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.