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Statement by Stephen Farry (APNI) following the publication of the Saville Report, (15 June 2010)

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Text: Stephen Farry ... Page compiled: Martin Melaugh

Statement by Stephen Farry, Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI), following the publication of the report of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, Belfast, (Tuesday 15 June 2010)


"The party welcomes the outcome and conclusions of the Saville Inquiry. While the detail of the report will require serious scrutiny it is clear that this report confirms what has been understood for decades, that those killed by British forces on Bloody Sunday were completely innocent.

It was right that Bloody Sunday was properly investigated and the rogue conclusions of Widgery consigned to the dustbin of history. The families and surviving victims have been vindicated in their campaign to secure justice, one which they have pursued with dignity and determination for many years.

While not diminishing the widespread hurt and demands for truth and justice from all victims of violence, Bloody Sunday raises unique issues relating to the abuse of power and the breach of the rule of law by the state.

This report closes one chapter, but in doing so, raises new questions as to what happens now. Any prosecutions will be considered independently by the Public Prosecution Service and will have to meet both the public interest and evidential tests.

There are issues regarding the cost and the scale of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry and any future investigations. The British Government has ruled out future inquiries but has not provided any indication of what it would put in their place. There is an outstanding need for a comprehensive approach to dealing with the legacy of the past in a manner which promotes reconciliation and builds a shared future. While far from perfect, Alliance did consider that the bulk of the Eames-Bradley proposals provided the basis for such a process. At best Eames-Bradley has been parked and there is no indication from the UK government as to how they intend to fill this void.

Given the polarizing nature of the debate over the last number of years it is important that politicians on all sides are considered in what they say. We need to avoid using victims as weapons in a war of words if we are to build a shared future, nor should the Saville Report be used to undermine more widely the very good work done by the army in many other circumstances."


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