Thursday 8 December 2016

Families seek Taoiseach's help to get soldiers prosecuted

Aine Kerr

Published 17/06/2010 | 05:00

THE families of Bloody Sunday victims last night urged Taoiseach Brian Cowen to help them to get British soldiers charged with perjury and murder.

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Four families of those killed on January 30, 1972, met with the Taoiseach in Government Buildings to urge him to use his contacts and influence to address the issue of prosecutions.

After their informal meeting, Mr Cowen said he believed the Saville Report, the reaction of the people of Derry and the "brave and honest words" of the British prime minister David Cameron can significantly advance the cause of healing and reconciliation.

He congratulated the families on the success of their long and difficult campaign.

Kate Nash, whose brother William died in the Bogside, presented Mr Cowen with an official copy of the report and thanked the Irish Government for all its work in establishing the inquiry.

Ms Nash said families now wanted to see prosecutions for murder and perjury. She appealed to the Taoiseach for his help. "We would like his help pushing that forward," she said.

"I'm sure he has contacts and we would like him ... whatever sort of help he can give us we would take it."

Earlier, Mr Cowen told the Dail he was aware the families had a "range of opinions" regarding where matters go from here.

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Over the past 38 years, Ms Kay said the campaign for justice was assisted by the Irish Government with help from the "frontline and sidelines".

She was accompanied by Leo Young, Mickey McKinney and Kay Duddy.

Mr McKinney, whose brother Willie died in 1972, said families did not yet have final closure.

"Somebody has to be held responsible for what happened on Bloody Sunday," he said.

He said perjury cases could be brought. The Saville Report points to "false accounts" made to the tribunal, he said.

Leo Young, whose brother John died on Bloody Sunday, said the Government had been "terribly helpful" and did a lot for bereaved families and campaigners.

Kay Duddy, whose sister Jackie died, said the publication of the Saville report marked a "fantastic day" for families.

Earlier, Fine Gael's leader Enda Kenny welcomed the apology of British prime minister. Labour leader Eamon Gilmore said he hoped the report would lift a cloud for the families and for the city of Derry.

Irish Independent

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