Irish Republican News · December 30, 2011
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Demand abides for Bloody Sunday justice
Demand abides for Bloody Sunday justice
marchforjustice.jpg

The annual march commemorating the 1972 Bloody Sunday massacre will take place under the theme ‘March for Justice’, despite calls by some relatives of the victims that the campaign should come to an end.

In one of the worst incidents of the conflict in Ireland, 36 nationalists were gunned down in Derry’s Bogside while taking part in the 1972 civil rights march, with 14 losing their lives.

A public meeting was held last week in Pilot’s Row Community Centre before Christmas to discuss the march, which is set to take place on January 29, 2012. The meeting was convened by the Civil Rights Veterans Association who are hoping to mark the 40th anniversary of the killings.

The brother of one of those shot dead by British soldiers on Bloody Sunday insisted that the annual march commemorating the massacre should go ahead.

Mickey McKinney, whose brother Willie was shot dead by paratroopers in the Bogside, said that any decision on the future of the march should lie with the people of Derry.

He added that the anniversary should be marked with a commemorative march to appeal for justice for those who fell victim to the slaughter.

Last year, a second inquiry into the massacre found that those who died were completely innocent of British claims that they had been armed or had posed a threat. However, a campaign to convince the government to bring prosecutions against those responsible has continued.

Vinny Coyle, of the Civil Rights Veteran’s Association, said he believed the decision for the march to go ahead was the right one.

“Justice didn’t go away with the end of the Saville Inquiry,” he said.

Mr Coyle said the association would also be calling on the British government to set up an international truth and reconciliation forum.

“There will be a huge amount of support for this, because injustice is still going on.”

DIGNIFIED

“A dignified march, led by a lone piper, with no political trimmings, to commemorate the innocence of all those shot on Bloody Sunday,” Mr McKinney told the meeting. “I think the march should go on for another 100 years if it needs to.”

Referring to comments made on radio by a relative of one of the victims opposed to the 40th anniversary march, Mr. McKinney said: “I’m here, and I’m not giving the fingers to any of the families.

“I’m a taxi man – for my sins – and for the past year all I’m hearing from people is ‘what’s happening Mickey?”.

“The public needs to be asked here.”

Linda Nash, whose brother Willie was shot dead on Bloody Sunday, said that the ‘March for Justice’ would be a fully inclusive event, adding that they had made the decision to hold the 40th anniversary march before the publication of the Saville Report on June 15 last year.

She also thanked Vincent Coyle of the Civil Rights Veterans Association for the group’s support.

Ivan Cooper, a prominent figure within the civil rights movement and a founder member of the SDLP, was present at the meeting.

It was decided that another meeting will be held at Pilot’s Row Community Centre on January 6 to take forward the plans for the march.

ASSISTANCE

The organisers invited individuals and groups who are interested in assisting with the organising of the commemoration to contact them.

“All assistance will be gratefully accepted, particularly from individuals and groups with experience of organizing and stewarding similar events,” said Kate Nash.

“We would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone, especially the people of Derry for their support in the past and to encourage them to turn out to all the events being organized to mark the 40th anniversary of Bloody Sunday.”

Any bands, organisations, political groups or civil rights groups willing to take part or help organise are asked to contact her at cat.lyons@ntlworld.com

© 2011 Irish Republican News