A new video installation in Derry has been criticised as an attempt to rewrite the history of the 1972 Bloody Sunday massacre.
Footage showing General Michael Jackson’s response to the Saville Report was included in the installation at the Guildhall, the headquarters of Derry city council headquarters, which opened to the public last week after a renovation.
The exhibit is one of several new “interpretation panels” installed in the Guildhall during the recent refurbishment as part of Derry’s rebranding as “UK City of Culture” for 2013.
In the clip, General Jackson says the vast majority of soldiers “behaved admirably often in the face of severe provocation”.
Mickey McKinney, whose brother William was among those murdered in the Bogside on January 30, 1972, hit out strongly at General Jackson’s role in the atrocity and the British Army cover-up which followed.
Jackson is the man who organised and orchestrated the original cover-up of the Bloody Sunday killings. It was his so-called “shot-list” which was sent out around the world within hours of the massacre to libel the dead and wounded and to exonerate the killers of the Parachute Regiment.
Mr McKinney said the writing of the fake ‘shot-list’ was the “battering ram that they used to beat us with for 40 years afterwards”.
“Is it really suitable for him (General Jackson) to be included in the Guildhall?” he asked.
A statement from nine further people, Kate Nash, Linda Nash, Liam Wray, Joe Friel, Damien Donaghy, Micheal Bridge, Jackie O’Reilly, Mona Bradley and Tony Deery, echoed Mr McKinney’s sentiments.
“We have been angered, distressed and insulted to find that the installation just unveiled at the Guildhall includes a contribution from General Michael Jackson.”
The group said the so-called ‘shot-list’ was sent out around the world within hours of the massacre “to libel the dead and wounded and exonerate the killers of the Parachute Regiment.”
“We want the reference to Jackson removed without delay.”
The group also expressed further concerns at attempts to rebrand the Bloody Sunday Inquiry as ‘The Saville Inquiry’.
“The effect is to present British role as benign - as far from the truth as it would be possible to get,” they said.
“We would like to know who designed this memorial and decided what would be included. Certainly, we were not involved.
“Members of the families are also angry that no mention is made of the shadow left by The Bloody Sunday Inquiry on the memory of Gerard Donaghy - found, in contradiction of the overwhelming evidence, to have probably been carrying a nail bomb when shot down.
“We cannot put the Bloody Sunday killings behind us until all the Bloody Sunday dead are vindicated. The Guildhall must acknowledge the fact that the search for the full truth of Bloody Sunday continues.”
A spokesperson for Derry council confirmed today that the audio visual element of the exhibit “has been temporarily switched-off as it is currently being reviewed.”