This video says about itself:
A trailer for the film Bloody Sunday which tells the story of the Massacre in Free Derry City, Northern Ireland. British Troops opened fire on a crowd of civil rights marchers and killed 14 of them, 5 of those killed where only children. This proved the catalyst for the Northern Ireland conflict.
From British daily News Line:
Saturday, 7 March 2009
SPECIAL FORCES BACK IN NORTH
Northern Ireland Assembly Deputy First Minister and Sinn Fein MP Martin McGuinness yesterday slammed the redeployment of British Army Special Forces in the North as a ‘danger to the community’.
He was responding to Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde’s request for support from the Special Reconnaissance Regiment, allegedly to help gather intelligence on dissident republicans.
UPDATE 8 March 2009: Two British troops killed in N Ireland. And here. And here.
Irish-American band Black 47: here.
Church to release documents on 1971 Ballymurphy Massacre by British Army’s Parachute Regiment: here.
I was going to say, “Here come Cromwell’s men again”, but, as we all know, these vermin never really left Ireland, all things considered.
Is this “threat” for real or, are the Securocrats having to stir-up the pot again – to justify their useless exisitence and their bloated salaries?
It beckons the question: can street patrols, and house raids be far behind to keep “dissidents” (i.e. the Irish) in line?
30 years from now, people will find out that the shooters were really Brit agents provocateur planted to keep the pot boiling – so to speak.
But, that’s for the future – ignore any present “Oirish” uprising.
Hi P. O’Neill, I sincerely hope this plan will not go ahead.
Claims of responsibility have been made in the name of both the Real
IRA and Oglaigh na hEireann for a gun attack on a British Army base on
Saturday night which left two British soldiers dead.
Two soldiers were shot dead while in full combat fatigues outside
Massareene Army base in County Antrim. Two other soldiers and two
service workers were also injured in the attack, which occurred as a
food delivery was being made at the base.
It is the first attack on members of the Crown forces in over six
months and the first death at a British Army base in over six years.
Prior to Saturday night, a British soldier had not been killed on
active service in Ireland for over 12 years.
The incident came days after PSNI police chief Hugh Orde warned that
an armed action was likely and just 48 hours after it was revealed
that an infamous Special Forces military unit, linked to a series of
state killings, had been drafted back into the North of Ireland.
Support for republican armed groups has been growing steadily in
recent months as the political process has appeared to stall and
founder. Hugh Orde had repeatedly warned that the various republican
groups were becoming more organised and effective, and that an attack
However, Orde had predicted a strike against a relatively ‘soft’
target such as the PSNI itself. Instead, the attack came against
highly trained British soldiers at a heavily fortified military base
defended by specialist armed security guards.
Initial reports of an exchange of gunfire have been denied by British
officials. It is now believed that the guards on duty were disarmed by
an initial, long-range burst of gunfire before the IRA unit made its
assault, resulting in the two bursts of gunfire reported by local
The British Prime minister Gordon Brown said today he was “shocked and
outraged” at what he said was “an evil and cowardly attack” against
“soldiers serving their country”.
But there was also shock within the British establishment that the
Volunteers involved had managed to breach the base’s tight defences
and, in particular, that there had been no return of fire. There was
also concern that the number of casualties and fatalities could have
In the claim made in the name of the Real IRA’s South Antrim brigade,
the group said it made “no apology for targeting British soldiers”
while they remained in occupation in the Six Counties.
The caller, using a codeword, also said that the two food workers had
been targeted as “collaborators of British rule in Ireland”.
One of the injured workers was Polish, and there was some controversy
that migrant workers may be unaware of the dangers involved in
providing services to the British Army in Ireland.
None of those wounded were said to be in a serious condition, and all
are expected to make a full recovery.
Meanwhile, a caller who claimed the attack for Oglaigh na hEireann
said it was made in the name of “the Volunteers of the hunger strike
martyrs battalion” and in response to the return to Ireland of
Britain’s ‘elite’ Special Reconnaissance Regiment.
Deputy First Minister, Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness, a former member
of the [Provisional] IRA, said there should be no return to conflict.
“I supported the IRA during the conflict, I myself was a member of the
IRA but that war is over,” said the Sinn Fein MP.
“Now the people responsible for that last night’s incident are clearly
signalling that they want to resume or restart that war.”
Ruairi O Bradaigh, president of Republican Sinn Fein, said that his
party had long warned that while the British government and British
occupation troops remain in Ireland “there will be Irish people to
oppose their presence here”.
He said “everyone regretted loss of life” but added that the “hard
realities of the situation in Ireland must be faced”.
Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams described the shooting as “an attack
on the peace process”. He said it was wrong as well as
counter-productive to republican goals.
“Irish republicans and democrats have a duty to oppose this and to
defend the peace process. Sinn Fein has a strategy to bring about an
end to British rule in our country by peaceful and democratic means.”
“There should be an end to actions like the one in Antrim last night.
The popular will is for peaceful and democratic change.”
“Sinn Fein has a responsibility to be consistent. The logic of this is
that we support the police in the apprehension of those involved in
last nights attack.”
“The police also have a responsibility to give leadership and to
behave at all times in a transparent and accountable manner. The
British Government has a duty to uphold the new political arrangement
and the peace process.”
“I particularly want to appeal to republicans once again for calm,
thoughtful and decisive leadership. ”
“The peace process was built against the odds and not least because of
the willingness of republicans to take risks and to be strategic and
“There are elements within Unionism and within the British system who
do not want the peace process to achieve its objectives. Our
responsibility is to defend the peace process and the progress that
has been made to achieving national and democratic rights.”
Irish Republican News
Mar 14, 3:50 PM EDT
N Ireland riots after police arrest 3 over killings
By SHAWN POGATCHNIK
Associated Press Writer
LURGAN, Northern Ireland (AP) — Irish nationalist gangs hurled gas bombs at police Saturday after three alleged IRA dissidents were arrested on suspicion of killing two British soldiers in an attack designed to trigger wider violence in Northern Ireland.
Police operating in armored cars and flame-retardant suits said none of their officers was injured during the rising mob violence in the Irish Catholic end of Lurgan, a religiously divided town southwest of Belfast. Rioters also blocked the main Belfast-to-Dublin railway line that runs alongside the hardline Kilwilkie neighborhood of the town.
The unrest followed Saturday’s arrest of Colin Duffy, 41, the best-known Irish republican in Lurgan. Police arrested two other suspected Irish Republican Army dissidents aged 32 and 21 in the overwhelmingly Catholic village of Bellaghy – all on suspicion of shooting to death two soldiers last weekend.
Police advised motorists to stay away from the Catholic north side of Lurgan to avoid having their cars seized and burned as road barricades. An Associated Press reporter driving through the area at dusk Saturday night had to make a rapid escape to avoid youths – some wearing masks or with scarf-covered faces – hurling rocks and bricks in an apparent attempt to stop his vehicle.
Police long considered Duffy the IRA godfather of Lurgan and twice charged him with murders in the town in the run-up to the IRA’s 1997 cease-fire – which breakaway factions are now trying to destroy.
