What We Haven’t Been Told

13th JUNE 2018

This event challenged aspects of the report by Lord Saville on the Bloody Sunday killings. Saville’s report has been marketed as a model for other families bereaved by State violence seeking the truth. This suggestion was put under the microscope.

 Panel presentations

Summing Up

Speakers included:

  • Eileen McKeown, whose father Joseph Corr who murdered in the Ballymurphy Massacre,
  • Liam Wray, whose brother Jim was murdered on Bloody Sunday,
  • Patrick Murphy, former member of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association and Irish News columnist,
  • Eamonn McCann, journalist and longstanding campaigner for truth and justice for Bloody Sunday,
  • Chaired by independent journalist Cathrine McGinty

 

Download Press Release about this event.

Bridget Bond Collection Launched At Tower Museum

Bridget Bond at the Bloody Sunday memorial.


The Tower Museum has launched the Bridget Bond Collection as part of the Speeches, Strikes and Struggles project at the Tower Museum, funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund.

Bridget Bond is one of the most well-known leaders in the civil rights movement in Derry. Bridget was a key member of Derry Housing Action Committee and the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association.

Bridget Bond also played a major role in the creation of the Bloody Sunday Monument.

The Bridget Bond Collection consists of items that are a combination of pamphlets, letters, memos, reports, minutes of meetings, posters, booklets, notebooks, magazines and newspapers. This collection relates strongly to Northern Ireland Civil Rights movement particularly in Derry. Items in this collection will have been rarely seen before and will give audiences a different perspective into behind the scenes of the operations of the Derry and Northern Ireland Civil Rights Associations.  Some of the documents chart the divisions between NICRA and the Derry branch and illustrate the unique position that Derry found itself in during the late 60s and early 70s.

Bridget standing on the steps of the Guidlhall as Bernadette Devlin addresses a crowd.

 

 

Bloody Sunday March – programme

We Shall Overcome

The Bloody Sunday commemoration has become Ireland’s largest annual human rights event. This year’s program is the most wide-ranging and inclusive so far.

There will be a dozen events spread over seven venues in the week leading up to the annual March. These will include discussion on why “Past is Present” with Miami show-band survivor Stephen Travers, Eugene Reavey, whose brothers were murdered in 1976, Alan McBride, who lost his wife Sharon, in the Shankill bomb in 1993 and Ann Morgan, sister of Seamus Ruddy, one of “The Disappeared”.

Former Long Kesh internee, Francie McGuiggan, Catalonian activist Omar Merino, Palestinian campaigner Fadl Mustapha will speak about the reality of internment here today and in other countries across the world.

Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis will join Bernadette McAliskey on the stage in the Guildhall to deliver a public lecture titled “Bloody Sunday, Brexit and the Democratic Process.”

James Orr, Friends of the Earth NI, and Fidelma O’Kane of Save Our Sperrins will speak on the threat to our environment from gold mining in the Sperrins and industrial scale factory farms.

An “open mike” session on “Brutal Justice” exploring attitudes to “punishment” beatings and shootings, will hear from journalist William Allen whose nephew Andy was shot dead, Social Worker Lecturer Sean Roddy, local author John Lindsay and academic Deaglan O’Donghaile.

“We Shall Overcome”, a panel comprising Joe Delaney of the Grenfell Tower disaster, Liam Wray, whose brother Jim was murdered on Bloody Sunday, Becky Shah of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign and Suresh Grover of the London-based Monitoring Group, will compare and contrast their knowledge and experience of public inquiries into State injustices and coverups.

The Derry launch of former hunger striker Richard O’Rawe’s acclaimed book on Gerry Conlon, “In The Name Of The Son,” will take place in the Central Library.

Full details of these and other events see our website, bloodysundaymarch.org

We welcome debate on all these topics during the week.  Everyone, irrespective of their political views, is invited to come to the events and offer their different views on how best to mark Bloody Sunday and on the connections between it and other State atrocities worldwide.

We don’t have to agree on everything.  It would be strange if we did in this argumentative city.  But its more important than ever that we stick together.

