The Bloody Sunday families are concerned that the Saville report on the 1972 British Army massacre in Derry may be further delayed.
There is growing speculation that the report, due to be handed over to the British Direct Ruler Shaun Woodward during the week of March 22, may not now be published until after this year’s British general election. Woodward told the families he Intends to conduct what he said was a “human rights check” on the report before publishing it. This could take weeks and could result in some parts of the report being censored.
John Kelly, whose brother Michael was one of those killed, said this would take the report into the partiamentary Easter recess.
With only weeks left after Easter until the expected general election in May it is unlikely the families would receive the report until a new government was formed.
“We are In a state of limbo. We do not know what is going to happen,” Mr Kelly said.
The Derry man also expressed concern that publication of the report may fall to a Conservative-led government. He pointed out that a Tory government was in power at the time of Bloody Sunday.
“We are In the fifth year going into the sixth year waiting for the report and more hurdles are being put in our way,” he said.
Mr Kelly pointed out that only one BIoody Sunday parent remaIned alive while half of those injured have died. The issue has been raised by SDLP leader Mark Durkan who has called for support for the families.
The findings of the Saville report into Bloody Sunday will have “a profound impact” on the lives of thousands of people in Derry, according to a son of one of those killed.
Tony Doherty, one of the founders of the Bloody Sunday Justice Campaign, made the comment ahead of the annual Bloody Sunday lecture, which will be held in Derry this Friday.
This year’s lecture will be replaced by a panel discussion, led by Mr Doherty, involving relatives of those killed on January 30 1972, as well as journalists and academics.
Mr Doherty described Bloody Sunday as “the most important event ever to occur in the city of Derry” and said the people of Derry are eagerly awaiting the publication of Lord Saville’s report.
“It is generally accepted that the year 2010 will at last see the presentation of the report from Lord Saville arising out of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry. His report, certainly more than any single document that came before it, will have profound impact upon the families of those who were murdered, the wounded and the thousands of Derry citizens who witnessed the massacre, many of whom are now in their later years,” he said.
The panellists for the discussion are: Mr Doherty, John Kelly, whose brother, Michael, was one of those shot dead; Eamonn McCann, journalist and campaigner; and Christine Bell, Professor of Law at Magee and member of the Bloody Sunday Trust.