Duffy was convicted of killing a former soldier in Lurgan in 1993, but was freed on appeal three years later after the key witness against him was identified as a member of an outlawed Protestant gang.
He was back behind bars within a year after police identified him as the gunman who committed the IRA’s last two killings before its cease-fire: two Protestant policemen shot point-blank through the backs of their heads while on foot patrol in Lurgan in June 1997.
The prosecutors’ case against Duffy collapsed after their key witness suffered a nervous breakdown and withdrew her testimony. Two years later, Protestant extremists assassinated Duffy’s lawyer, Rosemary Nelson, with an under-car booby trap bomb in a case still being investigated today because of allegations that police were involved.
Saturday’s arrest of Duffy appeared likely to pose a political challenge for Sinn Fein, the IRA-linked party that is the leading Irish nationalist voice in Northern Ireland’s power-sharing administration – and is trying to convince Protestants of its newfound support for British law and order.
The leading Sinn Fein member of the coalition, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, earlier this week denounced IRA dissidents as “traitors” and pledged to support the police’s hunt for the gunmen. But previously, Sinn Fein has defended Duffy as an innocent man and a victim of British conspiracies.
Sinn Fein declined to comment on the arrests. McGuinness was traveling Saturday in the United States and could not be reached for comment.
Ireland: (slideshow) Political murals of West Belfast
By Lauren Carrol Harris
November 9, 2009 — Belfast — Though Northern Ireland has slipped from
the nightly news, “the troubles”, including ongoing deep sectarian
divisions and low-level violence, are a daily reality for Irish
republicans. Just one reminder of the struggle for a united Ireland, and
example of the Irish people’s creative resistance, is the multitude of
political murals that smother the walls of West Belfast, a republican
stronghold. Many commemorate the activists and civilians whose lives
were taken in the struggle. But the murals don’t just discuss Irish
politics — on these walls are messages of international solidarity for
other peoples’ movements for change and self-determination. Here are
just a few.
View at http://links.org.au/node/1344
Flash: Saville Inquiry exonerates Bloody Sunday victims
The Saville inquiry into the Bloody Sunday killings found the actions of
British soldiers was “both unjustified and unjustifiable”, British prime
minister David Cameron said today.
Mr Cameron apologised for the massacre of January 30th, 1972, which left
14 people dead.
The 12-year inquiry, the longest in British judicial history, runs to
some 5,000 pages.
The full report was published as British prime minister David Cameron
makes a statement in the House of Commons. The report was simultaneously
be released in London and Dublin.
Thousands marched again today from the Bogside to the Guildhall, the
original destination of the civil rights march, to watch Cameron’s
address to the London parliament.
The order that sent British soldiers into the Bogside on 30 January 1972
“should not have been given”, the inquiry finds, said Mr Cameron.
Mr Cameron said the report found none of those killed by British
soldiers were armed with firearms and no warning was given by the
The casualties were down to the soldiers “losing their self control and
forgetting their training”, said Mr Cameron, before adding: “I am
deeply, deeply sorry.”
Mr Cameron told MPs: “What happened on Bloody Sunday was both
unjustified and unjustifiable. It was wrong.”
He added that “what happened should never have happened”.
“The Government is ultimately responsible for the conduct of the armed
forces. And for that, on behalf of the Government, indeed on behalf of
our country, I am deeply sorry.”
The Prime Minister said the tribunal found some soldiers had “knowingly
put forward false accounts”.
Mr Cameron added Martin McGuinness was present on Bloody Sunday and
“probably armed with a machine gun”, Mr Cameron added, but there was no
evidence to suggest that he was going to use it.
Crowds in Derry watched on a big outdoor screen and cheered as the Prime
Minister said he could not defend the British army by defending the
Following Cameron’s address, the relatives from the Guildhall, where
they had received a summary of the findings and the details regarding
their own personal family members, to loud cheers.
Earlier, they had appeared at the windows of the Guildhall, where many
of them gave the ‘thumbs up’ signal, again to cheers.
Family members then addressed the crowd outside the Guildhall, reading
extracts from the Inquiry’s report exonerating their relatives.
The victims of Bloody Sunday were innocent and their names have been
cleared, one relative said.
Tony Doherty, whose father Paddy died when paratroopers opened fire,
said the victims had been vindicated and the Parachute Regiment
To loud applause outside the Guildhall in Derry, he addressed thousands
who had gathered to hear the conclusions of the Saville Inquiry.
He said: “It can now be proclaimed to the world that the dead and the
wounded of Bloody Sunday, civil rights marchers, one and all, were
innocent, one and all, gunned down on their own streets by soldiers who
had been given to believe that they could kill with perfect impunity.”
Thousands packed the square as relatives of the dead lined up to give
Massive pictures of the protesters were carried aloft on banners and a
minute’s silence was held to remember the dead.
Earlier, two thumbs raised by somebody inside the Guildhall symbolised
the families’ delight.
Mr Doherty said: “It was the paratroopers’ mission in Derry to massacre.
Bloody Sunday wounded Derry very, very badly. We may hope that from
today we can begin to bind those wounds.”
He said: “When the state kills its citizens, it is in the interests of
all that those responsible be held to account. It is not just Derry, or
one section of the people, but democracy itself which needs to look out.
“The British people need to know, the Irish people need to know, the
world now knows.”
He said they were standing up for others who were suffering at the hands
of unaccountable power and named the victims of Gaza and South Africa
among their co-sufferers.
He added that Bloody Sunday was the price that the Catholic Bogside paid
for Free Derry, when it barred soldiers from the streets, and also
referred to other victims of state massacres.
“Let our truth stand as their truth too. Bloody Sunday was a great
injustice but the fight for truth and justice has also been an
inspiration to us and the people of Derry also,” he said.
“Nobody who died in the struggle for justice will be forgotten here.”
Michael McKinney, whose 27-year-old brother was shot dead, said: “My
brother was murdered by paratroopers on Bloody Sunday. This is a
historic day for Derry”.
“Today the waiting has come to an end”.
Nineteen-year-old William Nash was killed by a single shot to his chest.
Eyewitness accounts state that Nash was unarmed and was going to the aid
of someone else when he himself was shot. His sister Kate Nash said:
“We know he was innocent, we’ve always known and now the world knows”.
Jim Wray was 22 when he was shot twice, the first bullet travelled
‘superficially’ from right to left across his body, the second bullet
entered his back and travelled from right to left.
Eyewitnesses said Wray was shot and wounded and then was shot dead, from
close range, while he lay on the ground. His family said:
“He was deliberately shot. This inquiry has vindicated the Wray family
and much more so the people of Derry. We always knew the truth”, his
“Jim was innocent. Jim was murdered”.
A statement from the North’s prosection service said charges may be
brought against the soldiers responsible for the killings.
“The Director of Public Prosecutions, together with the Chief Constable,
will consider the Report to determine the nature and extent of any
police enquiries and investigations which may be required to enable
informed decisions as to prosecution to be take,” it said.
