, Martin McGuinness said:
“Throughout the election campaign we made it clear that the main issue facing the Assembly and the Executive would be the cuts being proposed by both the Tories and Labour and the threat this posed to frontline services.
“It is my firm view that the best way to challenge the next British government is through a united approach by the Executive parties. The folly of the position adopted by others who tried to over-exaggerate their influence at Westminster and pretend that they were players in the hung parliament scenario has now been exposed. It is time to end that sort of fantasy politics and get down to the real work directly with the new British government.
“I spoke with the new British Prime Minister David Cameron by phone this afternoon. I have obviously met Owen Paterson on many occasions over the past three years.”
Owen Paterson, the MP for North Shropshire, was appointed shadow Secretary of State in July 2007 and has been a frequent visitor to the Six Counties since then, developing relationships across a range of political, community and business and enterprise organisations.
ST ANDREW’S AND HILLSBOROUGH
Martin McGuinness continued:
“On the issues of the Peace Process, it is important that the Good Friday, St Andrew’s and Hillsborough Agreements are honoured.
“I made it clear to Mr Cameron that, as a society moving out of conflict and one which has suffered from decades of under-investment, we can simply not afford the sort of cuts he hinted at during the election campaign. I also made the case for the best block grant possible and impressed upon him the unity of parties here around these positions.
“I also pressed him to ensure that the Saville Report, held up by the election, is quickly given to the Bloody Sunday families and made public.”
And Sinn Féin Justice Committee Vice-Chair Raymond McCartney MLA (Foyle) called on British Secretary of State Owen Paterson to publish the Saville Report into the Bloody Sunday massacre as a matter of urgency.
“It is incumbent on the British Secretary of State to ensure that the Saville Inquiry findings are published without any further delay. The families were assured by Mr Patterson’s predecessor that there were no obstacles to the report being published as soon as a new government was installed following the election.”