More than one hundred relatives of those killed and wounded on Bloody Sunday have signed a letter supporting the decision not to hold a march to mark the 40th anniversary of the massacre.
The signatories of the letter have said the move was prompted by “public confusion” over a separate march being organised by some of the relatives, as well as a number of the wounded.
The programme of events to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the massacre includes a lecture, remembrance Mass, human rights event, and a gathering at the monument on Rossville Street - but does not include a march as the majority of families decided that last year’s march would be the last.
The decision was made after a number of meetings held in the city last year.
The letter signed by the families, printed in today’s ‘Journal,’ states: “We declared last year that the 39th Anniversary should be the last annual Bloody Sunday March. This is still our belief.”
Members of a number of the Bloody Sunday families, however, have organised a march, which is planned for Sunday, January 29th, from Central Drive to Free Derry Corner.
The signatories of today’s letter have said they believe “the time for protest has passed” and, as a result, they will not be marching to mark the 40th anniversary.
The families said the emphasis of this year’s commemorations will be ongoing efforts to highlight the case of Gerard Donaghey.
“The Bloody Sunday Trust & Bloody Sunday Weekend Committee have organised a programme of events to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, including a Memorial Service at the Bloody Sunday Memorial at 1.00pm on Sunday 29 January to which all are invited, the annual Bloody Sunday lecture, the memorial Mass, and a range of other events,” the letter states.
The families’ letter also thanked the people of Derry for their support over the four decades since the massacre.