“The undertaking given by the Attorney General in 1999 to witnesses who
provided evidence to the Inquiry will also require to be considered.
“It is not practical, at this stage, to say when such decisions will be
taken other than to indicate that the matter will be considered as
expeditiously as possible.”
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS
Tuesday-Thursday, 15-17 June, 2010
1. THE TRUTH BREAKS FREE
2. Now for justice
3. Cameron praised for accepting findings
4. Kenny holds on as Fine Gael coup defeated
5. Calls for entrapment trial to be thrown out
6. Local council reform plans collapse
7. Feature: How Saville reported the killings
8. Analysis: Saville’s truth brings hope
>>>>>> THE TRUTH BREAKS FREE
Suppressed for 38 years by the mendacity of the British Army and its
soldiers, the facts of the bloody massacre of innocent Irish
nationalists in Derry in January, 1972 have been affirmed by a British
tribunal of inquiry and publicly accepted by a British Prime Minister.
It was a genuinely historic day for the people of Derry and an emotional
climax to a campaign which has spanned generations.
Almost four decades after British soldiers shot dead 14 unarmed men and
children on the streets of Derry, the Bloody Sunday families have
finally been vindicated before the eyes of the world in their long
campaign for the truth.
Prime Minister David Cameron officially apologised on Tuesday for the
British Army’s “unjustified and unjustifiable” actions on January 30,
After the longest inquiry in British legal history, Mark Saville had
confirmed that members of the Parachute Regiment opened fire on dozens
of unarmed civilians without warning, despite them posing no threat to
His report found that some of those killed and injured had been
attempting to flee or go to the assistance of the dying when they were
One of the dead was killed while crawling away from soldiers, while
another was shot when he was lying mortally wounded on the ground.
The findings bring to an end a 38 year wait for the truth for the
families of the victims after the Widgery report wrongly accused some of
those killed of having guns or bombs.
Saville, most significantly, finds that the soldiers fired first in the
Bogside that day; Widgery had asserted the opposite, using an argument
akin to Denning’s ‘appalling vista’.
Widgery declared that there was no general breakdown in discipline;
Saville says there was “a serious and widespread loss of fire
discipline” among the soldiers of support company.
Widgery had lauded the soldiers for their “steadiness” and declared
that, in his opinion, the accounts they gave of their firing were in
general truthful. Saville accuses some of them of falsifying their
However, like Widgery, Saville exonerated General Robert Ford, the then
British commander of land forces, and effectively cleared Brigadier
MacLellan who gave the order for the arrest operation.
As some had predicted over the years, the “fall guy” turned out to be
the commanding officer of 1Para, Colonel Derek Wilford, who is simply
accused of not complying with his orders.
Wilford is retired and living in Belgium and will not be commenting on
the findings of the inquiry, according to reports. The British army is
believed to have placed a gagging order on all its soldiers in relation
to the report.
The Saville Inquiry concluded that:
* The first shots fired on Bloody Sunday injured two civilians and came
from the British Army
* None of the soldiers gave any warning before opening fire and some
* None of them fired in response to attacks or threatened attacks
* Some soldiers later deliberately lied to cover up their actions
* Members of the Official IRA fired shots on the day but “none of this
firing provided any justification for the shooting of civilian
* A proposal to shoot ‘ringleaders’ was not put forward as part of an
official plan to deal with the banned march
* WiIford disobeyed an order not to send troops into the Bogside
* All those shot dead or injured were innocent
Tony Doherty, whose father Patrick was one of those killed, said the
Bloody Sunday families had been vindicated and the Parachute Regiment
had been disgraced.
“It can now be proclaimed to the world that the dead and the wounded of
Bloody Sunday, civil rights marchers, one and all,were innocent, one and
all, gunned down on their own streets by soldiers who had been given to
believe that they could kill with perfect impunity,” he told thousands
of supporters outside Derry’s Guildhall.
On Tuesday morning, the families went inside the Guildhall to receive
advance notice of the findings as marchers gathered in the Bogside to
retraced the route of the original civil rights protest, carrying giant
banners with the faces of the victims.
As Cameron prepared to address Westminster on the inquiry’s report,
there were emotional and celebratory scenes in Derry as the families
appeared at the Guildhall windows, giving a ‘thumbs up’ signal.
They then emerged and, one by one, triumphantly declared the findings of
innocence of their loved ones to the delighted crowd.
Mickey McKinney, brother of 27-year-old William McKinney, who was shot
from behind when tending to a wounded man, led the families on to the
“This is a historic day for Derry. I’d like to thank you all for your
patience, as we have all had patience for 38 years. But today the
waiting has come to an end,” he said.
The crowd erupted with cheers and clapping before Kay Duddy, sister of
17-year-old Jack Duddy – the first person to be shot dead on Bloody
Sunday – called for a minute’s silence to mark the deaths of all those
who lost their lives during the Troubles.
Tony Doherty, brother of 31-year-old Patrick Doherty, who was shot from
behind when trying to crawl to safety in a flat forecourt, said he
welcomed British prime minister David Cameron’s comments that all the
killings were “unjustified and unjustifiable”.
“The victims of Bloody Sunday have been vindicated, and the parachute
regiment has been disgraced. Their medals of honour have to be removed,”
Mr Doherty said the victims were gunned down in their own streets by
soldiers who were given to believe they could act with impunity.
He said Widgery’s lies had been “laid bare” by the Saville report, in a
reference to the inquiry into the events on Bloody Sunday led by Lord
chief justice Widgery in 1972.
“Bloody Sunday wounded Derry very badly, and we hope today Derry can
begin to bind up the wounds,” he added.
There were tears of relief and joy for those who had struggled to reach
this point, and all those present felt the immense release of the
relatives and their supporters.
Finally, one of the relatives of the victims, Jean Hegarty (sister of
Kevin McElhinney), ripped up the disgraced Widgery report and threw the
torn pages into the air, provoking more huge cheers.
>>>>>> Now for justice
The prosecution of the Bloody Sunday soldiers is being sought by at
least some of those whose loved ones were shot dead and then smeared by
Their actions were described as akin to those of “Nazi stormtroopers” by
former senior British army officer Colonel Richard Kemp.
Saville found some of the soldiers killed or wounded a number of people,
with one soldier, known as ‘Lance Corporal F’, responsible for up to six
killings, and wounded four more. The families are aware of his name but
have not disclosed it due to Lord Saville’s ruling that to do so would
be tantamount to contempt of court.
It is unclear whether that ruling still applies now that the inquiry is
concluded. Were ‘Lance Corporal F’ charged it could be a matter for the
court trying him to decide whether his name could be revealed.
As well as possible contempt charges, naming the former soldier could be
in contravention of “right to life” legislation.
John Kelly, whose brother was shot dead by Lance Corporal F, said he
believed he should be prosecuted for murder.
Speaking in the Bogside yesterday Mr Kelly said, “He walked around this
street killing at will. As far as I am concerned he should be brought to
book for what he did here. The PPS are looking at Saville with a view to
prosecution, so my view on it is let them finish the job.”
Some other Bloody Sunday families have called for prosecution while
others said they were happy with the report.
