Bloody Sunday.

Polytrauma

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Full Member
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Dec 13, 2006
39
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Sunshine State
38 years and $290,000,000.00 later, they admit to what everyone already knew.


By PETER MORRISON, DAVID STRINGER and SHAWN POGATCHNIK, Associated Press Writers Peter Morrison, David Stringer And Shawn Pogatchnik, Associated Press Writers – Tue Jun 15, 6:11 pm ET
LONDONDERRY, Northern Ireland – Relatives of 13 Catholic demonstrators shot to death by British troops on Northern Ireland's Bloody Sunday cried tears of joy Tuesday as an epic fact-finding probe ruled that their loved ones were innocent and the soldiers entirely to blame for the 1972 slaughter.

The investigation took 12 years and nearly 200 million pounds ($290 million), but the victims' families and the British, Irish and U.S. governments welcomed the findings as priceless to heal one of the gaping wounds left from Northern Ireland's four-decade conflict that left 3,700 dead.

Thousands of residents of Londonderry — a predominantly Catholic city long synonymous with Britain's major mass killing from the Northern Ireland conflict — gathered outside the city hall to watch the verdict come in, followed by a lengthy apology from Prime Minister David Cameron in London that moved many locals long distrustful of British leaders.

The probe found that soldiers opened fire without justification at unarmed, fleeing civilians and lied about it for decades, refuting an initial British investigation that branded the demonstrators as Irish Republican Army bombers and gunmen.

Cameron, who was just 5 years old when the attack occurred, said it was "both unjustified and unjustifiable."

"I couldn't believe it, I was so overjoyed," said Kay Duddy, clutching the handkerchief used to swab blood from her 17-year-old brother's body that day. Jackie Duddy, the first of the 13 killed, was shot in the back.

"Never in my wildest dreams would I ever envisage a British prime minister would stand up in Parliament and tell the truth of what happened on Bloody Sunday," Duddy said.

"David Cameron told the world and its mother that Jackie Duddy and the rest of the deceased and injured were innocent people. They were totally exonerated today," she said.

One by one, relatives of the 13 dead and 15 wounded went to a podium, huge black-and-white pictures of their dead or wounded relative displayed on a massive television screen. Each declared their relief that the demonstrators were found innocent and the elite soldiers of the Parachute Regiment solely to blame.

"Thirty-eight years ago a story went around the world ... that there was gunmen and bombers on our streets, and they were shot and killed. Today that lie has been uncovered," said Kate Nash, whose 19-year-old brother William was shot fatally once through the chest.

"Unjustified and unjustifiable. Those are the words we've been waiting to hear since January the 30th of 1972," said Tony Doherty, whose father, Patrick, was fatally shot as he crawled away from gunfire. The fact-finders rejected soldiers' claims that Doherty had been carrying a gun by digging up photos of Doherty seconds before he was hit and showing he was unarmed.

"The victims of Bloody Sunday have been vindicated, and the soldiers of the Parachute Regiment have been disgraced. Their medals of honor have to be removed!" Doherty declared to cheers.

The Bloody Sunday Inquiry, authorized by then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair in 1998 in the run-up to the negotiation of the Good Friday peace accord that year, was led by English judge Lord Saville. He gave the ex-paratroopers, now in their 60s and 70s, broad protections from criminal charges as well as anonymity in the witness box, citing the risk that IRA dissidents might target them in retaliation.

Some legal experts, however, said wiggle room remains for prosecutions and, more likely, civil lawsuits against retired soldiers, particularly because some of the them were found to have lied to Saville.

The 5,000-page report is based on evidence from 921 witnesses, 2,500 written statements and 60 volumes of written evidence.

Cameron apologized on behalf of the British government and summarized its findings: The soldiers never should have been ordered to confront the protesters, they fired the first shots and targeted unarmed people who were clearly fleeing or aiding the helpless wounded. None of those killed or wounded that day in Londonderry had posed a threat to the soldiers, Saville concluded.

