One of the organisers of the anti-internment march that became known as Bloody Sunday has said that Britain has no intention of delivering on the legacy issues of the Northern Ireland conflict.
Journalist and political activist, Eamonn McCann witnessed the actions of the British Parachute regiment in Derry on January 30, 1972 and played a leading role in getting a fresh inquiry into the killing of 14 people established in 1997.
Reacting to news that the Ministry of Defence is to foot the legal bill for former soldiers arrested in connection with Bloody Sunday, Mr McCann said: “The British Ministry of Defence says that it is funding the Bloody Sunday soldiers in their challenge to the PSNI murder inquiry because they have a ‘duty of care’ to the former paratroopers.
“But, the ‘duty of care’ is not mandatory. It is not a legal requirement. An employer doesn’t have to back employees up if they are being investigated for a serious crime like murder. The idea is ridiculous. Any reasonable person will agree that the fact that it’s a murder inquiry should have taken precedence.
“It is now clear that the British Government has no intention of delivering on the “legacy” issues.
“How can Cameron, Villiers and the rest expect paramilitary groups to come clean about their pasts when they see the government cover-up of the British army’s past in front of their eyes.
“This is a betrayal of victims on all sides. Cameron’s Government is using “national security” as a reason for refusing to release evidence, and the concept of “duty of care” to pull the plug on police inquiries. They are complete hypocrites - denouncing “terror” while sparing no effort to protect those whom they sent out to inflict terror on others. “