“Not everybody feels the same as me,” said Kelly. “Others are happy and
delighted with what they got; others want prosecutions but they don’t
want the soldiers to go to jail; but we all respect each other’s
opinion,” he said.
Damien Donaghey, who was 15 years old when he was shot in the leg on
Bloody Sunday while attending the civil rights march, said the soldiers
needed to be brought to justice.
“If war crimes perpetrated by the Nazis can be prosecuted, then why not
this?” he said.
Mr Donaghey also said the British government must have had something to
do with the decision by soldiers to shoot people.
Liam Wray said he broke into floods of tears when he read the report’s
conclusions. “I have felt a responsibility and duty of love to my
brother like all the relatives for the last 38 years.
“The beautiful thing about this is that it gives hope to other people
around the world. If you campaign long enough then justice will
prevail,” he said.
He said he hoped the PSNI and public prosecution service would seek
prosecutions. Many people in Derry had taken the risk to support the
PSNI, and now it was up to them to do their duty, he said.
Saville found that some of the former soldier witnesses, who were
granted anonymity, committed perjury at the tribunal when they gave
evidence in London.
In this regard prosecutors in the North are to consult with the British
Crown Prosecution Service to find “where jurisdiction lies in regard to
any possible offences that arise”.
Michael Mansfield, QC, who represented some of the Bloody Sunday
families said that consideration should be given to bringing perjury
“I do think, given the strength and clarity of the conclusions, where
invented stories or falsehoods were told, that the Director of Public
Prosecutions, either here in Northern Ireland or in London, should
consider whether it is so serious – because the rule of law has been
flagrantly breached on this occasion by a number of soldiers on a number
of UK citizens – that consideration should be given to a prosecution,”
OTHER KILLINGS HIGHLIGHTED
Sinn Fein west Belfast MP Gerry Adams this morning hosted a press
conference to highlight the demand for truth and justice by the families
of those killed in Ballymurphy and Springhill almost 40 years ago.
Mr. Adams said: “On Tuesday the Bloody Sunday families finally achieved
truth for themselves and their loved ones.
“The British Prime Minister in apologising for the actions of the Paras
stated that “Bloody Sunday is not the defining story of the service the
British Army gave in Northern Ireland from 1969-2007.”
“That is wrong.
“Bloody Sunday is the defining story of the British Army in Ireland.
“The British Army, British Military Intelligence, and a variety of
British intelligence agencies, like the Military Reaction Force and the
Force Reconnaissance Unit, along with the UDR and RUC, were directly
responsible for 400 deaths in disputed circumstances.
“Through collusion and sectarian murders they were responsible for
“The Ballymurphy and the Springhill Massacres are examples of this and
in these cases, as in so many others, the families still do not have
“In Ballymurphy six months before Bloody Sunday, we have another
striking example of the brutality with which the Paras acted and how the
British system then connived in a cover-up.
“In the 36 hours after the introduction of internment in August 1971
eleven people – ten men, including a local priest and a mother of eight
children – were killed by the British Army’s Parachute Regiment in the
“The accounts of how their loved ones died the bear a striking
similarity to the stories told by the Derry families and now vindicated
by the Saville report..
“Paratroopers also killed others in Belfast in the same period,
including a 14 year old boy in Lenadoon, a 17 year old in the Clonard
area, a student teacher from Downpatrick outside St. Comgalls in Divis
Street and Robert McKinnie and Robert Johnstone from the Shankill.
“Six months after Bloody Sunday, on 9 July 1972, they shot dead five
people in Springhill.
“Among the dead was the second Catholic priest to be killed in greater
Ballymurphy. He was administering the Last Rites to victims when he
himself was cut down.
“Of the four others killed, three were teenagers and the last was a
father of six children who was with the local priest.
“On 9 March 1973 the Parachute Regiment arrived for duty in the Ardoyne
area of north Belfast. Within weeks they had shot and killed 5 people,
one a 12-year-old boy.
“In South Armagh a 12 year old schoolgirl was shot dead on 14 August
“None of those killed had any connection to any armed group. They were
all innocent civilians.
“All of these families deserve the full support and encouragement of the
community, and of the Irish government, in their efforts to secure an
independent international investigation in these deaths.
“We will be meeting the British secretary of State about these matters.
“The British government in acknowledging the wrong done in Derry must
acknowledge the wrong done in Ballymurphy and elsewhere and to these
families. It must make a public apology for what it and its armed forces
>>>>>> Cameron praised for accepting findings
Sinn Fein’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness complimented the
Conservative British Prime Minister David Cameron on a “generous”
statement in which he apologised for the Bloody Sunday killings.
Cameron told the Westminster parliament that while British soldiers were
“the finest in the world”, you do not “defend the British army by
defending the indefensible”.
“It is clear from the tribunal’s authoritative conclusions that the
events of Bloody Sunday were in no way justified,” Cameron said.
“I know some people wonder whether nearly 40 years on from an event, a
prime minister needs to issue an apology. For someone of my generation,
this is a period we feel we have learned about rather than lived
“But what happened should never, ever have happened. The families of
those who died should not have had to live with the pain and hurt of
that day – and a lifetime of loss. Some members of our armed forces
acted wrongly. The government is ultimately responsible for the conduct
of the armed forces. And for that, on behalf of the government – and
indeed our country – I am deeply sorry.”
Nevertheless, he declared that the British government and the military
top brass had been cleared.
“Those looking for a conspiracy involving senior politicians or senior
members of the armed forces – they will not find it in this report,” he
Mr McGuinness said the report and Mr Cameron’s reaction to it, would
help cement the peace and political process.
26-County Taoiseach Brian Cowen also praised the “brave and honest
words” of the British PM thanked Mr Cameron for his “good faith” in
ensuring the Saville report was published so early into his office.
“Fourteen innocent people died on the streets in Derry on January 30th,
1972. There is no doubt. There are no ambiguities. In truth, there never
were. They were innocent. May they rest in peace,” Mr Cowen said.
“Today is the day when the truth has been set free in the city of Derry.
This is not about the reopening of old wounds, but rather it is about
the healing of the gaping wounds of injustice left behind by the
terrible events of Bloody Sunday,” he added.
He said the ultimate injustice perpetrated on Bloody Sunday was the
unjustified and unjustifiable killing of innocent civilians by those who
claimed to be keeping the peace and upholding the law.
“It was an act of murder that cried out for justice and truth. Instead,
justice and truth were denied and cast aside,” he said.
The Saville inquiry had not been made necessary by the “horrific” events
of Bloody Sunday but by the “whitewash that was the Widgery report”.
The suffering of the victims and their families was “deeply compounded”
by the Widgery tribunal’s “discredited and disgraceful findings”.
However this “shameful attempt to distort history at the expense of the
innocent” was consigned to history, he added.
“From this day forth, history will record what the families have always
known to be true,” he said.
Irish President Mary McAleese said she hoped the Saville report “at long
last” provided families and survivors with consolation “that the world
now knows the awful truth about Bloody Sunday”.