Saville's conclusions included damning new findings, including that soldiers fired twice at 22-year-old James Wray — once as he ran away, a second fatally after he was on the ground.

"As he lay there, defenseless and dying, he was deliberately shot again. The Saville report stated clearly that there was no justification for either of these two shots," said his brother Liam.

The demonstrators were protesting the internment without trial of IRA suspects. The report said some soldiers fired knowing their victims were unarmed, and may have concluded all protesters were tied to IRA factions and therefore legitimate targets.

"It is at least possible that they did so in the indefensible belief that all the civilians they fired at were probably either members of the Provisional or Official IRA or were supporters of one or other of these paramilitary organizations, and so deserved to be shot," the report said.

The report did find that one demonstrator killed, 17-year-old Gerald Donaghey, was a junior Provisional IRA member who was carrying four homemade grenades, called nail bombs, in his pockets. But it said Donaghey was running away when shot and posed no risk to soldiers.

Bloody Sunday justice campaigners long had claimed that the nail bombs, photographed inside the pockets of Donaghey's jacket at an army morgue, had been planted by soldiers trying to justify their shooting.

Saville also concluded that former IRA commander Martin McGuinness, now the senior Catholic in Northern Ireland's power-sharing government, probably was carrying a submachine gun during Bloody Sunday, based on other witnesses' testimony. The judge said, however, that no evidence existed to suggest that McGuinness had used the gun in a manner "that provided any of the soldiers with any justification for opening fire."

McGuinness, who in sworn testimony said he was unarmed, rejected Saville's charge. "I am absolutely denying that," he said.

Analysts said Saville's finding appeared likely to stir tensions between McGuinness and Protestants in the 3-year-old coalition, the centerpiece of the Good Friday peace deal.

The inquiry was originally budgeted to cost 11 million pounds and report findings by 2002. Instead, the final bill was estimated at nearly 200 million pounds — making it the longest and most expensive inquiry in British legal history. Cameron said Britain would never attempt anything like it again.

Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen praised the report. "From this day forth, history will record what the families have always known to be true. ... They were innocent," he said in Dublin.

"It is our hope that the scale of the inquiry, the quantity of material available, and its findings will contribute to greater understanding and reconciliation of what happened on that tragic day," U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said in Washington.

Saville said Bloody Sunday represented a watershed event in the decades-old Catholic-Protestant conflict over Northern Ireland, a British territory now governed by a power-sharing coalition. It drove 1972 to be the conflict's deadliest year with more than 470 dead.

"What happened on Bloody Sunday strengthened the Provisional IRA, increased (Irish) nationalist resentment and hostility towards the army, and exacerbated the violent conflict of the years that followed. Bloody Sunday was a tragedy for the bereaved and the wounded, and a catastrophe for the people of Northern Ireland," Saville said.

The judge took evidence from former British government officials, the soldiers who opened fire that day and IRA members involved in the protest. He ruled that a few IRA men did come armed to the demonstration, but the soldiers fired the shots that started the one-sided bloodbath.

The No. 2 army officer on the scene on Bloody Sunday, retired Gen. Sir Mike Jackson, offered what he called a "fulsome apology" — but described the killings as an exceptional aberration.

"Over the 38 years of the army's operational deployment in the province, the vast majority of the some 250,000 soldiers who served there behaved admirably, often in the face of severe provocation, and with the loss of several hundred lives and over 6,000 wounded," said Jackson, who was a captain and second in command of the Parachute Regiment's 1st Battalion in 1972. He fired no shots that day.

Saville's findings declared that several soldiers who opened fire concocted cover stories to justify shooting unarmed people in the back. But he cautioned that each soldier's testimony to the inquiry could not be used "to incriminate that witness in any later criminal proceedings."

"This does not rule out the possibility of future criminal proceedings against an individual, but only means that their own evidence to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry cannot be used against them," Saville wrote.

All families of the dead said it was too early to predict whether they would file lawsuits against any of the former soldiers.

