Robinson slams Bloody Sunday probe

Published Friday, 06 July 2012
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First Minister Peter Robinson has criticised the decision to launch a police inquiry into the killing of 13 people on Bloody Sunday in Londonderry 40 years ago.

Robinson slams Bloody Sunday probe
Twenty-six people were shot in the Bogside on Bloody Sunday, 30 January 1972. (© Pacemaker)

Speaking at a Policing Board meeting on Thursday, Chief Constable Matt Baggott revealed a PSNI investigation would take place.

He said it will take four years, with 30 skilled officers involved.

The announcement followed the Saville Inquiry, which took 12 years to complete and cost nearly £200m. It found that the civil rights demonstrators shot dead by British soldiers in Londonderry in 1972 were innocent.

Mr Robinson says the move damages the prospects of building a shared society.

He said there was very little chance of convictions arising from the investigation, saying there was a "world of difference" between the burden of proof in a public inquiry and the burden of proof in a court of law.

He said there was "another agenda at work" of going through the motions of "ticking boxes" as a result of the Saville Report.

He said: "You cannot build a shared society if there is injustice for one side of the community."

What kind of justice would that be? Where the army who came in to deal with the IRA get punished, but the IRA prisoners get out of jail after two years. That just can't be justice.

Peter Robinson

"I think everybody in Northern Ireland recognises that it's right that justice is done but for justice to be done to just one side of the community is building up antagonism about the unionist, protestant and loyalist community," the DUP leader added.

"Where is the justice for the families of Kingsmills or Claudy, for Le Mon, for the man who still to this day fights for that census worker who lost her life because she was killed by the IRA?"

"You can't simply say we are taking one group of people, they're important, we are going to spend millions of pounds of getting to the truth about that and ignore the other cases."

Meanwhile deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness responded to comments that his role in the IRA in Derry would have to be considered as part of the investigation.

In his report Lord Saville stated that Mr McGuinness was present at the time and was "probably armed with a sub-machine gun".

"Lord Saville was very clear in his report into Bloody Sunday that the IRA had no responsibility for what happened on that day," Mr McGuinness said on Friday.

"I consider comments from unionist politicians today in the wake of the decision of the PSNI to investigate the events of Bloody Sunday as an attempt to divert attention away from the actions of the Parachute Regiment on that day.

"It is clear that they do not want to see the Paras investigated for murder. I will continue to stand with the Bloody Sunday families as I have done since 1972 in their quest for justice."

© UTV News
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55 Comments
seamas in belfast wrote (868 days ago):
Mike. This isn’t about a public enquiry. This is about a police murder investigation. The police are already investigating the murders you refer to. Why do you feel a public inquiry is required? Was the state involved in killing RUC officers?
Ulysses32 in Belfast wrote (868 days ago):
I'll tell you about unionist mentality, Ryan. Unionist Fury in respect of a murder investigation and a different type of Unionist Fury around the Boston tapes and Libya......Does anyone see hypocrisy in that? It's staring you straight in the face...
Realist in England wrote (868 days ago):
Mike - ignoring (if that is possible) the general immorality of killing anyone at all - are you honestly implying that there is a fair comparison to be made between: 1) the armed forces of the British state killing what it would have legally considered to have been its own unarmed civilians and, 2) the IRA killing members of a fully armed paramilitary police force it accused of imposing foreign laws on the Irish people (and often much worse)? If you do, then I can only hope that the majority of unionists do not share your warped and extremely distasteful opinion on the matter. The IRA was not there to ensure the safety and well-being of the RUC. The British army was they to protect the people they slaughtered. Both actions were wrong but well trained troops shooting up their own unarmed civilians was significantly more wrong. The RUC knew the risks when they signed up-remember Chichester-Clark's words: "Northern Ireland is at war with the Irish Republican Army Provisions".
Laurie in Antrim wrote (869 days ago):
It is laughable that unionists on here would even compare organisations like the IRA with the British army. There is a big difference, notably the army taking orders from government and having a moral and legal obligation to uphold the law and act with professionalism and higher conduct! They were meant to "protect". It is a complete joke that people see a murder by the IRA, for example, the same as a murder by the army- it is completely different!! If those civilians recently protesting about that dog Lennox at City Hall were randonly gunned down and murdered by the PSNI, there would be an outcry!! Why is this any different??? We expect more from those who are meant to protect us and rightly so. Typical stubborn, ignorant and blinkered unionists...
Padraig in Dungannon wrote (869 days ago):
As a republican I am very sceptical of a British police force investigating a British army. The past has shown us that in relation to state forces, inquiries are made but in the end it's just words. So I'm not expecting anything dramatic to come from this.
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