Three members of the ‘Bloody Sunday Weekend Committee’ are to step down from their roles after twenty years, citing “political differences” in how forthcoming commemorations are to be held.
In a letter published in today’s ‘Derry Journal’, longstanding members Jim Keys, Stephen Gargan and Jim Collins announced their decision to step down amid controversy surrounding the tone of the forthcoming commemoration march. Many now feel locally that the commemoration should reflect the positive outcome of the Saville Report. However, the trio disagree, claiming that the British military seem to have “got off scot free.”
The letter reads: “While we all agreed that Lord Saville’s conclusions coupled with the British Prime Minister’s apology on June 15th represented a remarkable and unprecedented achievement for the families, the wounded, and the wider campaign, we three could not in all conscience support the characterisation of that day as a victory.”
The trio blame a “deepening divergence of positions” within the committee and said that recent news that this month’s Bloody Sunday commemoration march was to be the last reinforced their collective decision. “It’s with great regret that we made this decision,” Stephen Gargan told the ‘Journal’ last night.
“Some members of the committee feel that the Saville Report was a great triumph and they wanted to characterise the forthcoming commemorations in those terms. While we acknowledge the remarkable nature of June 15, we couldn’t sign up for the fact that Saville’s Report is deemed a victory. Especially considering the British military have got off scot free.”
No-one at the Bloody Sunday Weekend Committee was available for comment.