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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 18 February, 2003, 18:52 GMT
Bloody Sunday 30 years on
The crowd remembered those who had died
The ceremony was held in the Bogside area
Several thousand people have observed a minute's silence at the Bloody Sunday monument in Londonderry to mark the 30th anniversary of the shootings.

The ceremony in Derry's Bogside was held on Wednesday to remember the 13 civilians shot dead by British Army soldiers during a civil rights march on 30 January 1972. A 14th person died later.

The monument was rededicated by the former Bishop of Derry Dr Edward Daly, whose hunched figure waving a blood-stained hankerchief became a defining image of the day.

Dr Daly said he was wearing the stole he used on Bloody Sunday and that it was his most treasured possession.

It is an ongoing issue that will not go away until that has been achieved

John Kelly
Victim's brother

A memorial service was held at St Eugene's Cathedral in Derry and Irish singer Christy Moore performed a concert in the Rialto Theatre.

The annual Bloody Sunday march, retracing the route of the civil rights march, is expected to draw around 30,000 people when it takes place on Sunday.

John Kelly, whose 17-year-old brother, Michael, died that day, said there was still "massive interest" in Bloody Sunday after 30 years.

"Maybe it's down to the fact that the inquiry is still going on," he said.

Mr Kelly said the families remained determined to achieve truth and justice.

He added: "It is an ongoing issue that will not go away until that has been achieved. Thirty years is a long time."

Lord Saville Inquiry chairman
Lord Saville: Inquiry chairman

Speaking on Wednesday, the Northern Ireland Secretary, John Reid, has said his thoughts were with the families of the victims of Bloody Sunday.

Dr Reid said that it was important that the truth came out about past events.

However, he also said that there was an increasing recognition that a way must be found of "stepping out of the past" without diminishing the tragic memories of recent history.

Dr Reid's comments followed a meeting in Belfast with the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.

The 30th anniversary comes as the Saville Inquiry, which is looking into the events of that day, prepares to move into a new phase.

The hearings, currently taking place in Londonderry, are not sitting on Wednesday or Thursday in an acknowledgement of the commemorative events in the city.

Northern Ireland Secretary Dr John Reid
Dr John Reid: Said his thoughts were with the Bloody Sunday families

However, they will begin hearing the evidence of police officers when they resume again on Monday, after more than a year of civilian testimonies.

Lord Saville and the Commonwealth judges accompanying him on the Bloody Sunday Inquiry began their work nearly four years ago.

They are not expected to report back until 2004, by which time the costs are likely to have exceeded 100m.

The inquiry is to move to Britain temporarily to hear evidence in person from soldiers who refuse to return to Derry.

Establishing facts

Military witnesses, thought to include soldiers who fired the fatal shots on Bloody Sunday, argued they could be attacked by dissident republicans if they travelled to give evidence in Derry.

But the move is likely to substantially increase the costs of the inquiry which are already being heavily criticised by unionist politicians.

The Bloody Sunday inquiry was established in 1998 by Prime Minister Tony Blair after a campaign by families of those killed and injured.

They felt that the Widgery Inquiry, held shortly after the shootings, did not find out the truth about what happened on Bloody Sunday.

Witnesses to the inquiry are immune from prosecution on issues arising from their evidence. It is aimed solely at establishing the facts about what happened.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC NI's Paul McAuley:
"It was an emotional few minutes"
Prof. Henry Paterson responds to Eamon McCann
"There is a divide, there's no doubt about that"
Larry Hollingworth, authority on conflict resolution
"The most important thing was responsibility"
Find out more about the Bloody Sunday Inquiry


30th Anniversary

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See also:

22 Jan 02 | N Ireland
30 Jan 02 | N Ireland
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