McGuinness blasts ‘Sunday’ distraction

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Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has said that comments by unionist politicians on the decision by the PSNI to launch a murder probe into Bloody Sunday shows they don’t want the Paras investigated.

Mr McGuinness was speaking after the First Minister Peter Robinson said any inquiry into the soldiers responsible for the killings should include the Derry man’s role as an IRA leader at that time.

Mr Robinson said; “How can you avoid an inquiry into that and say that we’re going to have an inquiry into the army personnel that were there?

“The Deputy First Minister has openly admitted that he was in charge. If that was the case then there has to be an investigation if you’re investigating the Army.”

But Mr McGuinness said the Saville report made clear that the IRA had no responsibility for what happened on Bloody Sunday.

“I consider comments from unionist politicians in the wake of the decision of the PSNI to investigate the events of Bloody Sunday as an attempt to divert attention away from the actions of the Parachute Regiment that day.”

It was revealed on Thursday that the PSNI is to launch a murder investigation into Bloody Sunday on 30th January, 1972, when 13 men were murdered by members of the Parachute Regiment who opened fire on a demonstration in the Bogside. A 14th man died of his injuries a short time later.

Chief Constable Matt Baggott said the inquiry could involve 30 officers and take four years.

Not involved

Meanwhile, the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions Barra McGrory QC has said he was not involved in the decision to launch the police inquiry.

Mr McGrory represented Mr McGuinness during the Saville Inquiry in Derry.

A spokesman said, on taking office, Mr McGrory had identified Bloody Sunday as one of a number of cases in which there might be a conflict of interest.