FAMILIES of the victims of the Bloody Sunday massacre welcomed a Government change of heart to allow family members to read the Saville Inquiry report before its official release. It was being delayed to allow Ministry of Defence scrutiny – and possible vetting of the document before the public get to see it.
The families issued the following press statement:
Bloody Sunday families and wounded are relieved that there has been a change of heart, after pressure from the families, to increase the number of family members accessing a report pre-read from one to two per family.
Families were informed of the decision by Shaun Woodward, Northern Ireland Secretary of State, that the Speaker of Parliament has agreed more than one person per family getting access to the report on the day of publication.
Gerry Duddy, whose 17-year-old brother Jackie was murdered on Bloody Sunday said of the news: “This development is obviously a lot better than one person being granted prior access to the report. It was widely felt that the pressure on one person would have been too much to bear. How they expected one person to absorb the findings of this colossal report is beyond us, especially considering that it is taking up to two weeks for legal experts to scrutinise these same documents.
“The fact that the Government has now conceded to allow two members of each family will certainly ease the burden of seeing the final report.
“However, we are still unhappy with these constant delays, the latest of which is the so-called ‘security review’ currently taking place. Despite continual assurances that he would release the report under this current government, the Secretary of State has yet to deliver.
“Our families, the wounded and the wider population of Derry have waited over 38 years for the findings of this Inquiry. This will be an incredibly emotional event and there will be a great deal of anxiety felt by both those involved in the report pre-read and by all other family members waiting patiently for its findings,” Mr Duddy added.
“After many long, hard years of campaigning the time has come for the British establishment to acknowledge their wrongdoings and set the truth free.”