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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: June 15, 2010 @ 2:06 pm

    Bloody Sunday

    Deaglán de Bréadún

    Just witnessed two officials bringing a heavy red box/trunk up the stairs of the City Hotel here in Derry. It’s the advance material on the Bloody Sunday Report which is being given out to selected media reps on a confidential, “lock-in” basis. The burden of the Report won’t be generally released until 3.30pm.

    As I drove into Derry, I experienced a frisson of  ‘Free State’ guilt. We have neglected this city for the most part since the early days of the Troubles. When I was Northern Editor I had an ambition to get a staff journalist from the IT appointed here, but it didn’t come to fruition.

    There’s a lot of nervousness in the air. People are hoping for the best and certainly expecting the Widgery Report to be discredited. The crunch issue is expected to be whether or not soldiers are to be referred for prosecution.

    • Liam says:

      As someone who would never wish to see State violence go unpunished , I must say on this one they should just leave it short of prosecution as far as individual soldiers are concerned. If they can trace the events back to senior officers that is one thing, but it would seem like the setup of a world of pain to prove in a court of law which soldiers shot which civilians and were they acting under orders or not.

      I’m assuming a group of soldiers cant be charged with killing a group of civilians?

    • Kynos says:

      Whatever about ordinary soldiers being referred what about the chain of command? Are they not to be held accountable? How high should the charges go? We’ve seen all this before many many times Abu Ghraib most recently at best and saying that implies a willing suspension of disbelief of the greatest stretch since Lazarus tied his ass to a tree and walked into Jerusalem AT BEST I say a couple of white-trash Other Ranks might get a slap on the knuckles and a few days in the glasshouse but given the ones responsible have all likely retired or fertilising the corner of some field foreign or domestic I’d say probability close to zero. And as for the chain of command, that coldly took the decision to put killing machines on the streets of a city not at war, they’ll just toddle home and die. In bed. APU.

    • rubyrubyrubyruby says:

      ‘Only takes one itchy trigger
      One more widow one less white nigger’…
      ‘Elvis’ called it in 1979, Saville confirmed it in 2010…
      Not worthy of the front page of the Irish Times…shame on you…

    • Kynos says:

      If only the upper echelons of British politics hadn’t thrown away the Tao (if they ever had it but these things can appear different at the micro from the macro level) and deliberately chosen to put either the power in the hands of the BA to put ungovernable killing machines on the streets of a city that needed at most policing (and impartial fair policing) or used their political power to do the same thing. Either way, it turned the BA into the IRA’s most successful recruiting sergeant. And how many years of blood and pain thus followed. All because somebody, somewhere, did something utterly immoral for the sake of whatever hate and/or desire for expedience they carried in their hearts they tore up the rule book and threw away the Tao and here we find ourselves today how many thousands murdered later?

    • rubyrubyrubyruby says:

      They should all be prosecuted every one…for War Crimes…and Kynos let’s just have ONE day where the focus is on the people who died on the streets of Derry have some RESPECT

    • rubyrubyrubyruby says:

      The Nuremberg defence is no more acceptable in respect of Bloody Sunday than it was in Germany…and for ‘died on the Streets of Derry’ read ‘murdered’…
      Deaglan if you cast you mind back to the Henry Kelly article when I raised this issue you totally failed to grasp the fact that this was murder perpetrated by the agents of the State and not internecine sectarian ‘warfare’.

    • Kynos says:

      huh??Ruby?what? I wasn’t dissing anyone from Derry. Ok the report apparently vindicates every innocent who died (not read it yet) but I doubt anyone responsible will ever pay their crimes. Anyone truly responsible, or even indirectly. Was all was saying no offence intended. In that way it’s all a crock but in another I hope it brings some ease to the suffering of the families and indeed the Maiden City. Much ravaged but if you squint still beautiful. Was there only last weekend glad to see so many happy faces in the Foyleside. Dont know what ure on about Ruby.

    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      I hope the families of those who died get what they need to get from this report and find closure and move on with their lives. The past is another country and the families of the victims have nothing more to prove – they have cleared their loved ones names. Draw a line no and let it go.

