'No progress' in Bloody Sunday probe

Published Friday, 16 November 2012
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Legal action is being considered by families of the Bloody Sunday victims over the lack of progress in the PSNI investigation into the 13 deaths, after it emerged that none of the paratroopers involved have been interviewed yet.

'No progress' in Bloody Sunday probe
Twenty-six people were shot in the Bogside on Bloody Sunday, 30 January 1972. (© Pacemaker)

The police probe was pledged after the publication of the Saville Inquiry in 2010 which found that the civil rights demonstrators shot dead by British soldiers in Londonderry in 1972 were innocent.

Lord Saville's probe, which took 12 years to complete costing nearly £200million, found that the victims had been shot without justification by the members of the Parachute Regiment.

He then apologised to the victims' families, assuring them that the deaths would be investigated by the police.

In July, Chief Constable Matt Baggott revealed a PSNI murder investigation would take place lasting four years, with 30 skilled officers involved.

However, over two years on from the lengthy inquiry's end, there have been no arrests - and not one interview carried out with a soldier.

UTV has seen a letter written by a senior PSNI Serious Crime branch detective acknowledging this.

The Bloody Sunday families are angry - their lawyers are considering legal action saying the lack of progress in the police investigation undermines the rule of law.

Peter Madden, of Madden & Finucane Solicitors, said: "It is staggering that almost two and a half years since Lord Saville delivered his report and the Prime Minister stated unequivocally in Parliament that all of the deceased and injured were shot without justification, that the Police Service of Northern Ireland has failed to take any reasonable steps to progress the prosecutions of those responsible."

In January 2011, detailed submissions were forwarded to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) in Belfast by the law firm seeking prosecutions.

Submissions were also forwarded to the Crown Prosecution Service in London in relation to when the Bloody Sunday Inquiry took evidence from witnesses there.

The following month, in February 2011, Madden & Finucane said the PPS confirmed that the matter had been referred to the PSNI to commence the probe.

Mr Madden continued: "We will be considering all legal remedies available to the families in order to compel the PSNI to complete their enquiries without any further delay.

"Their abject failure to do so, bearing in mind the considerable work done by the Saville Inquiry, is completely unacceptable, and has significantly undermined the rule of law and administration of justice."

Joe McKinney's brother of William was one of the victims.

He said that he was extremely angry that "those responsible for the murders committed on Bloody Sunday are not being pursued with any genuine conviction or rigour by the PSNI."

In a statement, a PSNI spokesman said: "Police began a scoping exercise earlier this year to determine investigative issues following the publication of the Saville report.

"This has now been concluded and consideration remains ongoing as to the future resourcing of the investigation, which will be both lengthy and complex.

"We are committed to resourcing this investigation into the events of 30 January 1972, but this has to be determined against competing priorities which pose a risk to the public today."

© UTV News
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16 Comments
Tom in London wrote (683 days ago):
@Davy in Lisburn "do not recall any person who organised or took part in that illegal march being arrested or charged let alone going before a court." That's right Davy they were murdered instead.What an asinine thing to say let alone think. These murderers as highlighted by the enquiry, should be brought to justice post haste if there is to be any confidence in the impartiality of our "British" justice system. Is that a contradiction in terms?
dixiedeano in Waringstown wrote (683 days ago):
"Enda in Derry wrote (1 day ago): Put the British Queen in jail the paras where working for her at the time." Of all the comments I've read, Enda's comment(above)must be most puerile...
Alan Anderson in Belfast wrote (684 days ago):
This thread is exactly what is wrong with our society. The fundamental "christian" element believes that the truth is irrelevant (except to them), that reconciliation is pointless and that ignorance and provocation of your neighbor is front and center of daily life in norn Ireland. Every life lost is PRICELESS, and every family effected by the Irish troubles are due the respect of finding out the truth to the best of our societies capability because the truth is worth more than any money, to prevent priceless lives being lost again.
minnie in londonderry/ derry wrote (684 days ago):
contiueing the sarga of the bloody sunday,what about the soldiers that were murdered in london, horse guards parade, warren point, the two soldiers that were murdered in the full view of the whole world, do you thinks that these soldiers wanted to be in n ireland, some have been maimed for life, do they want compensation, or waste tax payers no they get on with life, .
Peter in Armagh wrote (685 days ago):
If the Troubles are over and it's time to move on, why is the HET arresting people for historical events that happened 40 years ago? Why are FAIR and other loyalist groups constantly given top billing by the media? Why are Unionists politicians traveling down to Dublin to browbeat the Irish government over border security in the Seventies and Eighties?
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