Local politicians respond to Saville Report

June 22, 2010

by Brónagh Murphy

Following Tuesday’s publication of Bloody Sunday’s Saville Report, local political representatives have commented on the long-awaited publication and expressed their views on its findings.

Newry and Armagh MP Conor Murphy was in Derry on Tuesday.  Speaking from the city, he said: “Today is a day for the families of those killed and those injured on Bloody Sunday.  They have campaigned for 38 years for the truth and for justice. They have campaigned for the British government to end their policy of cover-up and concealment.

“The facts of what happened on Bloody Sunday are clear – the British Paras came to Derry and murdered 14 civil rights marchers and injured 13 others. They were unarmed, they posed no threat and they were completely innocent.

“Today Saville has put the lies of Widgery into the dustbin of history and with it the cover-up which was authorised of the highest levels within the British establishment and lasted for almost four decades.

“Sinn Féin will continue to support the Bloody Sunday families in the time ahead,” he added.

Meanwhile Ulster Unionist MLA and Deputy Leader, Danny Kennedy, says he hopes the report provides closure to the families.

“Clearly and rightly the onus will always be on Ministers of the Crown to account for the actions of the military, and the Prime Minister has shouldered that responsibility. It is equally clear from the conclusions reached by Lord Saville that there was no conspiracy either at a military or political level and this should now be fully accepted by everyone,” Mr Kennedy said.

“My thoughts however remain with the families of the countless victims of the IRA and the other paramilitary and terrorists groups, especially throughout this constituency and indeed in my own home village of Bessbrook, who were cruelly murdered and whose families will never receive any kind of inquiry or recognition. “Unfortunately, one consequence of the Saville report is that it appears that some deaths are to be regarded as more significant than others. We need to recognise the danger of that position, otherwise we will have created a very flawed heirarchy of victims and this would not be the way to deal with the past or indeed build a shared future.”