She also spoke of the emotion which the report’s publication held for
many in Ireland.
The implications of the findings that deaths and casualties were
unjustified and unjustifiable would need to be “considered by the
appropriate authorities,” she addd.
Former SDLP leader Mark Durkan, whose Foyle constituency includes Derry,
said the publication of the long-awaited Saville report came on a “day
of deep emotion” for the city.
“These men were cut down when they marched for justice in their own
streets, but not only were their lives taken, their innocent memory was
then interned without truth by the travesty of the Widgery tribunal.
“And will the prime minister confirm clearly today that the Widgery
findings are now repudiated and binned and should not be relied upon by
anyone as giving any verdict on that day?”
Democratic Unionist MP Gregory Campbell criticised the cost of the
inquiry and said Saville should have reported on the actions of the IRA
prior to Bloody Sunday.
“We did not need a 200 million pound inquiry to know that there was no
premeditated plan to shoot civilians on that day. We didn’t need a report
of that length to tell us that as a result of the actions of the IRA
before Bloody Sunday that parts of the city ‘lay in ruins’.
“There has been no similar inquiry into the financing of the IRA at the
inception of that organisation by another state, the Irish Republic.
That Irish State acted as a midwife for the birth of an organisation
responsible for murdering many thousands of UK citizens,” Mr Campbell
Responding to Campbell’s bitterness, Cameron said: “I hope that he will
understand that there is something about Bloody Sunday – about the fact
that 13 people were shot by British army soldiers – that there is
something that did necessitate a proper inquiry. Don’t let’s pretend
that there isn’t something about that day that didn’t need to be
answered and answered clearly.”
Speaking shortly before the report was published, Mr McGuinness said the
British state had decided to send in the parachute regiment to teach the
people of Derry a lesson. Speaking after the report was published, he said:
“Here we are 38 years on, almost 40 years on, and it is quite clear
these families, who have stood up against the British state, have taught
the British state and military a lesson I think they will never forget,”
He also called for a wide-ranging “independent, international
tribunal” into the past.
Bishop Edward Daly, who as a local curate helped to ferry the dead from
the Bogside while waving a blood-stained handkerchief, welcomed the
Saville report and the British government’s reaction to it.
“The events that I saw that day – I always knew what happened. It is
wonderful to see someone stating quite clearly that these people weren’t
posing any threat, that they weren’t guilty of any offence. The
implication is that their killing was unjustifiable.”
The US State department welcomed publication of the Saville report,
saying it hoped the findings would contribute to the “ongoing
transformation from a turbulent past to a peaceful future.”
Amnesty International also welcomed the report. “The inquiry… began
with a promise of truth and we hope that today, over 38 years since 14
civilians were fatally shot by British soldiers at a civil rights march,
that promise has been fulfilled,” director Kate Allen said.
Ivan Cooper, co-founder of the SDLP and the man who led the
anti-internment march on Bloody Sunday, said he was impressed by the
Saville report – particularly the vindication of everything the families
had worked for.
He said the authorities should immediately arrest Major General Robert
Ford and bring him to justice.
“He was commander of land forces that day, and I believe he was
ultimately responsible for all the deaths that day,” Mr Cooper said. “I
saw him on William Street, and he was striding about with a baton under
his arm like an English overlord and he was shouting to the Paras ‘go
Paras go’, and they went all right and they murdered innocent people.”
>>>>>> Kenny holds on as Bruton coup defeated
Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny has retained the leadership of his party,
fending off a disastrous power grab by the party’s former Finance
spokesperson, Richard Bruton.
A meeting of the FIne Gael parliamentary party ended in a crushing
defeat this afternoon for Bruton and his band of followers, which
included most of the party’s front bench.
After sacking Bruton on Monday, Kenny seized the initiative from his
opponents on Tuesday by quickly ending a meeting of his shadow cabinet
by announcing a reshuffle.
Kenny loyalists believed he held the upper hand in the 70-strong Fine
Gael parliamentary party, and this afternoon he won a confidence vote by
an undisclosed margi – believed to be less than ten votes.
His opponents included most of the party’s prominent politicians and
most are likely to be demoted to the back benches next week.
Speaking outside Leinster House, Mr Kenny said the meeting was “very
constructive, very well meaning” adding he was “thrilled and very
relieved” the motion of confidence was endorsed by his parliamentary
Reacting to the vote, Mr Bruton said the decision of the party had to be
respected, adding issues had arisen but had been “resolved”. Mr Bruton
urged his supporters to unite behind the party and denied he had been
As the party attempted to close ranks today, the biggest winners of the
power struggle were the other 26 County parties, particularly the Labour
party, which was recently confirmed to be the largest opposition party
in the south.
Speaking after the meeting, Fine Gael members insisted Kenny had not
been permanently damaged by the level of opposition from within his won
Party chairman Padraic McCormack claimed that the turmoil had “damaged
the party in the short term” but said the task now was to get the party
back to where it was and focus on getting Fianna Fail out of government.
He said that he considered the vote of confidence to be the end of the
The chaos within Fine Gael overshadowed a no-confidence motion in the
Taoiseach, Brian Cowen earlier this week.
Speaking on Tuesday, during the Dail debate, Sinn Fein Dail leader
Caoimhghin O Caolain said it “should have been the day when the
spotlight was solely on an appalling Fianna Fail Government which has
been exposed as the principal cause of the recession in Ireland.
“It is a grossly incompetent Government.
“But we have a situation where the pressure has been taken off one set
of incompetents – Fianna Fail – by the political ineptitude of another
set of incompetents – Fine Gael.
“The Irish people now know all too well where the political leadership
of Fianna Fail has brought this State and this economy. But where would
the political leadership of Fine Gael bring us? With the Fianna Fail
government on the ropes, Fine Gael has managed to deliver a knockout
punch – to themselves.
“We have no confidence in either Fianna Fail or Fine Gael.”
The vote of confidence in Cowen was won by Fianna Fail by 82 votes to
77, with the backing of the Green Party and Independents Jackie
Healy-Rae and Michael Lowry.
* The following are believed to be among the members of the FG
parliamentary party who opposed Enda Kenny as Fine Gael leader: Michael
Creed; Simon Coveney; Joe McHugh; Richard Bruton; Olivia Mitchell;
Lucinda Creighton; Brian Hayes; Leo Varadkar; Ulick Burke; Olwyn
Enright; Michael Noonan; Fergus O’Dowd; Damien English; Denis Naughten;
Tom Hayes; John Deasy; Michael D’Arcy; Billy Timmins; Andrew Doyle; Paul
Bradford; John Paul Phelan; Eugene Regan; Nicky McFadden, Jim O’Keeffe;
Pat Breen; and Paschal Donohoe.
>>>>>> Calls for entrapment trial to be thrown out
The prosecution case against two Armagh men facing charges arising out
of a sting operation by MI5 (British military intelligence) should be
thrown out, their lawyers have argued.