The Crown Prosecution Service in England will make decisions before the end of March on the charging of paratroopers who opened fire on Bloody Sunday.  This will cause major controversy: former British soldiers backed by Tory politicians and high-ranking officers will mount loud demands for no prosecutions. Additionally the families of those killed at Loughlinisland await a decision on the Ombudsman’s recent report confirming collusion in the killing of their loved ones.

We should speak with one voice, demanding not only that the shooters be put in the dock but that the politicians and top brass that sent them to Derry be also brought to book.

We should remember that the original bloody Sunday March was broad-based. The speakers waiting on the platform at Free Derry corner when the shooting broke out were Briget Bond of the NI Civil Rights Association, the Labour peer, Lord Brockway, SDLP MP Ivan Cooper, Presbyterian Minister Terrence McCaughey and Bernadette Devlin (McAliskey).

Bloody Sunday was experienced in Derry as a communal wound, the pain of which still throbs and won’t ease until all the families and surviving wounded can feel that truth has been told and justice done.

Bloody Sunday differs from the other massacres in the North which stand like grave-stones marking the passing of the years of conflict.  The killing took place at close quarters before hundreds of local people who had earlier marched for civil rights and against internment, stunned by horror, outrage and grief inflicted by men uniformed to represent the British state.

The massacre cannot be put down solely to ancient Irish hatreds.  It was rooted in imperial history, in the scorn of Empire for the lives of plain people.  Hence the Tory Government’s sigh of relief when the Inquiry under Lord Saville pointed the finger of blame at a bunch of squaddies and one undisciplined officer.  That’s not good enough.

We are also acutely aware that the grief of Derry is no different in human rights terms from the grief of Ballymurphy, Greysteel, Loughinisland, the Shankill, Kingsmills, Birmingham, etc. etc.

We urge everyone who seeks justice to come out and show their support and solidarity with this years programme, march and rally.  Together we shall overcome.

Loughinisland Legal Morass

In June 2017 the Police Ombudsman  Dr Michael Maguire released the report of his findings on the case of the the RUC investigation into the Loughinisland massacre.  In 1994 eleven people were shot, six of whom died, in the Heights Bar in Loughinisland, County Down,  as they watched Ireland play in the World Cup.   The report released by the watchdog last June found that some RUC officers had colluded with the UVF gunmen responsible for the 1994 attack.

The report and the investigation which lead to it came to wider attention last autumn through the release of the documentary “No Stone Unturned“.  The film named the main suspects, one of whom was a British soldier, and one a police informer.  Subsequently the Ombudsman’s report has been challenged by a judicial review on behalf of the “NI Retired Police Officers Association”.

The  judicial review which was raised by Former Assistant Chief Constable Raymond White and retired officer Thomas Hawthorne is being heard in Belfast High Court by Mr Justice McCloskey.

The proceedings took a dramatic turn on Friday (12th Jan 2018) when Barra McGrory QC made a surprise appearance representing the Ombudsman.  Barra McGrory served as the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland from 2011 to 2017.  The QC raised the issue that Mr Justice McCloskey had previously, when he was a barrister, represented the “NI Retired Police Officers Association” in a similar case in 2003,  which sought to quash a report by former Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan into findings of RUC collusion in the Omagh bombing.  While that challenge was unsuccessful one of the complainants named in that case was Raymond White.

The Irish News reported that “lawyers for both the ombudsman and the victim’s families have raised questions in relation to this, pointing to guidelines which recommend judges recuse themselves where there may be a perceived conflict of interest.”  

Later, speaking to The Irish News,  Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan’s office  said “Judges who are aware of any such conflict or who are asked to recuse themselves will make an assessment based on the circumstances of the individual case. There was no such awareness or request in the present case.” 

Clearly this case is of great interest to the families of the victims of Loughinisland who would have expected Justice McCloskey to recuse himself and allow the judicial review to be heard by a judge without a “perceived conflict of interest”.

The judicial review has now been adjourned until next Friday (19th Jan 2018). The Irish News concluded that it seems that whatever Justice McCloskey’s final ruling,  an appeal by the ombudsman is now inevitable.

