Cill Dara Shinn Féin Poblachtach

‘Bloody Sunday’ is the true face of British rule in Ireland

Statement by the President of Republican Sinn Féin Des Dalton

The long awaited ‘Saville Inquiry’ acknowledges for the first time that the 14 people murdered on ‘Bloody Sunday’ in Derry on January 30 1972 were innocent Civil Rights marchers however it fails on the crucial question of the responsibility of the British state for the murders.

The belated acknowledgement of the innocence of those murdered and injured on ‘Bloody Sunday’ is welcome for the families of the victims but the Inquiry fails the critical test of identifying and admitting the responsibility of the British State for the murder of unarmed Irish people on the streets of their own city.

The ‘Saville Inquiry’ lays sole responsibility for the murders on the British soldiers who fired the shots on ‘Bloody Sunday’ and their commanding officer. This is a cop-out and ignores the chain of command both political and military, which pitted assault troops such as the British Army’s Parachute Regiment against a peaceful anti-internment march. In August of the previous year over three days the same notorious British Army regiment murdered 11 people in Belfast.

‘Bloody Sunday’ is the true face of British rule in Ireland and the true face of imperialism as experienced today at the hands of the same army by the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Three times in the 20th Century the forces of British occupation have visited a ‘Bloody Sunday’ on the Irish people. While British rule remains in Ireland the possibility of yet another will always exist.

The British Government’s apology for the murders of ‘Bloody Sunday’ is meaningless while it continues to occupy Ireland. A just and lasting peace can only come following a British withdrawal and the creation of a New Ireland built by all of the Irish people Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter.

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