Defence QC Orlando Pownell told the trial judge that it would be an
“abuse of process” to continue with the Belfast Crown Court trial of
44-year-old Lurgan man, Desmond Kearns
Mr Pownall said Mr Kearns was entrapped by MI5 operatives as part of an
initial intelligence gathering operation by the Crown forces against an
alleged weapon procurement in western Europe by the Real IRA .
Mr Pownell submitted that this was the “most unusual case, if not unique
…as it relates to entrapment”.
That entrapment of Kearns, he said, was carried out by one of the main
prosecution witness, known only as ‘Amir’, an MI5 ‘role-playing
He was described by Mr Pownell as “a clever and trained individual” who
used deceit to get his own way and Kearns proved no match for him.
It was ‘Amir’, he added, acting as an agent provocateur, using the
incentive of cheap cigarettes and the possibility of future rewards who
introduced guns into the conversation.
“To say ‘do you want guns?’, we say is entrapment,” Mr Pownell said.
Last week it emerged that ‘Amir’ and other MI5 agents were paid
performance bonuses of thousands of pounds, regardless of the innocence
or guilt of those targeted.
Amir had earlier accused MI5 of betrayal when, despite earlier
assurances, he was ordered to give evidence against the Armagh men. He
claimed he had also been promised a medal from the English queen, and
demanded 650,000 pounds from MI5 for testifying in the case.
Mr Pownell said “the content of the crown case is all at sea” and that
during the month-long trial they had attempted “through their witnesses
to re-write history”.
Witnesses, he said. agreed that the nature of the MI5 undercover
operation was either to get a lead on one of Kearns’ co-accused, Paul
McCaugherty, or to investigate the workings of the Lurgan unit of the
Mc Pownell said it was never the intention to put Kearns on trial but
once McCaugherty was arrested, he could only be prosecuted if the
“tribunal of fact had to hear chapters one, two and three of this saga”.
The lawyer said that the evidence was so discredited, that there was an
abuse, “and we say that abuse is entrapment”.
Judge Hart, trying the month-long case in the (juryless) Diplock court,
said he hoped to give his ruling within a few days.
Defence QC Adrian Colton, representing Mr McCaugherty, said the
application to halt the case related not to his client’s innocence or
guilt but to the “integrity of the trial process”.
“The issue of the defendant’s guilt, or the issue of a fair trial is not
at stake in this application but the process of the criminal justice
system,” Mr Cotton said, adding that guilt “Is irrelevant as to whether
a stay should be granted or not”.
McCaugherty, he said, was clearly a “specific target of this operation”
and that the initial “targeting of Kearns was designed to lure
McCaugherty into crime”.
Mr Colton said that the under-cover operation was “a tainted operation”
as it had gone beyond “the permissible bounds”.
Judge Hart, trying the month-long case in the (juryless) Diplock court,
said he hoped to give his ruling within a few days.
>>>>>> Local council reform plans collapse
A shakeup of the north’s local councils has collapsed after the
Six-County executive failed to reach agreement .
The executive meeting had discussed plans to cut the number of councils
from 26 to 11 by next May.
However, the lack of agreement on the far-reaching proposals means there
will be no change to local government.
Critics of the executive have said this week’s collapse as another
example of its failure to deal with key issues.
Sinn Fein had wanted the 11-council model to go ahead but environment
minister Edwin Poots wanted the plans to be deferred until 2015.
The motion to reform was put to a vote after talks on Friday and over
the weekend to resolve the parties’ differences failed.
Only ministers who are not also councillors were allowed to vote.
Sinn Fein, the SDLP and the Alliance’s David Ford voted in favour of
pushing the reforms through, giving them a majority of five to three.
However, the plans collapsed after DUP’s enterprise minister Arlene
Foster called for a ‘cross-community vote’, under which the DUP has a
veto over change.
The reforms had proved controversial among unionist politicians as it
would have deprived many of them of their valued council positions.
The DUP’s environment minister Edwin Poots attempted to wash his hands
of any blame for the failure. He had insisted more time was needed to
make the necessary reduction.
Another key issue for the DUP was the boundary of the new Belfast
‘supercouncil’ and specifically the inclusion of the largely nationalist
Dunmurry aea which would leave it with a nationalist majority.
>>>>>> Feature: How Saville reported the killings
How the Saville and Widgery reports differed in their
William McKinney (27) was the oldest in a family of 10. He worked as a
compositor with the local newspaper, the Derry Journal.
His family nickname was “The Professor”. He loved music, particularly
Jim Reeves, and played the accordion. A keen amateur cameraman, he
managed to record some footage of the events of the day. He was shot in
the back as he tried to assist wounded people in Glenfada Park.
What Widgery said: The evidence relating to his death was too confused
and too contradictory to make a specific consideration as to how he
died. A paraffin test for gunshot residue on his hands and clothing was
What Saville says: The report says it was more likely than not that
either Lance Cpl F or Pte H fired the shot that hit William McKinney in
the back, mortally wounding him.
Joe Mahon was probably wounded by a shot that had first hit him.
Saville concludes that McKinney was not posing a threat of causing death
or serious injury when he was shot.
Hugh Gilmour (17), a trainee tyre fitter, was the son of a former Derry
City soccer player and the youngest of a family of eight. He was shot as
he ran on Rossville Street, and a photograph was taken seconds
He was struck close to the rubble barricade, but managed to continue
running for a few metres before falling to the ground at the side of the
flats, just below the window of his family home.
What Widgery said: Widgery said it would have been impossible to
identify the soldier who shot Gilmour because of his location on the
barricade, but that there was no evidence to suggest he had used a
He said the track of the bullet that killed him suggested he was not
shot from directly behind.
What Saville says: He was mortally wounded as he was running away from
the soldiers in the vicinity of the Rossville Flats. Saville says he is
“sure” Pte U fired at Gilmour, and that the soldiers who opened fire in
the area he was killed in believed no one was posing a threat of causing
death or serious injury, and did not fire in a state of fear or panic.
William Nash (19) was the seventh child in a family of 13.
He worked with his father on Derry’s docks. He was a brother of boxer
Charlie Nash. He was killed at the rubble barricade in Rossville Street
with a single shot to the chest. His father Alex was wounded trying to
reach him. Eyewitness accounts state Nash was unarmed and was going to
the aid of someone else when he was shot.
What Widgery said: Widgery said particles of lead were detected on the
web, back and palm of Nash’s left hand with a distribution consistent
with his having used a firearm.
A paratrooper, named Soldier P, said he saw a man with a pistol and shot
him in the chest.
He told the inquiry he thought that the pistol was removed by other
What Saville says: He was killed at the rubble barricade along with
Saville says he was sure the soldiers, in this instance, fired into an
area where no one was posing a threat of causing death or serious
Jim Wray (22) was the second-oldest in a family of nine, and had been
working in England. He and his family went to the march after attending
Mass. He was shot in Glenfada Park. As he lay on the ground wounded he
was shot again at close range, outside his grandparents’ home. The
corduroy jacket he was wearing, with bullet holes, is on display in the
Museum of Free Derry.
