‘Crisis in confidence’ surrounds new Bloody Sunday probe

Thirteen people were shot dead by the British Army in Derry's Bogside on Bloody Sunday.
Thirteen people were shot dead by the British Army in Derry's Bogside on Bloody Sunday.

A lawyer for the families of those murdered on Bloody Sunday says there is now a “crisis in confidence” surrounding a new PSNI investigation into the 1972 massacre.

Peter Madden, of Madden & Finucane Solicitors, which represents the families of those murdered on January 30, 1972, has written a letter to the senior police officer leading the new probe.

Mr. Madden, who also represents many of those wounded in the shootings, says “the inordinate delay in proceeding to arrest and question those suspected of the murders and attempted murders” on the day is a major cause for concern.

Mr. Madden said: “There is now a crisis in confidence concerning the profound delay in bringing those responsible to justice.

“Whilst Lord Saville may have delivered the truth, the mere declaration of innocence is insufficient to satisfy the rule of law.

“With truth must come justice, but justice delayed is justice denied.”

In the letter to Detective Chief Inspector Ian Harrison, Mr. Madden says that, since meeting him in January of this year, “we have heard nothing further from the PSNI and are entirely unaware of what progress, if any, has been made.”

The letter goes on: “We do not know whether the dedicated staffing levels described at the meeting on January 23 remain or if your team has been weakened or strengthened.

“We presume that there has been no move to interview any of those suspected of murdering or attempting to murder the victims and wounded of Bloody Sunday as we have not been advised that any such interviews have taken place, nor have there been any media reports to that effect.”

Mr. Maddens says that, since the publication of Lord Saville’s report five years ago, “little has occurred” to alleviate the public perception that police are “reluctant to arrest and question soldiers as murder suspects.”

He adds: “Those that we represent are rapidly losing faith in the PSNI’s ability to see their task through.”

Mr. Madden says he considers appropriate that police set out a full written progress report within the next fourteen days and convene a meeting as a matter of urgency to address the families’ concerns.