16 Jun 2010

Bloody Sunday killings totally unjustified, says report

10:01 am on 16 June 2010

A report on the events of what notoriously became known as Bloody Sunday in Northern Ireland nearly 40 years ago has ruled that all those who were killed were innocent.

Thirteen marchers were shot dead in in Londonderry in 1972 when British paratroopers opened fire on crowds at a civil rights demonstration.

Fourteen others were wounded, one of whom later died.

The shooting was one of the defining moments of the three decades of conflict in Northern Ireland.

The subsequent investigation, headed by Lord Saville, has been the longest and most expensive inquiry in British legal history. It finds that the Army fired the first shot, that the shootings were unjustified and that many of the soldiers lied about their actions.

Following the long-awaited release of the report, British Prime Minister David Cameron apologised in Parliament on behalf of the Government and the country for what the soldiers did.

He says there is no doubt that what happened was both unjustified and unjustifiable.

The BBC reports that a huge cheer erupted in Guildhall Square in Londonderry as Mr Cameron spoke.