What Widgery said: The evidence of his death was too confused and too
contradictory to make an individual comment, as there was no
photographic evidence. Widgery said testing by experts suggested Wray
had used a firearm, but that the balance of probability suggested that
at the time when he shot he was not acting aggressively.
What Saville says: He was shot twice in the back at Glenfada Park North
by soldiers of anti-tank platoon. Saville says he was hit by either Pte
G or Pte H, and the second bullet probably hit him as he lay mortally
wounded on the ground. The report says the soldiers must have known
there was no possible justification for shooting Wray a second time.
Michael McDaid (20) lived in Tyrconnell Street. He was the second
youngest of a family of 12. He was a bartender in the Celtic Bar. He was
killed by a single shot at the rubble barricade in front of Rossville
The tweed jacket that he was wearing on the day, with a jagged tear
where the bullet exited his body, is on display at the Museum of Free
What Widgery said: Widgery said the bullet struck McDaid in the left
He said tests on McKinney indicated abnormal lead particle density on
his jacket, and one large particle of lead on the back of his right
This, however, was more consistent with McDaid having been in close
proximity to someone firing, rather than using a gun himself.
What Saville says: He was killed at the rubble barricade along with
three others. Saville says the soldiers who shot him were not in a state
of fear or panic, but that he is sure they fired into an area where
nobody was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury.
Patrick Doherty (32) was a married man with six children. He was shot
dead as he attempted to crawl for cover behind block two of the
Rossville flats complex.
His last movements were filmed by photographer Giles Peress. He was most
likely shot as he turned away from the paratroopers. A steward on the
march, he had encouraged his wife Eileen to stay at the rear of the
What Widgery said: He was certainly hit from behind while crawling or
crouching. His reaction to the paraffin test for gunshot residue was
Widgery concluded that he was not carrying a weapon. He was most likely
shot by a paratrooper referred to as Soldier F during the inquiry.
What Saville says: He was among the last gunfire casualties of the day,
and Saville says he is sure it was Lance Corporal F who mortally wounded
him with a shot to the buttock.
He was hit in a pedestrianised area between the Joseph Place flats and
the side of Block 2 of the Rossville Flats.
At the time, he was attempting to crawl to safety.
John Young (17) was born at Springtown Camp. The youngest of a family of
six, he worked in John Temple’s menswear shop in the city. He was
interested in showbands and was a roadie for The Scene. He was killed by
a single shot to the head as he sought shelter at the rubble barricade
on Rossville Street.
What Widgery said: Widgery said Young was undoubtedly associated with a
group of youths who were throwing missiles at the soldiers from the
barricade. He said the track of the bullet suggests that he was facing
the soldiers at the time he was shot.
He said no weapon was found on Young, but there was sufficient
opportunity for this to have been removed by others.
What Saville says: He was shot and killed at the rubble barricade,
possibly by Cpl P of mortar platoon.
Saville rejected claims from the soldiers that those on the barricade
were armed as “knowingly untrue”. He says the group was not posing a
threat, and that it was not likely they were shot out of fear or panic.
Jackie Duddy (17) was born at Springtown camp, one of a family of 15. He
worked at a local factory, but his passion was boxing and he had fought
throughout Ireland. He was killed by a single shot to the back in the
courtyard of the Rossville Flats. The photograph of his body being
carried while Fr Daly waved a white handkerchief remains an enduring
image of the day.
What Widgery said:
Widgery concluded he was hit by a bullet meant for someone else.
What Saville says: He was the first casualty of gunfire after soldiers
had gone into the Bogside, and was most likely shot by Pte R.
Duddy was running away from the soldiers when hit. Saville says he
probably had a stone in his hand at the time and that, while Pte R may
have thought that Duddy might have been about to throw a bomb, he was
sure he, Pte R, could not have been sufficiently confident about this to
conclude that he was justified in firing.
Saville says it was possible Pte R fired in a state of fear or panic,
giving no proper thought to whether his target was posing a threat.
Gerald McKinney (35) was married to Ita and the father of eight
children, the youngest of whom was born eight days after his father’s
death. Mr McKinney worked in John McLaughlin’s on the Strand Road. He
ran the Ritz roller skating rink and managed a junior soccer team. He
had no particular interest in politics.
What Widgery said: When he was shot dead in an alleyway leading from
Glenfada Park to Abbey Park, he had been part of a group of people
trying to move towards Westland Street to safety. When Gerald Donaghey,
who was running ahead of him, was shot, two eyewitnesses said Mr
McKinney raised his arms and shouted, “don’t shoot, don’t shoot”. The
position of the bullet’s entry and exit holes on his body indicated he
had his arms raised at the time he was shot.
What Saville says: He was shot and mortally wounded in Abbey Park by Pte
G, who opened fire from only a few yards. The same shot killed Gerald
Donaghey. He was not posing a threat of death or serious injury and,
given this fact, Saville says Pte G did not fire in fear or panic.
Bernard “Barney” McGuigan (41) was a married father of six. He was shot
in the back as he tried to go to the aid of the dying Patrick Doherty.
Mr McGuigan had emerged from shelter waving a white handkerchief when he
was shot dead by a single bullet to the head. A number of eyewitnesses
stated he was unarmed.
What Widgery said: Widgery said photographs of McGuigan initially showed
him without a scarf around his head but later did. He said the scarf
showed a heavy deposit of lead, consistent with it having been used to
wrap a revolver which had been fired several times. His widow said the
scarf did not belong to him. Widgery accepted her evidence. He said it
was not possible to say that McGuigan was using or carrying a weapon
when he was shot.
What Saville says: He was one of the last gunfire casualties of the day.
He was shot in the head and killed instantly as he was waving a piece of
cloth and moving out from the cover afforded by the southern end wall of
block one of the Rossville Flats. Saville says there was no doubt that
Lance Cpl F shot McGuigan.
Kevin McElhinney (17) was the middle child in a family of five. He
helped look after his home for six months while his mother recovered
after a heart attack. He worked at Lipton’s supermarket from the time he
left school. He was shot from behind as he tried to crawl to a doorway
at the Rossville Flats. He was dragged inside by people sheltering
there. Two eyewitnesses, including a priest, testified that he was
What Widgery said: Widgery said he was impressed by evidence of a Sgt K
who described two men crawling from the barricade towards the door of
the flats and said the rear man held a rifle. He fired one aimed shot
but could not say whether it hit. Lead particles were detected on the
back of McElhinney’s left hand.
What Saville says: He was shot by members of composite platoon, who had
taken up positions at the low walls of the Kells Walk ramp, as he was
crawling south from the rubble barricade and away from the soldiers. He
was fired at on the orders of one or perhaps two nearby non-commissioned
officers, Colour Sgt 002 and Cpl 039.
Gerald Donaghey (17) was the youngest of three children. He was orphaned
at the age of 10. He had previously been sentenced to six months for
rioting in the Bogside.
He was a member of the IRA’s youth wing, Fianna na hEireann. He was shot
in the abdomen while moving between Glenfada Park and Abbey Park.
What Widgery said: Lord Widgery rejected suggestions that nail bombs
were planted on Gerald Donaghey by a member of the security forces.
