Thousands of people braved wintry conditions in Derry on Sunday to mark the 43rd anniversary of Bloody Sunday. On that day in 1972 members of the British Army’s parachute regiment shot 27 civilians, 13 of them dead, during an anti-internment march in the Bogside area of the city.
Yesterday’s march from the Creggan area, the starting point of the January 30th, 1972, march, ended in the Guildhall Square where a short rally took place.
In the square the organisers of the March For Justice played, on a large screen, a revised version of the June 2010 apology in the House of Commons by British prime minister David Cameron who said the events of Bloody Sunday were unjustified and unjustifiable.
Among those at the rally were relatives of the 13 victims as well as several of those who were shot and wounded 43 years ago. Speakers at the rally included US-based Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter and one of the organisers of protests against recent police killings of young black people in America, and Dublin North Independent TD Clare Daly.
The Saville Inquiry into the Bloody Sunday killings concluded that all but one of the 13 people killed, Gerald Donaghey, were unarmed. That finding has been rejected by the teenager's family who have vowed to clear his name.
During yesterday's Guildhall Square rally the names of the dead and wounded were read out by Damien Donaghy, who was one of those shot in 1972.
Liam Wray, whose brother Jim was one of the 13 victims, called on the PSNI to press forward with their investigations into the shootings.
“Four years after the publication of the Saville Report the PSNI started what they called a criminal investigation, not a murder investigation. Two years later, because of a reported lack of funding, that investigation was paused but now the PSNI say it’s set to continue.
“We have to keep pressurising the police because we, the families, do not believe they are doing their job willingly. They are very reluctant but we will keep them up to the task,” he said.