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Bloody Sunday deaths to be ruled unlawful at last

alexa

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Well it is only 38 years since I watched this brutal spectacle on my tv but 38 years after it happened and after, wait for it, a 12 year inquiry, the Bloody Sunday Deaths are at last to be ruled unlawful


The long-awaited report into the Bloody Sunday massacre will conclude that a number of the fatal shootings of civilians by British soldiers were unlawful killings, the Guardian has learned.

Lord Saville's 12-year inquiry into the deaths, the longest public inquiry in British legal history, will conclude with a report published next Tuesday, putting severe pressure on the Public Prosecution Service in Northern Ireland to prosecute soldiers.

Lord Trimble, the former leader of the Ulster Unionists and one of the architects of the Good Friday agreement, revealed to the Guardian that when Tony Blair agreed to the inquiry in 1998, he warned the then prime minister that any conclusion that departed "one millimetre" from the earlier 1972 Widgery report into the killings would lead to "soldiers in the dock".



Bloody Sunday killings to be ruled unlawful | UK news | The Guardian
 

alexa

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It's about time.

I think it's too little too late for the families of the victims though.

Indeed Families of Bloody Sunday: 38 years on, desire for justice still burns | UK news | The Guardian It does show though that it is worth keeping on and Bloody Sunday was never given up on.

Seems a paratrooper has had to be put in hiding as he gave information

Bloody Sunday: ex-paratrooper in hiding over Saville inquiry evidence

Witness protection for Soldier 027, who told panel that members of his company had been told to 'get some kills'




Bloody Sunday: ex-paratrooper in hiding over Saville inquiry evidence | UK news | The Guardian
 

gunner

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Alexa, what never seems to get taken into consideration is the ill preparedness and unsuitability of the training given to the Army at this time. Paratroopers were, and still are, primarily a shock troop. Their training is slightly different, from the rest of the Army, and calls for a level of aggression and ferocity unimaginable to most.

Paul
 

Republic_Of_Public

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I wouldn't have liked to be a squaddie serving in Ireland, especially at that time.


It was certainly a time of heavy rioting when a civil rights march turned ugly, with stones and other missiles chucked at the paratroopers before they opened fire. After two yobs were shot at a previous riot masquerading as some kind of demo, it was in keeping with a new law to stop other marches.

BBC News | NORTHERN IRELAND | Violence 'forecast' on Bloody Sunday


It's a very heavy-handed way to run a trouble spot, though in context with the history, critical-mass stress on all sides and the IRA's deep stirring of trouble themselves, part of me could expect little else.




__________________________

Though one point coming off the back of this is, especially since Tony Blair opened everything back up in 1998, many 'pro-freedom' Leftists have been keen to use Bloody Sunday as a vehicle to decry the presence of Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom. However, they're not so keen to lambast the IRA for its own, greater, infinitely more numerous and undoubted terrorist crimes carried out across Britain.


The hypocritical and bloodthirsty IRA were always quick to hijack things like Bloody Sunday to justify their own planned and wanton campaigns of destruction:
Why was there increased support for the IRA after Bloody Sunday? - Yahoo! UK & Ireland Answers


Why didn't those pop stars write any headliner songs about bombs on Canary Wharf or any of the countless other IRA atrocities? Once again, only the British got demonised by the 'enlightened'.
Paul McCartney - Give Ireland Back To The Irish
Lennon offered to sing for the IRA | UK news | The Observer
YouTube - U2 - Bloody Sunday ,etc.


Indeed, they don't even moan that Martin McGuinness was an IRA boss.... I was IRA chief, admits McGuinness | UK news | guardian.co.uk

But then again Labour's penchant for validating terrorists, disbanding the RUC police force clamping down on them, inviting them into the bosom of our Government without the hysteria which would have greeted a BNP MP, hosting them at their party cunference and signing things like the Good Friday Agreement to free their bombers by the score, is confirmation that moral issues aren't quite the strong point they'd have us believe. Indeed, even the 'peace process' Blair gets credit for was started and run by John Major.


IRA took tea in Commons, say MI5 - News - The Independent
Tebbit fury as Martin McGuinness parties at Grand Hotel on 25th anniversary of IRA bombing | Mail Online

Secret arms horde not destroyed under Labour's closed, post-Good Friday eye: ira secret arms cache - Google Search



Sinn Fein and the IRA's support for tyranny - Tyranny and dictatorship, learning all the time.

http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=si...=Search&hl=en&client=opera&hs=p78&rls=en&sa=2

....Oh, so that's why! All stick together, eh?!
 
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FinnMacCool

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I remember debating with an Englishman about this, who said that the people killed were members of the I.R.A. so I'm very glad that they (the state) have finally admitted they were wrong.

BTW Republic_of_Public, why are you talking about the IRA in this thread?
 
