Relatives of those killed and wounded on Bloody Sunday have reacted strongly to comments made by a Fianna Fail TD over the way to deal with the legacy of the ‘Troubles’.
In an interview given last weekend to the ‘Guardian’, Eamon O’Cuiv, a grandson of Eamon de Valera said he supported an amnesty for all those involved in the Northern Ireland conflict from 1969-1998.
He said: “Whether it is ex-IRA volunteers, loyalists, the old RUC, the Ulster Defence Regiment or British soldiers, there should be an amnesty for all.”
Commenting on the arrest of a 66-year-old ex-paratrooper in County Antrim last November in relation to killings on Bloody Sunday the Fianna Fail representative said: “I really don’t see the point, especially as the police seem to be tracking down the foot soldiers. They are not going after the generals and their political bosses who ordered the Parachute Regiment into Derry that day.”
Mickey McKinney, whose brother William was shot dead on January 30, 1972 told the ‘Journal’: “Bloody Sunday is a human rights issue. What about the rights of the victims of Bloody Sunday? They had the right to life taken from them. The British establishment then conjured up a lie that they sent out from their embassies around the world that they were gun men and nail bombers. So what rights does Eamon O’Cuiv think that victims have?
“If he thinks this is pointless because the PSNI murder investigation is not going after the hierarchy then he needs to consider that the only way we can establish what the orders were is to put these soldiers in the dock.
“Bloody Sunday sits separately from all the others that took part in the conflict-from the IRA, UVF, RUC and the British Army.
“For Eamon O’Cuiv to call for an amnesty while a murder investigation is going on is ridiculous. To me, by calling for an amnesty he is disregarding the rights of the Bloody Sunday victims.”
Kate Nash whose brother was killed and father wounded on Bloody Sunday also hit out at Mr O’Cuiv’s comments.
“Mr O’Cuiv wants to take the road easiest for the politicians. It doesn’t seem to have occurred to him that many innocent people were slaughtered by a state that has no intention of telling the truth. He has taken a very naive view of this.
“Does he seriously believe that all the perpetrators will line up to tell us who ordered these atrocities, and there were many of them.
“Much has come to light in recent years to suggest Britain took a big part in maintaining the sectarian divide and worsening that particular situation in this country by puuting soldiers in here undercover to randomly kill innocent people on both sides of our community.
“The British Government need to make answer and explain to us the reasoning behind these strategies. Perhaps it would fit Mr O’Cuiv better if he could an investigation into the Dublin-Monaghan bombings because those families deserve justice too.”