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13 May 1999 Edition

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No Bloody Sunday anonymity - a major victory for families

By Ned Kelly

Relatives of the 14 people shot dead by British paratroopers on Bloody Sunday have hailed as a major victory the latest ruling by the Saville Inquiry into the massacre. Late on Friday night, 7 May, Saville ruled that no British soldiers or RUC members on duty on 30 January 1972 would be granted anonymity.

Greg McCartney, representing the family of Jim Wray, said that his clients would have been seriously worried had anonymity been granted that the inquiry would fail to establish the truth. However, Saville has also agreed that he will consider individual applications for anonymity.

It was also disclosed that three RUC men will have their names published, including one who is presently serving with the Special Branch. However, they will be allowed to give evidence from behind screens.

The inquiry also ruled that BBC journalist Peter Taylor hand over his Bloody Sunday research material by 17 May to the new Inquiry, excluding the identification of his sources, which awaits a further ruling. An Inquiry spokesperson said the Tribunal intended postponing its ruling on source material until it received all the ``informative material''. The BBC, in response, said that it intended handing over material which did not identify sources.

Approximately £250,000 is needed for the new Bloody Sunday Campaign headquarters.

The money is needed for the conversion and upkeep of a city-centre building donated by the businessman Garvan O'Doherty that will serve as a focus for the Bloody Sunday families, their legal team, the Cúnamh project and support workers for the duration of the Saville Inquiry.

The building, at the bottom of Shipquay Street, is only 50 yards from Derry's Guildhall, where the hearings will take place in September. John Kelly, whose brother was shot dead on Bloody Sunday, and who is now a family liaison worker with Cúnamh, explained that the cost associated with the campaign, such as equipment and staff have so far been the responsibility of the families of the dead and wounded and the local campaign. However, the cost estimated to support the campaign for the next two years will be in excess of £250,000.

Kelly said: ``The building at present requires extensive work to get it ready for the inquiry and we are appealing to all our supporters both at home and abroad for support in this project.''

Mickey McKinney, who has also been appointed family liaison worker, added: ``We intend for this to become the focal point for the Derry community, the local and international media and everyone interested in pursuing the truth for the duration of the Inquiry''.

Donations can be made to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry Family Fund Bank of Ireland, Strand Road, Derry City, sort code 90-49-74, account number 47644065.

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