The original 1972 investigation by another English judge, Lord Widgery, took barely two months to produce a brief report that chided soldiers for gunfire that "bordered on the reckless." But Widgery accepted soldiers' claims that they had been responding to IRA attacks, and said he suspected — despite any solid forensic or witness evidence beyond the soldiers' claims — that some of those killed "had been firing weapons or handling bombs in the course of the afternoon."
 

Switchblade

muf kin poser
Full Member
Minuteman
Re: Bloody Sunday.

That single day caused more bloodshed over time than many others. It was a super recruiting tool for the IRA. I of course think it was the one act of Imperial British Colonialism that has never been fully righted. I will hold this viewpoint until I am 'reducated' properly if proven wrong
 

Pete E

Sergeant
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Minuteman
May 2, 2004
292
0
North Wales, UK
Re: Bloody Sunday.

The IRA were present at the time of the march/riot as they had been at previous riots in the days/weeks before.

They *wanted* to spark a confrontation to bloster membership and spark an uprising. At the time of the Nationalist community did not see PIRA as an effective force and the Official IRA was seen as the torch bearer of Irish Republicanism.

You may not know, but when British soldiers went into Northern Ireland in 1969 it was actually to stop the persecution of the Catholic minority by the Protestant majority.

In the early days, a large percentage of Catholics welcomed the British soldiers who were seen as "protectors" without the bias of the local, mostly Protestant, bodies such as the B Specials or the RUC. This acceptance of the British went waves of alarm through the various factions of the IRA, who redoubled their effots to cause instability.

On that fatefull Sunday, soldiers say they were fired on; nothing I have read leads me to disbelieve that.

Once the Para's returned fire and the marchers reacted, things went down hill fast.

The Para's (recently returned from combat in Aden) were sent in to regain control of the area after certain line regiments had previously failed. The politians wanted them to go in hard, and they did.

The only deaths I regret were those where the rounds went through adjacent buildings and killed/injured people not on the march, but thats the nature of collateral damage.

As for those killed on the ground, I feel no sympathy. They elected to go on a march when previous marches had turned into fully fledged riots. They knew the soldiers would be present and they knew the IRA would be in the shadows. They took the risk and lost.

This report itself is nothing more than pay off for the likes of McGuiness and Adams for sticking at the "peace process"..

I am actually surprised that McGuiness and Adams are still around today. Its well known that they sold out to the British in the 1980's and delivered intellegence on other more "troublesome" Republicans in exchange that the British accept them as Nationalist leaders post peace process.
 

malaga2

Gunny Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Aug 21, 2005
1,021
4
Wallingford, Connecticut
Re: Bloody Sunday.

What an asshole !

Your Government spent almost 300 Million on this inquiry..took 12 years and at the conclusion stated that ALL those killed were Innocent and that their killings were "unjustified" and "unjustifiable"

The Prime Minister apologizes on behalf of the Army and the English people for the attrocity...

There is a very real likelihood of prosecution of some of the soldiers involved...

Your collateral damage statement mirrors those statements by the IRA when the bombs went off.

...Parachute Regiment did more for IRA recruitment ....and paid a price in Warrenpoint when 18 were killed in an IRA ambush...

Thankfully there is healing here as the State has admitted that its agents completly lost control...lost all fire discipline and killed 14 innocents...many were shot in the back...some were shot while laying face down on the ground.

I welcomed the ownership that the PM took in Parliament...38 years of lies went up in smoke....
 

Pete E

Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
May 2, 2004
292
0
North Wales, UK
Re: Bloody Sunday.

See your Irish by the grace of God? Not one of the many Irish Americans who funded the PIRA by any chance?

The fight against terrorism was a joke to many Americans, until 9/11, then they got religion over it...

Mick's or Mullah's, a terrorist is a terrorist and thank god for The Parachute Regiment that has "repatriated" more than its fair share of both types.
 

malaga2

Gunny Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Aug 21, 2005
1,021
4
Wallingford, Connecticut
Re: Bloody Sunday.

