15 June 2010
The Communist Party of Ireland welcomes the section of the Saville Report that exonerates the twenty-eight people who were shot, fourteen of whom were killed in Derry on the 30th of January 1972. It found that “the paratroopers’ actions were unjustifiable and unjustified.”
We congratulate the relatives and we call for justice for those who were murdered. We realise that some relatives just want the truth, whilst others want justice. The Communist Party of Ireland says that if murder was committed, then appropriate justice should be applied.
We strongly question the suggestion that there was no cover-up by the British Government: the results of the Widgery Tribunal suggest otherwise. Moreover, in the words of the Northern Ireland Civil Right Association in 1978, “to suggest that the Paras ran amok in Derry and that they were not acting under orders illustrates a lack of knowledge of the pre-march publicity in the British press. The British Army acted under orders. This was proved by tape recordings of army radio messages and by the concerted and deliberate manner in which the murder was carried out.”
Bloody Sunday was an attempted military solution to a political problem. It was a turning-point in the history of Northern Ireland, pushing democratic means of struggle off the agenda and bringing paramilitary violence to the forefront. As communists, we worked long and hard to help build a mass democratic movement, but this was smashed by state violence.
National Chairperson, Communist Party of Ireland