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alexa

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Alexa, what never seems to get taken into consideration is the ill preparedness and unsuitability of the training given to the Army at this time. Paratroopers were, and still are, primarily a shock troop. Their training is slightly different, from the rest of the Army, and calls for a level of aggression and ferocity unimaginable to most.

Paul

Paul I agree with you that your cannot blame soldiers carrying out orders. However I watched this on the tv at the time and it was blindingly obvious from the beginning that people were being shot at indiscriminately. This should not happen, ever.

Given how obvious it was, it has taken one heck of a time to sort.

One good thing. This happened early on. There was only ever one Bloody Sunday.
 

FinnMacCool

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Paul I agree with you that your cannot blame soldiers carrying out orders

I'm not sure I agree with that. You can blame them for following immoral orders that SHOULD and MUST be disobeyed. The burden of faults rests on both the soldiers, who carried out the orders, and those who gave them.
 

alexa

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I'm not sure I agree with that. You can blame them for following immoral orders that SHOULD and MUST be disobeyed. The burden of faults rests on both the soldiers, who carried out the orders, and those who gave them.

On second thoughts I do agree with you and that was also shown to be the ruling with some US soldiers in Vietnam. There is a level at which an order is sufficiently immoral that it is up to the soldier to refuse to carry it out.

( I have heard people arguing that the individual soldier is responsible for Iraq and I don't blame them for that. I did not think enough.)
 

FinnMacCool

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In a way, everybody is responsible. If we, as a people, simply refused to support the capitalist war machine, the wars would've been stopped. In the same light, a soldier could easily have refused to kill an innocent civilian and nobody would've died. The people above could have not sent us to war in the first place etc. etc.
 

alexa

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In a way, everybody is responsible. If we, as a people, simply refused to support the capitalist war machine, the wars would've been stopped. In the same light, a soldier could easily have refused to kill an innocent civilian and nobody would've died. The people above could have not sent us to war in the first place etc. etc.

well yes, but in this case wrong was done and wrong was seen to be done by millions of viewers (that was before they learnt to hide cameras!)

It should as you say have been dealt with much earlier and if appropriate people given proper sentences. Now they are all going to be pretty old. I wonder how they will find a way to get everyone satisfied.
 

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I've always found 'capitalist war machine' an intruiging turn of phrase. I remember a Viz spoof which joked that a farmer had found the 'Nazi war machine' rusting in a barn after his father brought it home as a souvenir! As I remember he was going to restore it to drive around fairs.

The Army in N.I. was put there to keep the peace in Northern Ireland as terrorists couldn't quite grasp that the district was a province of the UK.


(And I mentioned the IRA as part of my spin-off observation on those who would complain loudly about Britain's presence in Ireland, but not so much (if at all) the IRA. Just as they do now with the war on terror and Islamic terrorists.)
 

alexa

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As a point of interest, the British governments conflict with the IRA escalated as a result of Bloody Sunday.

Indeed, from today's Guardian

The legacy of the killings, however, was the boost to IRA recruitment and the outrage that fuelled paramilitary violence through subsequent decades. Lord Widgery's inquiry and official exoneration of the soldiers – dismissed by nationalists as a state "cover up" – aggravated the sense of injustice.

During the three previous years, the Troubles had claimed around 200 lives. In 1972, the year in which Bloody Sunday occurred, a total of 479 people died; it was Northern Ireland's worst year of carnage. The annual death rate did not fall below 200 again until 1977. Without Bloody Sunday the province's history might have been very different.

The legacy of the Bloody Sunday killings | UK news | guardian.co.uk

The report is out today and 14 relatives of the dead marched in silence to read the report

Bloody Sunday: Victims' families march in silence to read Saville report | UK news | guardian.co.uk

A survivor who suffered from attempted murder and attempted framing as a terrorist says he hopes people get prison sentences but he knows they will not. Although I can understand how he feels, so long has passed.

I hope it can be put to bed now that the truth has been acknowledged - or at least that is what I understand has happened!
 

Tucker Case

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I've always found 'capitalist war machine' an intruiging turn of phrase. I remember a Viz spoof which joked that a farmer had found the 'Nazi war machine' rusting in a barn after his father brought it home as a souvenir! As I remember he was going to restore it to drive around fairs.

The Army in N.I. was put there to keep the peace in Northern Ireland as terrorists couldn't quite grasp that the district was a province of the UK.


(And I mentioned the IRA as part of my spin-off observation on those who would complain loudly about Britain's presence in Ireland, but not so much (if at all) the IRA. Just as they do now with the war on terror and Islamic terrorists.)

:prof The british army higher civilian to combatant ratio during the troubles than the pIRA did.

How do you define terrorist, if primarily targetting civilians isn't a part of your definition?
 

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Yes it is good the PM apologised, although to be honest I was not alive for the massacre so I do not see why the apology should be on my behalf or why we are apologising when the IRA have never done so to the victims of their terror campaigns, but 12 years and 100 million pounds later we get the report? Did it really need 100 million pounds to find out they were innocent? Really?