More details in Saturday’s Irish News.

The trailer for the documentary is below.  The issues around the Loughinisland case and the treatment of other “legacy cases” will be addressed in our event on “Due Process and Accountability” on Saturday 27th.

 

 

Yanis Varoufakis to Speak at Guildhall

Yanis Varoufakis

‘Bloody Sunday, Brexit & The Democratic Process’

Acclaimed economist and former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis will deliver a public lecture at Derry’s Guildhall in January 2018. Yanis Varoufakis

The lecture, titled ‘Bloody Sunday, Brexit & The Democratic Process’ will address the question of why civil societies across the world are demanding democratic change and accountability from their governments and what can sometimes happen when those demands are frustrated or resisted with: indifference, censure, repression and violence.

Speaking on behalf of the event organisers, Stephen Gargan of the Bloody Sunday March Committee said:

“Our committee decided to invite Yanis Varaoufakis to Derry because we believe his experience as former Greek Finance Minister and his current involvement with DiEM 25 (Democracy in Europe Movement 2025) leave him ideally placed to speak about the seismic global political changes sweeping the world and more specifically we believe the economic arguments and analysis he advances help shed much needed light and clarity on Britain’s recent ‘Brexit’ decision and what the likely consequences of that decision might be for the island of Ireland and our relationship with the UK.”

Mr Gargan continued:

“We felt it was really important, given January 2018 will be the 46th anniversary of the events of Bloody Sunday, to invite Yanis to locate those tragic events within a wider, world context, which hopefully will allow people to see Bloody Sunday in a global timeline and as part of a continuum of people across the world expressing their desires and demands for democratic change and also what can happen when those same desires and demands are suppressed with violence and lethal force”.

The event will take place on Friday, January 26th and following the lecture Mr Varoufakis will participate in a public conversation with former MP and leading human rights activist, Bernadette McAliskey.

Bernadette rose to prominence during the late in 1960’s as one on the leading voices of the civil rights movement here advocating political change. She was also one of a number of public speakers scheduled to speak from the platform in Derry on January 30th 72 when British paratroopers entered the Bogside and opened fire on the fleeing crowd.

Background on Yanis Varoufakis

Based in Athens, Greece, Yanis Varoufakis was formerly finance minister with the Syriza party. Due to his opposition to crippling financial terms being offered by the European Union with regard to a bail out of the Greek economy he resigned his post in July 2015.

He is a founder member of the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025, which was founded in February 2016.

He is also the author of a number of highly influential books on world economics, which include:   ‘The Global Minotaur, ‘And The Weak Suffer What They Must’ and more recently, ‘Adults in the Room: My Battle with Europe’s Deep Establishment’ (as eBook), and ‘Talking to My Daughter About the Economy: A Brief History of Capitalism’ (as eBook).

 

Bloody Sunday Para killed another innocent man in Belfast

Article in the Irish News about the HET report on the killing of Ritchie McKinnie.

One of the members of the British Parachute regiment who was present in Derry on Bloody Sunday went on to shoot and kill another innocent man on the Shankhill Road, Belfast.

In the Bloody Sunday  Inquiry  he was known as Soldier 027, where it emerged that he had given an account of his role in the shooting of Ritchie McKinnie to a journalist in which he described the killing as “an enjoyable experience and one which greatly enhanced my standing within the battalion”.

In the Historical Enquiries Team(HET) investigation into the killing of Mr McKinnie, the same member of the Paras is referred to “Soldier J”.

Now a draft (HET) report recently given to Mr McKinnie’s daughter has confirmed that the 49-year-old factory manager was a “totally innocent man”.

Read the full article in the Irish News

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A State Of Chassis

Bernadette Devlin McAliskey giving her talk

The Field Day Annual Lecture entitled A State Of Chassis was delivered by Bernadette McAliskey at the Playhouse Theatre, Derry, at 7pm on Friday, September 30th.

