Critical Concerns

Bloody Sunday Report Finally Completed

It took 12 years and cost £200 million but the report of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry chaired by Lord Saville  has finally been completed.  However the date for publication has not yet been announced – media reports suggest that the report will not be published until after the British General election, highlighting the continued potential political impact of an  event that has been described as a watershed in the history of the Troubles.

On 30 January 1972 – 13 people were killed by British soldiers at a peaceful protest against internment in Derry and a further 13 people were wounded (one of whom subsequently died of his injuries). A previous report by Lord Widgery conducted in the aftermath of the event was subject to huge critique and was characterised as a ‘whitewash’ on the basis of its investigations and overall conclusions – for example Widgery did not include any testimony from the injured who were still in hospital.

Even before Saville’s report has been published criticisms have been aired – not least concerning the time it has taken to complete the Inquiry and the costs incurred.  Sir Louis Blom-Cooper QC, who represented the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association at the inquiry has criticised the overall approach adopted by Saville – arguing given the time lapse a  forensic examination of events is unlikely to yield much new information. Blom-Cooper has argued that Saville should have adopted a more global approach – taking the overall context into account, for example questioning why British troops were present in Derry in the first instance. When the  5,000 pages are published all of these debates are likely to resurface.

1 Comment

  1. Agnieszka Martynowicz

    12 years after the start of the Inquiry, and 38 years after the event, the families are yet again told to wait but not told for how long. It is a disgrace that after all they have endured, they are yet again treated in this way. What they are being told, according to today’s news (, is that it may be after the general elections and that when this day finally comes, they will have the report ‘a few hours’ before the publication to find out what it contains. I want Shaun Woodward to prove that he himself would be able to read 5,000 pages of text in a few hours. Unless he is able to do so, I don’t think he has any right to decide what way of publishing the report would be ‘fair and reasonable’.

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