Irish born and bred...very proud of that...

Your beloved regiment engaged in terrorits activities by gunning down innocent civilians...read...not one of those killed was IRA/PIRA...this regiment did more for PIRA recruitment than any other...

This Regiment disgraced itself on the streets of Derry...the world watched as your leadership admitted to your Parliament that this was the case.

By engaging in unlawful State killings it gave motivation and credibility to those who would use force against what was an occupying Army.

I look forward to the State correcting this abberation by prosecuting those soldiers responsible for killing but also to the Commanding Officer who gave an unlawful order.

Your position in supporting unlawfull killings of civilians shows your bigoted heart...learn to own your mistakes...admit what they are and move forward without repeating them...you will be a better human being....
 

Switchblade

muf kin poser
Full Member
Minuteman
Re: Bloody Sunday.

PIRA funding at local pubs during the 80's and 90's was just fine. One man's terrorrist is the other man's Freedom Fighter, and no one wanted any Brit in Ireland ever. The British have foreverm, through breeding, disassociated 6 counties from Irish Government by bringing in the Protastants and manufacturing the strife therein. When we got the world's help kicking their limey asses from American Soil, some of us tried to help get them out from where our kin folk came from.
I'll say hey to a Brit Soldier, but I'll never ever shake their hand, and never saluted their officers because of what they represented then and probably forever. Let God forgive them for what they did over the course of years because no one I know ever will. Everything I know I read in the historical and subject matter books from a solid guy just south of Dublin, and heard the words of those who were there and lived through it
 

Pete E

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May 2, 2004
292
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North Wales, UK
Re: Bloody Sunday.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Switchblade</div><div class="ubbcode-body">PIRA funding at local pubs during the 80's and 90's was just fine. One man's terrorrist is the other man's Freedom Fighter, and no one wanted any Brit in Ireland ever. </div></div>

I shall remember that when I see Muslim "charities" collecting cash for "humaniterian supplies" for Iraq...I am sure the Iraqi "freedom fighters" could use the cash....
 

Engin

Private
Minuteman
May 18, 2010
30
0
59
London, England
Re: Bloody Sunday.

Interesting thread.

One man's terrorist is another mans freedom fighter? I saw something interesting in the news this week, here. To myself and most British people the IRA and PIRA will always be associated with attrocities carried out on military and civilian alike. The association with Libya, who provided these and other organisations with cash, arms, ammunition and explosives will always leave a bad taste in my craw and is a good marker as to the true colours of these organisations.

Of course, Libya only did this to assist the "Irish Freedom Fighters".
wink.gif


Apart from the Libyans there are those in America who fell for the romantic notion of the IRA. Noraid? Again, pumping money into the IRA to murder.

I say murder because these were not political assassinations. This statement is borne out by the current status of the terrorist organisations. It wasn't political gain these people were after but money and influence.

The murdered people were not "just" Protestants or British military personnel, but also fellow "Freedom fighters" (Members of the RIRA and the IPLO were murdered by IRA members)and people of their own community who did not want to pay for "protection" or were deemed to be a threat to them financially (small time criminals not paying their tithe for instance).

Whilst some of the American people on here talk about the IRA as hero's, the majority of the people from the UK see the Inquiry's decision as being a mostly political one. The government needs to clear up the Irish situation. The Catholic minority in Northern Ireland is growing at a faster rate than the Protestant population and keeping the peace in Northern Ireland was costing a fortune) so the relationship needs to be normalised and Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness wll, I suspect, get what they wanted in the end, but not what they deserve.

In these days of reconciliation its interesting to see what the remains of these organisations are doing nowadays: Racketeering, drugs, prostitution.

Doubt me? Have a google and see for yourselves.
 

malaga2

Gunny Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Aug 21, 2005
1,021
4
Wallingford, Connecticut
Re: Bloody Sunday.

You are missing the point....