In anticipation of the talk, Kitty Holland recently wrote a profile of Bernadette

In Memory of Sandy Boyer

The Bloody Sunday March Committee wishes to mark the sad passing of a Sandy Boyer. 
Sandy was a lifelong socialist who supported and worked for the struggle for justice here without let up since 1965.   He hosted weekly broadcasts of the New York based programme, ‘Radio Free Eireann’.  
Sandy was at the heart of every progressive campaign on Ireland in the USA and a lifelong campaigner for all that our committee embodies. 

Justice For Bloody Sunday – what Cameron SHOULD have said.

Justice For Bloody Sunday
Five years on from the publication of The Bloody Sunday Inquiry, this video showing what the British Prime Minister should be saying about justice for the victims of Bloody Sunday was played to the crowd at the end of the 2015 Bloody Sunday March.

This year’s march was led by twin banners one showing solidarity with the people of Ferguson (where Michael Brown was recently shot dead by police) declaring simply #BlackLivesMatter and one from the Bloody Sunday families.
The guest speakers at the march were Patrisse Cullors  founder of Dignity and Power Now and co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter, she has worked promoting law enforcement accountability across the USA and the anti-austerity, anti-water charges campaigner Clare Daly, independent socialist TD for Dublin North.

As a online version of this solidarity,  links to the video above were posted to Twitter under the joint hash tags #BlackLivesMatter and #DerryLivesMatter.  If you are a Twitter or Facebook user we invite you to retweet that message or post your own comments and photographs of the march with those twin hashtags.  Lets get those hashtags trending!!

Bloody Sunday march 2015 reaches Guildhall Square

Bloody Sunday march 2015 reaches Guildhall Square

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Statement on PSNI investigation

What follows was issued as a Press Release by the Bloody Sunday March Committee on 29 January 2015

On the Joint Statement about PSNI investigation

Before Christmas the Bloody Sunday March Committee launched an initiative in pursuit of securing joint action with local parties and organisations in response to the halting of the PSNI investigation into the events of Bloody Sunday. Members of the committee met with Sinn Fein, the SDLP, the Bloody Sunday Trust and the Pat Finucane Centre.  After these meetings it was agreed to prepare a joint statement which everyone could sign up to in relation to this crucial matter.

In the end there were fundamental differences in the way we wanted to address the issues, which could not be bridged. The trust has decided to issue their statement today.

Key to those differences is the linked references in their statement to “the 43rd anniversary of the Bloody Sunday massacre” and “the 5th anniversary of the publication of the Bloody Sunday Report.”  There is an implication here that what happened in the Bogside in January 1972 and what happened in Guildhall Sq in June 2010 were events of equal magnitude. This is, of course, untrue. An atrocity and a report on an atrocity are not equally significant things.

While this will be obvious to all of us in Derry, it might not be so obvious to others elsewhere. That formulation of words could be used by elements not well-disposed towards the truth about Bloody Sunday to downgrade the atrocious character of the paratroopers’ assault on the people of the Bogside. An implication could be drawn that what was done on Bloody Sunday had been balanced, so to speak, by the report by Lord Saville.

In the interests of openness we include our original statement in full below.

 

Bloody Sunday March Committee Statement

“Nearly five years have passed since the publication of the Bloody Sunday Report which completely exonerated those who had been murdered and injured on that day and which – although failing to reflect the responsibilities of senior military or political officials – held British soldiers responsible for their deaths and injuries.

“Since then a PSNI investigation into the events of Bloody Sunday was effectively halted by the Chief Constable. Another PSNI investigation has just been started.

“We welcome this resumed investigation. We fully support the families and the injured, who have a right to a proper, speedy and effective police inquiry and a right to expect that those responsible for murder or attempted murder should be brought before the courts.

“It is understandable after all this time that some will remain sceptical as to whether the investigation will lead to those responsible for the killings and woundings being charged. This will be the test of the investigation and indeed in the PSNI themselves. It should be pursued vigorously, diligently and effectively, following where the evidence leads, no matter how high in the military or political hierarchy this might reach.

“Assurances on this score would help rebuild confidence damaged by the chief constable’s action in halting inquiries.

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