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NORTHERN IRELAND 30 Jan 2012 40th anniversary of Bloody Sunday

It has taken 40 years for the British government to admit its paratroopers were wrong to shoot dozens of unarmed Irishmen and their boys

January 30, 2012 - NULL

NORTHERN IRELAND 30 Jan 2012 40th anniversary of Bloody Sunday

It has taken 40 years for the British government to admit its paratroopers were wrong to shoot dozens of unarmed Irishmen and their boys on 30 Jan 1972, but the next Bloody Sunday anniversary may yet find those soldiers responsible for the massacre behind bars.

Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness - who was a deputy commander of the Derry Irish Republican Army at the time and personally witnessed events - says London accepts some of the paratroopers must be charged with perjury based on evidence they gave to Lord Saville's

NORTHERN IRELAND 30 Jan 2012 40th anniversary of Bloody Sunday

It has taken 40 years for the British government to admit its paratroopers were wrong to shoot dozens of unarmed Irishmen and their boys on 30 Jan 1972, but the next Bloody Sunday anniversary may yet find those soldiers responsible for the massacre behind bars.

Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness - who was a deputy commander of the Derry Irish Republican Army at the time and personally witnessed events - says London accepts some of the paratroopers must be charged with perjury based on evidence they gave to Lord Saville's long-running investigation.

Of the 26 people shot while on a civil rights march in Londonderry that day, 13 died immediately, while a 59-year old bystander, John Johnston, died of his wounds four months later.

All the dead were found to have been innocent by Lord Saville's tribunal, but charges of murder may be hard to sustain due to the uncertainty over who fired the fatal shots, the death of some of the troops involved and the immunity from prosecution offered in return for testimony.

Bloody Sunday's anniversary will be commemorated with a minute's silence, tours of the Bogside 'murder zone' and cemetery in addition to a commemorative mass and candle-light vigil. (WRITTEN Jul 2011)

ARTICLE BY NEWSAHEAD CORRESPONDENT LAWRENCE SMALLMAN

RELATED READING:

Bloody Sunday tribunal soldiers 'may face perjury charges' (Belfast Telegraph 7 July 2011)

The Bloody Sunday Trust website

Bloody Sunday: Saville report v Widgery report (Guardian 15 June 2010)

The Bloody Sunday Inquiry final report

Date written/update: 2012-01-30