Crowd defies rain to remember Bloody Sunday

Thousands marched through driving rain in Derry yesterday to remember the Bloody Sunday massacre on the 32nd anniversary of the atrocity.

A highly diverse group of marchers made the one-hour walk to Free Derry Corner to hear politicians and relatives' calls for a just outcome to the ongoing Bloody Sunday Inquiry.

Speakers criticised the attitude of the British government to the tribunal, accusing British Prime Minister Tony Blair of failing to ensure the full cooperation of all government agencies with the inquiry.

Relatives of the Bloody Sunday dead have vowed to continue the fight for justice if the Saville Tribunal does not end their quest for truth. At a rally at Free Derry Corner after the march, Catherine Lyons - sister of Bloody Sunday victim William Nash - raised doubts about the outcome of the Inquiry.

The tribunal is due to finish hearing oral evidence later this month and may report in full before next year's anniversary.

Ms Lyons said repeated legal inquiry challenges by the Ministry of Defence, the emphasis on `Official IRA' gunfire and attacks by politicians and sections of the media on the cost had raised doubts about what Saville may conclude.

While the families would adopt a ``wait and see'' attitude to Lord Saville's report, she said ``some of the signs are not good''.

``Whatever the outcome of Saville, whether or not this is the last stretch of the search for truth, we are going to get there in the end,'' she said.

Maghera man, Patsy Molloy, who was on the original civil rights march which was attacked by British paratroopers, said he would continue to return to every anniversary while the fight for truth continued.

``We can never forget the men who died and how they died. We simply need the truth.''

Sinn Féin speaker Marylou McDonald said it was time for the British government to correct the ``lies and half-truths'' about Bloody Sunday, including the heavily criticised 1972 Widgery Report.

``Thirty-two years after the Bloody Sunday murders, the failure of successive British administrations, both Tory and Labour, to acknowledge the part played by their military on that day has left an open wound on the psyche of nationalists and republicans on this island,'' she said.

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© 2004 Irish Republican News