1/30/2006

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

34 years ago today, 14 men were killed by the British Army as they took part in a Civil Rights demonstration. The event became known as Bloody Sunday. I'm not going to dwell on the detail too much as the facts have been laid out many times by men and women more articulate than I.

The men killed were -

Jackie Duddy, 17
Patrick Doherty, 31
Bernard McGuigan, 41
Hugh Gilmour, 17
Kevin McElhinney, 17
Michael Kelly, 17
John Young, 17
William Nash, 19
Michael McDaid, 20
James Wray, 22
Gerald Donaghy, 17
Gerald McKinney, 35
William McKinney, 26
John Johnston, 59

May their souls rest in peace.

I must agree entirely with the comments of SDLP councillor Colum Eastwood. Like me, he was born long after the events of Bloody Sunday and like me, he marvells at the strength which the victims of that terrible day have shown;

You stood tall for truth against the lies and cover-up of Widgery. You will stand only for full truth from Saville.In the face of provocation, insult and abuse, your dignity has shone through. Whatever may come in the time ahead, your cause will win through.

These men were not the first die, nor were they the last. Their stories are only part of a terrible time when too many died for too little. However their stories live on simply because they were a symbol of the attitude the British had towards the conflict here - an attitude of lies, an attitude of cover up. Just as Widgery covered up the true story behind these men's deaths, so the Inquiries Act seeks to do the same for the deaths of others. This cannot be tolerated - the truth must be told.

At yesterday's commemorative march, Raymond McCartney directed his remarks to those responsible for the new Inquiry into Bloody Sunday;

they must keep in their minds one of the great lessons of Bloody Sunday that if the truth of that day is in anyway suppressed then the quest for the truth remains as fresh as it was all those years ago

These words ring as true for the victims of Bloody Sunday as they do for all the victims.

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