12 Year Inquiry Into Bloody Sunday Killings Due To Be Published
It was one of the most traumatic events in Northern Ireland’s 30-year „Troubles“ — Bloody Sunday — the killing of 14 people shot dead by British troops in Londonderry in 1972.
Today the families of the victims will finally get to hear the results of a 12-year inquiry into the killings.
Some relatives hope the release of the inquiry will lead to prosecutions of soldiers and their political masters.
There have been concerns that the 5,000 page report could destabilise a peace process that has largely ended the bloodshed and brought greater prosperity to Northern Ireland.
Bloody Sunday turned a simmering feud between Catholics and Protestants into three decades of „Troubles“ in the British-ruled province, which left 3,600 dead.
Prime Minister David Cameron will today make a statement to parliament in London on the conclusions of the inquiry led by English High Court judge Lord Saville. The inquiry has cost some 200 million pounds.
The Guardian newspaper reported on Friday that Lord Saville has found some but not all of the deaths were unlawful. The report was branded „unhelpful speculation“ by the British government’s Northern Ireland Office.
Bloody Sunday proved a recruiting agent for the Provisional IRA, fighting to end British rule of Northern Ireland and to unify with the Republic of Ireland.
On January 30, 1972, soldiers from the elite 1st Parachute Regiment opened fire on a civil rights march being held unlawfully in Londonderry, killing 13 and injuring another 14, one of whom died later.
The troops were largely exonerated in a swift and short inquiry by Lord Widgery published a few months after the killings. Victims‘ families say they hope the new inquiry will say the dead were unlawfully killed.
Amid pressure from campaigners, the then prime minister, Tony Blair, set up the Saville inquiry in 1998. The case was reopened on the grounds there was evidence which had not been available to Lord Widgery in 1972.
The inquiry sat in Londonderry and London between April 1998 and November 2004 receiving statements from around 2,500 people and hearing oral evidence from over 900 witnesses.
Soldiers who have given evidence to the inquiry, have not been given immunity from prosecution, but were told nothing they said would be used against them in any later court action.
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