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Neal on 'Bloody Sunday' inquiry

June 16, 2010
In The News

By: Matt Viser, The Boston Globe
Published: June 16, 2010

(WASHINGTON) Representative Richard E. Neal this morning hailed the recent developments Britain, where Prime Minister David Cameron apologized for the 1972 killings of 14 unarmed demonstrators in Northern Ireland.

The “Bloody Sunday” shootings was the subject of a recent judicial inquiry by a high-ranking British judge that called the event “both unjustified and unjustifiable.”

“If Bloody Sunday was a defining day in the history of the Troubles, let us hope the publication of the Saville Report will be a transformative and cathartic moment for the people of Northern Ireland,” Neal said this morning on the House floor.

Neal is chairman of the House’s Friends of Ireland group, and played a key role in brokering a peace agreement in Ireland.

“It was a historic day for the men and women of Derry, and it was another moment of vindication for the people who stood by their side during difficult times,” he added.

Here is Neal’s complete statement:

“Thirty eight years after 13 unarmed men were shot dead on the streets of Derry in the north of Ireland, on a day now known across the globe as Bloody Sunday, the families and relatives of the victims have found the justice that they have been seeking for decades. They learned the truth yesterday about what happened during a peaceful civil rights march in the Bogside community on January 30, 1972. And they heard British Prime Minister David Cameron say that their loved ones were innocent, and that the actions of the Parachute Regiment on that day were unjustified and wrong. If Bloody Sunday was a defining day in the history of the Troubles, let us hope the publication of the Saville Report will be a transformative and cathartic moment for the people of Northern Ireland.


Today we remember Jackie Duddy, Hugh Gilmour, Michael Kelly, Michael McDaid, John Young, William Nash, Kevin McElhiney, William McKinney, Jim Wray, Gerald Donaghey, Gerald McKinney, Barney McGuigan, Patrick Doherty and John Jonston who lost their lives marching near the Free Derry Corner and the Rossville Flatts. We also remember the Bloody Sunday wounded. But my thoughts return again to the families of the victims who waged a long and heroic campaign for the truth. I was a staunch supporter of their efforts for many years, and took great satisfaction watching them leave the Guildhall yesterday to thunderous applause. It was a historic day for the men and women of Derry, and it was another moment of vindication for the people who stood by their side during difficult times.”

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