Page last updated at 18:46 GMT, Wednesday, 23 September 2009 19:46 UK

New delay to Bloody Sunday report

Soldiers in Derry on Bloody Sunday
Soldiers shot 14 people dead in Derry on Bloody Sunday

The report on the events of Bloody Sunday has been delayed again.

Tribunal chairman Lord Saville has confirmed he hopes to hand the report to the Northern Ireland Secretary at the end of March 2010.

It is understood the government will take some time to consider his findings before publishing them.

NI Secretary Shaun Woodward said he was "profoundly shocked" by the delay, while Lord Saville said he was "extremely disappointed".

In a letter to legal teams, Lord Saville said the report, which will run into thousands of pages, must be with publishers for some months before it can be finalised.

Thirteen people died after paratroopers opened fire during a civil rights march in Londonderry in January 1972. Another person died later of their injuries some time later.

'Impact'

Mr Woodward said: "I am concerned at the impact on the families of those who lost loved ones and those who were injured.

"I am equally concerned at the increased anxiety that soldiers serving on the day will suffer."

SDLP leader Mark Durkan said it was unfortunate timing that the report would probably be coming out in the run-up to the general election.

"It's understood that the report will be followed some weeks later by a full debate in parliament which could now be further complicated by the change of ministers or even a change of government in the aftermath of a general election," added the Foyle MP.

The Saville Inquiry was established in 1998 by then Prime Minister Tony Blair after a campaign by families of those killed and injured.

The Bloody Sunday Inquiry is the longest and most expensive inquiry in British legal history.

The first witness was heard in November 2000 and the last in January 2005.

The tribunal received 2,500 statements from witnesses, with 922 of these called to give direct evidence.

There were also 160 volumes of evidence, containing an estimated 20-30 million words, plus 121 audio tapes and 110 video tapes.



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