What Saville says: He was mortally wounded by the same shot that killed
Gerard McKinney at Abbey Park. He was shot by Pte G. He was taken by car
to the Regimental Aid Post of 1st Battalion at the western end of
Nail bombs were found on his person, and Saville concludes these were on
him, and were not planted, when he was shot. However, Saville says
Donaghy was not preparing or attempting to throw a nail bomb when he was
“We are equally sure that he was not shot because of his possession of
nail bombs. He was shot while trying to escape from the soldiers,” the
Michael Kelly (17) was the seventh child in a family of 13. At the age
of three he contracted a virus and spent three weeks in a coma, but he
recovered and was training to be a sewing machine mechanic. He had no
interest in politics and the march was the first he had ever attended.
He was shot near the rubble barricade in front of Rossville Flats.
What Widgery said: Widgery said Kelly was shot in his abdomen from the
front and this disposed of a suggestion in the evidence he was running
away at the time. He said he did not think Kelly had fired a weapon at
the soldiers from the barricade and he was satisfied that he was not
throwing a bomb at the time when he was shot, as alleged by Soldier F.
What Saville says: He was shot at the barricade by Lance Cpl F of
anti-tank platoon, members of which opened fire with rifles from a ramp
named Kells Walk some 80 yards away. Saville says initially Lance Cpl F
said nothing about this shot but later admitted he fired, falsely
claiming this was at a nail bomber. Saville says the shot was not fired
by a man in a state of panic or fear.
John Johnston (59) worked as a draper all his life and was a keen
golfer. He supported the civil rights movement and attended as many
marches as he could. However, Johnston was not on the march that day,
but on his way to visit a friend in Glenfada Park.
He was hit by the first shots fired in William Street on the day.
When he died months later on June 16th, 1972, his death was attributed
to the injuries he received on Bloody Sunday.
What Saville says: He was hit accidentally by fragments of shots fired
at Damien Donaghy on a patch of waste ground in William Street.
These shots were fired by Cpl A or Pte B.
Saville concludes the soldier who fatally injured him was not firing at
someone “posing a threat of causing death or serious injury”.
>>>>>> Analysis: Saville’s truth brings hope
By Jim Gibney (for Irish News)
A thumbs-up sign, shortly after 3.30pm, squeezed through the narrowest
of gaps in an upstairs window in Derry’s Guildhall, was the first
indication in almost 40 years that something of huge significance was
happening for the relatives of those murdered on Bloody Sunday.
The relatives, their legal teams and political representatives were
incommunicado from early Tuesday morning inside the Guildhall reading
the judgment from Lord Saville, William Hoyt and John Toohey.
Two hands appeared with the thumbs-up sign in another small window. Then
a copy of a document appeared in a pair of hands in a third window and
the hands were tapping the document approvingly – the document had to be
and was Saville’s conclusions.
The massive crowd roared each time these positive gestures emerged.
Tears welled up in my eyes, a lump gathered in my throat. All around me
people cried as more and more hands and thumbs appeared at windows from
one end of the Guildhall to the other.
We could not see or hear who these hands belonged to. We could only
guess it was those who had borne the loss of their massacred relatives
and who had campaigned relentlessly for the truth and innocence of those
shot and injured on Bloody Sunday.
When the relatives emerged from the Guildhall into the sweltering
afternoon sun they punched the air repeatedly and smiled with delight.
The image of so many ecstatic people crammed into a small space reminded
me of that moment many years ago when the Birmingham Six bounced out of
London’s High Court triumphantly declaring their innocence as they too
punched the air.
Outside the Guildhall the joy on the relatives faces was borne out of
tragedy, borne out of decades of frustration and disappointment.
‘Everest’ had at last been climbed and its summit conquered by a group
of people and their supporters who had only their willpower to carry
them through the darkest of years.
One after another the relatives spoke about their murdered loved ones,
quoting liberally from Saville’s devastating report which used the
language of innocence to help comfort the bruised and battered psyche of
those whose 4O-year memory contained so much hurt and pain.
For the British Paras Saville used the language of humiliation,
indignation and censure to describe the ruthless manner in which they
hunted down fleeing and defenceless people.
His remarks shamed this regiment – much vaunted as an elite force by the
British military establishment.
But shame is not solely the preserve of the British Paras. A few miles
away from Derry, on a grassy knoll on the Belfast side of Dungiven, 298
names of men, women and children, on spindly sticks, were planted behind
a placard with the inscription, ‘Murdered by the British Army’.
They were put there by Mark Thompson whose brother Peter and two others
were gunned down by British soldiers, by JJ Magee whose sister Anne was
killed by loyalists, and by Eugene Heenan whose father Eugene was also
killed by loyalists. All are members of Relatives lor Justice,
campaigning for the truth about state violence and collusion.
The impromptu memorial was erected for the world’s media who flocked to
Derry to record the judgment of three distinguished jurists who brought
their untrammelled wisdom to bear on a great wrong in order to restore
dignity to the meaning of justice.
I left Belfast for Derry leaving a crowd of several hundred republicans
at the funeral of Seando Moore. From a young age Seando had spent many
years behind bars including several on the blanket protest. He spent his
years behind bars campaigning for prisoners’ rights. Outside prison he
campaigned to keep the memory of the hunger strikers alive; those
republican martyrs from Beechmount and those who died as a result of
collusion or British state violence. Seando was an inveterate
campaigner. On Tuesday the streets of Derry were thronged with thousands
of people like Seando Moore.
They not only basked in the heat of the sun, their spirits were uplifted
by the heat of the truth from Saville and the apology and unconditional
acceptance of that truth by David Cameron, Britain’s prime minister.
Saville’s truth has replaced Widgery’s lies and with it comes hope for
those named on Dungiven’s grassy knoll.
Tributes for Bloody Sunday doctor
N IRELAND: Tributes poured in today for former mayor of Derry Dr Raymond McClean who died aged 78 on Saturday – a day before “the final” Bloody Sunday commemoration march in the city.
Dr McClean was a local GP and civil rights activist who tended to the dying and wounded victims of the peaceful demonstration on January 30 1972 which was broken up by British paratroopers firing live ammunition, killing 13 unarmed civilians.
Sinn Fein Deputy First Minister Martin McGuiness described the timing of his death as “hugely poignant.”
SDLP president John Hume said: “He cared deeply about people and loved his city and his country. His selfless contribution to Derry and its people is immeasurable.”
MoD apologises for 40-year-old killing
NORTHERN IRELAND: South Belfast MP Alastair McDonnell welcomed the British Ministry of Defence’s apology today for killing 21-year-old Billy McKavanagh 40 years ago.
The MoD wrote to Mr McKavanagh’s family after a Historical Enquiries Team confirmed that the 21-year-old had no paramilitary links and was unarmed when soldiers shot him.
The letter also apologised for the “mistreatment” of his brother and cousin, who were seized from their home and “pistol-whipped and beaten with rifle butts.”
Mr McDonnell said: “This apology confirms what people in the area have known since that day — Billy was an innocent man gratuitously shot by the army, then lied about.”
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