Irish Republican News · January 10, 2015
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Hopes raised for Bloody Sunday prosecutions
Hopes raised for Bloody Sunday prosecutions

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A murder investigation into the Bloody Sunday massacre will restart ahead of the 43rd anniversary of the killings in Derry, it has been announced.

Lawyers for the victims have been told the investigation into the events of January 30 1972, in which British soldiers killed 14 civil rights protestors and injured another 22, is to be resumed.

The original inquiry was stopped last year just three days before investigators were due to start interviewing the soldiers responsible for the killings.

Lawyer Peter Madden, who represents the majority of Bloody Sunday families, said the PSNI told him that a number of its members have now been assigned to the case.

“We lodged judicial review proceedings on behalf of the Bloody Sunday families and wounded challenging the decision of the Police Service of Northern Ireland to effectively end its murder investigation into the events of Bloody Sunday,” Mr Madden said.

“Since that time, and in advance of a court hearing, we have engaged in extensive and detailed correspondence with the PSNI, challenging the legality of its decision and decision making process and as a direct consequence of issuing proceedings the PSNI has now decided to recommence the investigation.”

Mr Madden said his firm “cautiously” welcomed the new development.

It is understood the new investigation team will again consider interviewing former members of the notorious Parachute regiment who carried out the killings in Derry on Bloody Sunday.

John Kelly, whose brother, Michael was one of those killed, said the re-opening of the investigation was a step in the right direction.

“It’s a second bite at the cherry but hopefully this time we’ll get to eat the full cherry,” he said.

The original Widgery report on the Bloody Sunday massacre was discredited as a whitewash and a cover-up. However, the 2010 Saville Report concluded that British soldiers from the Parachute Regiment had opened fire on victims who had been entirely innocent, and British Prime Minister David Cameron said in Westminster: “I am deeply sorry”.

As a lengthy justice campaign by the families entered its fifth decade, a police investigation was finally promised. However, in November it was revealed that most of the Bloody Sunday investigation team was to be laid off because of “budget cutbacks”.

Sinn Fein Assembly member Raymond McCartney has welcomed the news that the investigation will restart.

“Sinn Fein supported te families’ call that this investigation be properly resourced to ensure the relatives get access to justice,” he said.

“This will help engender public confidence in the investigation. We will continue to support the Bloody Sunday families in their campaign for truth and justice.”

The investigation will be handled by a new PSNI legacy unit until the creation of a new ‘Historical Investigations Unit’ (HIU), as proposed in the Stormont House Agreement, to take over responsibility from the now defunct Historical Enquiries Team (HET).

© 2015 Irish Republican News