The PIRA would not have had the support or backing from the community had it not been for the actions of the Parachute Regiment in Derry in 1972.
Those murders were compounded by British Military support of Protestant pograms on the Catholic community. Over time this translated into direct support of Protestant paramilitaries who existed for no political purpose other than to kill anyone that they thought was Catholic.

Finally after 900 years your politicos get the message. You will not be missed...
 

Pete E

Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
May 2, 2004
292
0
North Wales, UK
Re: Bloody Sunday.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Malaga2</div><div class="ubbcode-body">You are missing the point....

The PIRA would not have had the support or backing from the community had it not been for the actions of the Parachute Regiment in Derry in 1972.
Those murders were compounded by British Military support of Protestant pograms on the Catholic community. Over time this translated into direct support of Protestant paramilitaries who existed for no political purpose other than to kill anyone that they thought was Catholic.

Finally after 900 years your politicos get the message. You will not be missed... </div></div>

Ah yes, the Catholic church; the church of choice for Terrorists and Peodafiles....
 

Switchblade

muf kin poser
Full Member
Minuteman
Re: Bloody Sunday.

Any Brit, especially one who served her majesty would of course give the party line on the Provo's as well as a biased anti IRA synopsis. There have been several books written by intrested people with so many witness statements to British tyranny and other murderous business as usual acts.
Me, as I reread all this, I think this thread is definately politicized and there will never be anything resembling agreement as to the current status of the 'apology' over Bloody Sunday and British Soldier vs Provo ideaology. There was a line in the concrete drawn on 19 May 1916 when the Irish said no, we do not want to fight your war in Suvla. As usual the royalty and British Parliament decided that Irish blood was real good to splash upon the lands of Allah. I stand by what I say and teh reading I have done on the subject matter as well as the verbal history I have heard. Besides, my family has a very long history of poking sticks and shooting stuff at the English so why stop now with the stick poking
grin.gif
 

malaga2

Gunny Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Aug 21, 2005
1,021
4
Wallingford, Connecticut
Re: Bloody Sunday.

Families of 11 people killed by the British Army six months before Bloody Sunday will meet the Northern Ireland Secretary, it was revealed today.

Owen Paterson will hold talks with relatives who also want an inquiry into the shooting dead of their loved ones by the parachute regiment in west Belfast.

It follows Lord Mark Saville‘s report into the Bloody Sunday killings in Derry.

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said: “In Ballymurphy six months before Bloody Sunday, we have another striking example of the brutality with which the paras acted and how the British system then connived in a cover-up.”

<span style="color: #FF0000">In the 36 hours after the introduction of internment without trial of suspected republicans in August 1971 11 people – ten men, including a local priest and a mother of eight children – were killed by the parachute regiment in the Ballymurphy area.</span>
The Ballymurphy killings took place during the British Army’s Operation Demetrius, the arrest of those who would be interned on suspicion of involvement in paramilitary activity. The troops claimed they opened fire after being shot at by republicans.

Victims included Catholic priest Father Hugh Mullan and mother-of-eight Joan Connolly.

Mr Adams added: “The British government in acknowledging the wrong done in Derry must acknowledge the wrong done in Ballymurphy and elsewhere and to these families. It must make a public apology for what it and its armed forces did.”

Government sources indicated a meeting would go ahead.

Meanwhile, solicitors representing the families bereaved by Bloody Sunday said it would take weeks to read the report and consider legal options available.

“We will want to make representations to the Public Prosecution Service on behalf of our clients in relation to prosecutions and indeed have written to the Public Prosecution Service and advised that we will be making those representations in due course,” they added.

“There are other legal processes to consider. We will consider these. As in the past, families will attempt to approach the legal options as a unified group, supporting each other in thoughtful debate.”

They paid tribute to all the suffering.

“These families, and families like them, are the true human rights defenders and those suffering injustice anywhere should look to them for inspiration. Those suffering injustice anywhere should never give up the fight for truth.”












 

Switchblade

muf kin poser
Full Member
Minuteman
Re: Bloody Sunday.

Oh it IS Mike, it is.
Just like the song it spawned back in the day

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