Limited response to Bloody Sunday appeal

Published Thursday, 20 February 2014
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Police have said they are disappointed by the "limited response" from the public to their appeal for witnesses into the Bloody Sunday investigation.

Limited response to Bloody Sunday appeal
Twenty-six people were shot in the Bogside on Bloody Sunday, 30 January 1972. (© Pacemaker)

More than 1,000 witnesses, including the public and former soldiers, are being asked to contact police investigating the events in Londonderry in January 1972.

Thirteen people died when British Army Paratroopers opened fire on a civil rights march taking place through the Bogside area of the city.

A 12-year long Inquiry conducted by Lord Saville found that there was no justification for the shootings and, subsequently, Prime Minister David Cameron apologised for the killings.

Following the inquiry the PSNI announced it was to conduct an investigation into the incident.

At the beginning of this year investigating officers issued an appeal for witnesses and those that gave evidence to the Saville Inquiry to contact them.

Police are unable to use testimony from the Saville Inquiry as part of their criminal investigation.

On Thursday, police revealed there had been a "limited response" from the public and reissued their appeal for those with information to come forward.

The officer leading the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Ian Harrison, said: "The response to our original appeal for witnesses to talk to us has been disappointing. If we are to make progress, we need witness statements.

"We are renewing our appeal and placing additional advertising to increase awareness of what we're working to achieve.

"Adverts asking people to come forward will be in local newspapers and on billboards in Derry."

"If we don't get prosecution, then I feel the whole thing will just be lost and it will mean those responsible for murder and mayhem on Bloody Sunday will not be brought to book."

Mickey McKinney, victim's brother

Police would not reveal how many people had contacted them following the initial appeal.

Inspector Harrison added: "We need people to work with us. If people don't come forward, it will further delay this lengthy and complicated process."

Police have also assured all who engage with the investigation team that all matters will be treated in the strictest confidence.

"The support and welfare of witnesses are important considerations and it is our intention to conduct these inquiries as quickly as possible," added a PSNI spokesman.

"The police service is determined to conduct a thorough, professional and effective investigation."

Mickey McKinney, whose brother William was killed in Bloody Sunday, said it was vitally important people contacted police.

He said: "It's important any and all information is passed along to the police.

"It's very important that the police have enough information to pass along to the Public Prosecution Service to get this into court."

© UTV News
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14 Comments
Dub in Dublin wrote (192 days ago):
@steve in Dublin. Move on and learn to live together like we have in the South yes, but one can never forget what happened on Bloody Sunday in Derry and my heart goes out to the families who suffered on that awful day in 1972. These people deserve justice.
Michael in Belfast wrote (192 days ago):
Michael in Templepatrick - Perhaps you have heard of world war 2? Many terrible atrocities were perpetrated by the Germans, many millions killed, whole villages wiped out - and the rest of the world has managed to move on from that. Chances are that you drive a German car, or have a German washing machine or live in a house built using German products. The rest of Europe is at their door with their begging bowls to help them out of their economic mess. Remember the dead, respect their memory. But do not hold back the others who come innocently after them.
Alan in Carrickfergus wrote (192 days ago):
Why are we still spending taxpayers money on this there has already been a public apology by the state and nobody is coming forward with anymore information so why waste money close this case and move on its a disgrace.
Ryab in Lisburn wrote (192 days ago):
Think people are just sick of the relentless inquiries into the depressing past if the country! Lets move on
Stephen Millar in Antrim wrote (192 days ago):
Gavin is right,move on.
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