McAliskey weighs in behind the campaign to clear victim’s name

The Bloody Sunday parade on route to Free Derry Corner.  (2901JB81)
The Bloody Sunday parade on route to Free Derry Corner. (2901JB81)
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Veteran Civil Rights campaigner Bernadette McAliskey has voiced her support for the campaign to clear the name of Bloody Sunday victim Gerard Donaghey.

Ms McAliskey was the main speaker at the rally which followed Sunday’s march, which was attended by around two thousand people , to commemorate the 41st anniversary of Bloody Sunday.

Helen Deery and Maria Campbell McKenzie lay at wreath at the Bloody Sunday epitaph on route to the Free Derry Corner.  (2901JB82)

Helen Deery and Maria Campbell McKenzie lay at wreath at the Bloody Sunday epitaph on route to the Free Derry Corner. (2901JB82)

Also among those in attendance was former MP and civil rights campaigner Ivan Cooper.

The march followed the route of the 1972 anti internment march which ended with 14 marchers being shot dead by the British army’s parachute regiment.

The march was led by relatives of some of those murdered on Bloody Sunday, as well as relatives of other victims of state violence from other parts of the North. The majority of the Bloody Sunday relatives decided two years ago not to hold the annual commemoration march and instead have an alternative programme of events to commemorate the massacre.

A number of dissident republican groups from across Ireland including the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, Eirigi, and the Republican Network for Unity were also represented at Sunday’s march.

Six bands accompanied the marchers as they made their way from Central Drive to Free Derry Corner where a rally was held. Speaking at Free Derry Corner, Ms McAliskey paid tribute to the march organisers.

“It is important to remember to challenge the cover up, even though some people from time to time begin to tire or begin to collaborate with the state and believe that it should be swept away and a new start made,” she said.

Ms McAliskey also called for the release of prominent prisoners Marian Price and Martin Corey.

“We came on the streets to end internment without trial yet here we are 41 years later in a new administration, a new dispensation, new power structures, and new civic collaborators and we still have internment without trial with people in prison on the whim and diktat of the Northern Ireland Secretary of State,” she said.

The former MP said she will continue to campaign to have Gerard Donaghey’s name cleared.

“Even today when the innocence of the vast majority of victims has been declared, something we always knew, that innocence is still being denied to young Gerard Donaghey, on whose corpse nail bombs were planted. There has still not been a declaration of innocence for him.

“People talk about how long the Saville Inquiry took and how much it cost, well it took a long time and cost a lot of money because for every step of that journey the British government who set the inquiry up prevented the truth from coming to the fore,” she told the crowd.

On the night before the 41st anniversary march, graffiti was daubed on a number of walls along the march route relating to Bloody Sunday.

In a number of locations the graffiti referred to the killing of 18 paratroopers at Warrenpoint in 1979.