The Bloody Sunday shootings in Derry 40 years ago were “an appalling injustice”, former Taoiseach John Bruton said this week.
Mr Bruton was speaking at the launch in Connolly’s Books, Essex Street, Dublin, of ‘Setting the Truth Free: The Inside Story of the Bloody Sunday Justice Campaign’ by Derry journalist Julieann Campbell.
Mr. Bruton said there was a “second injustice” in that the Widgery report produced just weeks after the massacre had taken away the “good name” of the Bloody Sunday victims.
“It was doubly imperative for that reason that the truth be brought to light,” he said.
Mr Bruton recalled that, as Taoiseach, he had the support of coalition partners Dick Spring and Proinsias De Rossa, as well as Fianna Fáil leader Bertie Ahern from the opposition benches, in his efforts to secure a second inquiry.
Julieann, a reporter with the ‘Derry Journal’, is a niece of Jackie Duddy (17), who was among those shot dead by British troops on January 30, 1972.
She was also press officer for the families of the victims in the lead-up to the publication of the Saville report.
Published by Liberties Press, Julieann’s book is the first-ever account of the Bloody Sunday Justice Campaign as told by the campaigners, relatives and the wounded themselves.
Mr Bruton has been hailed as leading the way for the Irish government to lend its support to the Bloody Sunday Justice Campaign. Gerry Duddy, Jackie Duddy’s brother, also attended the launch.
This evening, the book will receive its London launch at Bookmarks, Bloomsbury Street (6.30 p.m.).
Guest speaker at the event will be human rights lawyer Gareth Peirce who also penned the foreward to the new book.
Ms. Peirce has said the “crimes” committed against those who died on Bloody Sunday were never meant to be exposed to any just scrutiny.
“There was only ever meant to be one narrative and in the absence of a root and branch revolution it would be thought impossible to shift a false state narrative,” she said. “That is why what was accomplished by the Bloody Sunday families is so extraordinary and important for others.”