PSNI seek cash to investigate Bloody Sunday
06 July 2012
The Bloody Sunday massacre was carried out by British paratroopers and took place on January 30, 1972, in Derry, in the North of Ireland
Forty years after the infamous atrocity in which British paratroopers shot dead 14 innocent civil rights demonstrators and injured another 22, a police investigation into the Bloody Sunday massacre is possible, it has been announced.
The PSNI said on Thursday that it could open an investigation in the future, but that it still does not have the resources or expertise to carry out such as investigation. It also said that no decision had yet been made as to when it might start.
The Bloody Sunday massacre took place on January 30, 1972, as part of a
murderous British campaign to suppress resistance to British rule in the north of Ireland.
The initial Widgery inquiry falsely claimed many of the victims had been
armed and cleared the soldiers of wrongdoing, but a decades-long campaign for justice led to a second inquiry in 1998.
The Saville inquiry reported in in June 2010, after 12 years of hearings and consideration. It found the victims were innocent and had been unjustifiably killed.
But the continuing failure to prosecute the soldiers responsible for the murders has been the source of protests and an ongoing Bloody Sunday justice campaign in Derry.
'A STEP FORWARD'
Relatives of those killed welcomed the initial news announcement of an
John Kelly, whose brother Michael was shot dead on Bloody Sunday, said: "It certainly is good news but it was something we were expecting anyway.
"My view on it at the time was these soldiers should have been arrested
straight away and prosecuted on what came out of the Saville report.
"But certainly after hearing what we heard today it's a step in the right direction because myself, my family and most of the families want prosecutions."
But despite today's announcement, a PSNI chief said the investigation into the 14 killings was being opened in name only, as resources were scarce. The investigation is also expected to take at least four years from when it actually begins, he said.
"The special resources required for this scale of investigation are just not available at this moment to commence an investigation of this scale
and length of time," Assistant Chief Drew Harris told the Policing Board.
Sinn Fein's Gerry Kelly, who sits on the Policing Board, said the PSNI claim that it lacks the necessary resources was "worrying".
"We need to move it forward and I'm worried that we won't move it forward at the pace which is necessary.
"The question that I want answered is when will they move this ahead, and saying that they aren't ready to move it ahead I think will be very worrying for everybody."
"This is a huge issue for the families. People have waited a long time for justice," he added.
ANF / DERRY
ANF NEWS AGENCY