      I also don’t want to see Martin McGuinness justifying himself and what he was doing there or sullying the memory of those who were there to make a peaceful protest which is not what someone carried a machine gun was there for.

      If he has changed since then, fine but don’t insult us by pretending he wasn’t the type of person then we are told he was.

      I would also like people in Londonderry to stop calling it Derry – it’s official name is Londonderry because of the charter it got – pretending it is called Derry doesn’t alter that – if they want it called Derry then get the charter changed.

      If there are people who use this report as a means to be triumphalist then that is worrying for the future and indicates that there is still a real danger of the communities remaining divided.

    • J says:

      When a soldier aims a high powered weapon at a civilianan & shoots to kill, is this not MURDER. “Unlawful…unjustified…killing” are totally inappropriate, inaccurate & inadequate, wordings.

    • kynos says:

      Yeah not sure where you think I showed disrespect to the people of Derry there Ruby but assure you none intended.

    • Shane O' Donohue says:

      Sad for British PM to talk about the ‘men” killed as about half were children, so it seems to be less of an apology. The main and missing issue is who ordered a parachute unit to fly in and fly out and were they ordered to break the spirit and resolve of the protesters through State sanctioned murder.

      Comment by STO

    • rubyrubyrubyruby says:

      Not only should the military of all ranks be prosecuted for perjury and/or murder; those who were subsequently decorated by the head of the Saxe Coburg Gotha dynasty for their actions on the day should be stripped of those honours and any benefits attached to them…
      There is no Nuremberg defence here; these Paras were ‘up for it’ they were ‘out for a few kills’ as their colleague testified … some of them lied on oath and so their testimony and credibility, which can now of course be admitted, to any subsequent tribunal will be tainted
      Let’s not forget the Para’s are trained killers that’s what they do and what they pride themselves on.
      What distinguishes this from subsequent ‘atrocities’ is the fact that this was perpetrated by the Army of the UK Government not internecine sectarian warfare.
      I cannot recommend Eamonn McCann’s article highly enough for anyone who hasn’t read it.
      As I said elsewhere this was the Irish equivalent of Sharpeville; a sentiment I have since discovered was also expressed by Ivan Cooper in the immediate aftermath of the events.

    • rubyrubyrubyruby says:

      maybe we could have a couple of high profile arrests and a couple of show trials

    • barbera says:

      I agree with Liam at first comment that the situation, now, should be left just short of prosecution for individual soldiers and especially, given the length of time that has passed since the atrocities and the horror of the situation on many levels. Thirty-eight years living with that horror and its effects is the equivalent of a life sentence for all concerned, especially the victims’ families but also the soldiers who acted unlawfully, whether of their own volition or under orders from their commanding officers. Kynos, whatever about Abu Ghraib, I don’t think there is anything “as per usual” about this situation. It is an unprecedented development, not only with regard to our own political situation vis-à-vis our nearest neighbours but the British Judiciary have made a very strong statement about how the military acting on behalf of the State should conduct itself (from henceforth) and always be held accountable to Civil Law – and which will not go unnoticed by the powers that be in all the hotspots on the globe, in particular, which should now be under more intense scrutiny. I thought David Cameron was unequivocal, forthright, humble and sincere in his presentation of the findings and which is no bad thing for good relations in the future between the UK and Ireland.

    • rubyrubyruby says:

      Seems C4 News are of same opinion on possible Prosecutions…Jon Snow is a giant of a man…even got the point about admissibility…No problem about Evidential burden just whether it’s in the public interest…OF COURSE IT IS…although I wouldn’t think the wee North is awash with Human Rights lawyers…RIP Pat Finucane…

    • rubyrube says:

      I understand there is a Bridge in Dublin that requires a name…think the problem may have resolved itself following the Saville Report!

    • kynos says:

      Had a weapon pointed at me twice by a soldier one time was only a guy on duty at a cash drop turned let the barrel of his SLR track across my chest now either as was said at the time the SLR was unloaded and therefore I was in no danger or the SLR was loaded and I was but it wasn’t as much as a British soldier in NI presented when he almost shot me I remain convinced he did and I a young lad on crutches pointed one at him v. unpleasant yes. Imagine having to grow up living with that everyday?


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