Move against Bloody Sunday families seen as political policing
Move against Bloody Sunday families seen as political policing


Family members of those killed in the Bloody Sunday massacre face prosecution for walking together to a courthouse in Derry ahead of a court hearing in August.

The PSNI police have submitted a file to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) over what they say was an “unnotified procession” (pictured).

Last month, SDLP leader Colum Eastwood, who walked with the family members, was asked to attend a police interview under caution – but he was ignored when he turned up at Strand Road police station.

The PPS said an investigation file was received reporting seven people.

“A decision will issue as quickly as possible,” a PPS spokesperson has said.

Fourteen people were killed and 22 injured when members of the British Army’s Parachute Regiment opened fire on civil rights demonstrators in the Bogside. The 52nd anniversary of the massacre will be marked in Derry later this month.

Colum Eastwood, the local MP, said he did not believe prosecution would be in the public interest.

“Given all the hurt that has been inflicted on these families over the last 50 years, including by the state, police and prosecutors, I honestly do not believe that anyone considers it in the public interest to drag bereaved victims into the dock for walking to court in a quiet, dignified manner,” he said.

Mr Eastwood has been reported by loyalist blogger Jamie Bryson to Westminsters’s standards watchdog after saying he would not take part in the criminal investigation into the ‘procession’.

Mr Eastwood said he was not surprised by the complaint, adding “everybody can see this for what it is”. He described the situation as a “total and utter farce”.

He responded: “I’ve been clear that there is nothing that will ever stop me from standing with the Bloody Sunday families in their campaign for justice.

“These are people who had their loved ones murdered, their names blackened and justice denied for more than 50 years. They have, and will always have, my full support.”

The 1916 Societies issued a statement in support of the family members and warned that other group events and commemorations could be shut down by the sectarian policing of so-called “unnotified processions”.

“The right to peacefully commemorate and protest is a cornerstone of our democratic values,” they said.

“These acts of remembrance and solidarity are not just symbolic gestures, but vital expressions of the ongoing quest for justice and truth. They serve to honor those innocent Lives lost and to assert our unwavering commitment to highlighting the injustices of the past.

“In condemning the recent police actions against peaceful demonstrators, the 1916 Societies reaffirm the fundamental right to remember and protest, a right that must be upheld and respected. It’s through these peaceful expressions that we keep alive the memories of the victims and the continuing struggle for a just and equal society.”

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