Families hail ‘brilliant’ day of celebration - one year on

John Kelly, Gerry Duddy and Mickey McKinney pictured with the book launched to commemorate the 1st anniversary of the Saville report. (1606SL24)

John Kelly, Gerry Duddy and Mickey McKinney pictured with the book launched to commemorate the 1st anniversary of the Saville report. (1606SL24)

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A brother of one of those killed on Bloody Sunday has said he believes the anniversary of the publication of the Saville report will turn into “something big” in future years.

John Kelly made the comment after the celebrations of the first anniversary on Wednesday.

A booklet commemorating the anniversary was launched at the Museum of Free Derry and Mr Kelly said there has already generated considerable interest.

“People have been very interested in them. There was a queue at the Museum of people wanting to get their hands on it. It is a beautiful document and a fantastic record of the day. It has all the speeches and great photographs and it has been put together very well,” he said.

Mr Kelly also said Wednesday’s events were a fitting way to celebrate the anniversary. “It was a brilliant day all round. It was a celebration of vindication of our loved ones and a celebration of what happened last year. The memories are still raw and it was an opportunity for everyone to look back with pride at what was achieved. People are still smiling.

“This time last year people were stressed out and everything was happening so fast. Now, twelve months later people can relax and enjoy it. It was all such a blur last year with interviews and international news crews but this year we could take things at our own pace,” he said.

Mr Kelly also said he believes the anniversary will continue to be marked in the future. “I think it is the start of something that will continue. The Bloody Sunday Trust are working on proposals to have June 15th as a day for all victims and those campaigning for truth and justice for their loved ones around the world.

“It is the start of something big. If you look around the world there are people in countless countries who had have similar problems. There are people out there all over the world looking for truth and justice.

“Hopefully we can highlight our experiences and encourage others to keep campaigning and never give up. That is what we would like to see June 15th evolving into; something that goes beyond our own experiences in Derry and can reach out to communities across Ireland and right across the world who have experienced injustice and are still striving for truth.

“We can show them what can be achieved, no matter how long it takes or how many people say it is not possible,” he said.

He also said he was pleased that Protestant church leaders took part in the video diary project. “The morning after the publication of the report we had the historic visit of the church leaders to the monument on Rossville Street. That was a fantastic moment and I was pleased that Rev David Latimer took part in the video diary event to share his memories of the day. It is great that the relationships made last year have continued and that the link is still there between us and his support is greatly valued,” he said.