But should the soldiers face jail? Absolutely not. I would not support a public witchhunt for those soldiers
 
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spud_meister

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if the soldiers get imprisoned, then all the IRA members who got an early release due to the Good Friday agreement should be put back in too.
 

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Tucker Case

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I did not know they apologised so I withdraw that statement.

I do however still think the solders should not be prosecuted. If we really are going to go after them for what happened, I would hope the same people who would call for the soldiers arrest be the first to call on jailing all those guilty of crimes against the British.

I agree that the soldiers shouldn't be prosecuted. To do so would be a travesty, IMO.
 

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I agree that the soldiers shouldn't be prosecuted. To do so would be a travesty, IMO.

The victims families have said constantly they just want closure and the truth. They got it today and fair play to them for their determination to pursue this for decades.
 
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alexa

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Yes it is good the PM apologised, although to be honest I was not alive for the massacre so I do not see why the apology should be on my behalf or why we are apologising when the IRA have never done so to the victims of their terror campaigns, but 12 years and 100 million pounds later we get the report? Did it really need 100 million pounds to find out they were innocent? Really?

But should the soldiers face jail? Absolutely not. I would not support a public witchhunt for those soldiers

Laila it was a civil rights march, a peaceful march. Northern Ireland at that time was not as it is now. Most of the Catholics for instance did not have the vote. The Catholics originally believed that the British Army had come in to help them because they had suffered beatings and killings at other marches.

What happened was very wrong and has been pointed out earlier was a major force for recruitment for the IRA.

here what was said today

My colleagues who have had more chance to read the report say that Saville says that none of the killings were justified, but that the deaths can be divided into two categories: those killed by soldiers motivated by fear and panic; and those killed by soldiers who were not motivated by fear and panic.

Three of the deaths seem to be in the first category, and 11 in the second category.

While the 3 killings which occurred through fear and panic were wrongful killing and ought themselves to have been investigated, the other 11 are murders.

The report is quite damning about some of the soldiers. As Cameron said in his statement, Saville says some of them "knowingly put forward false accounts in order to seek to justify their firing". Here are two of the particularly critical paragraphs from the report. This is para 3.102 from the "principal conclusions" report:

As to the further shooting in Rossville Street, which caused the deaths of William Nash, John Young and Michael McDaid, Corporal P claimed that he fired at a man with a pistol; Lance Corporal J claimed that he fired at a nail bomber; and Corporal E claimed that he fired at a man with a pistol in the Rossville Flats. We reject each of these claims as knowingly untrue. We are sure that these soldiers fired either in the belief that no one in the areas towards which they respectively fired was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury, or not caring whether or not anyone there was posing such a threat. In their cases we consider that they did not fire in a state of fear or panic.

More here Bloody Sunday: the Saville report live | News | guardian.co.uk

The problem in how to deal with it now I think comes from the length of time since it occured. Had this come out earlier then jail sentences I think would have been appropriate. With so much time passed and hopefully they have changed, I don't think prison sentences would serve any purpose.

But these were murders and in any other murder, people do go to jail, even years after.

A way will need to be found to satisy this.

Should it have gone on till the truth was found. Yes, otherwise our country lacked integrity.

Sheould the truth have been found 38 years ago, yes.

I think lessons were certainly learnt from this incident. We never had another Bloody Sunday and our troops learned to deal with difficult situations much better.

This however was wrong and we do need to acknowledge that.
 

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This however was wrong and we do need to acknowledge that.

No one is saying the British soldiers were right in this instance or that they are innocent. No one is excusing or condoning this.

What I am however doing and I think I am quite in my rights to do so is question the bill for this report. It has taken 12 years and 100 million pounds.
That same money could have funded many other things and put to better use, the Iraq war did not even cost that much and it has cost so much more lives.

So yes, I do think the PM was right to apologise but do I think the report was worth the price tag? No.
 

alexa

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No one is saying the British soldiers were right in this instance or that they are innocent. No one is excusing or condoning this.

What I am however doing and I think I am quite in my rights to do so is question the bill for this report. It has taken 12 years and 100 million pounds.
That same money could have funded many other things and put to better use, the Iraq war did not even cost that much and it has cost so much more lives.

So yes, I do think the PM was right to apologise but do I think the report was worth the price tag? No.

It would have been better to come out with the truth 38 years ago. I know people have been talking about the money spent. Perhaps they will find a better way to deal with such situations. Iraq inquiries, how much? Is it needed?
 

Laila

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It would have been better to come out with the truth 38 years ago. I know people have been talking about the money spent. Perhaps they will find a better way to deal with such situations. Iraq inquiries, how much? Is it needed?

The only thing bugging me about this is the money spent. I don't mind about the result of it because I think it is the correct conclusion and yes, it should have come out decades ago.

I think an inquiry is needed and it has only been up to a few million pounds.
 
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