Bloody Sunday familes call for support for events

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Relatives of those murdered on Bloody Sunday have repeated their view that there should not be a march to mark the anniversary of the massacre.

John Kelly and Tony Doherty released a joint statement stating that the majority of the relatives of those killed and wounded do not support the march which has been organised by a number of the families and is due to take place on Sunday.

Mr Kelly’s 17 year-old brother, Michael, and Mr Doherty’s father, Patrick, were among those shot dead by British army paratroopers on January 30, 1972.

Since 1973, a march was held each year on the Sunday closest to the anniversary of the massacre to call for justice for those who had been murdered.

However, following the publication of the Saville report into Bloody Sunday and British Prime Minister David Cameron’s descriptions of the actions of his soldiers as “unjustified and unjustifiable” the majority of the families decided that the 39th anniversary march should be the last.

Following the decision, a number of families decided to keep marching on the anniversary and organised a march along the traditional route from Creggan to the Bogside last year which was attended by more than 1,000 people.

Speaking yesterday, Mr Kelly and Mr Doherty said they did not believe there should be a march and called on people to attend the series of events planned by the Bloody Sunday Trust.

“In January last year over 100 direct Bloody Sunday relatives and wounded placed their opinion and wishes on the record that the 39th Anniversary should have been the last annual Bloody Sunday march.

“This was clearly defined in the statement released last year.

“Because of further public confusion around yet another march planned for this weekend, it is important that the views of the majority clarified, in that we repeat where we stand on the issue of this march: the majority of families do not support this march and are of the view that the 39th Anniversary March should have been the final one.

“As indicated last year the Bloody Sunday Trust has planned a series of events to commemorate the 41st anniversary of Bloody Sunday. We would commend these events to the people of Derry and invite your active participation in them,” they said.