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N.Ireland marks 50 years since ‘Bloody Sunday’

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IMAGES in the city of Londonderry of the ceremony held at the ‘Bloody Sunday’ memorial to mark the fiftieth anniversary of ‘Bloody Sunday’
(COMPLETES VIDI9XG4C6_EN)

Relatives of 13 civil rights protesters shot dead in Northern Ireland by British soldiers 50 years ago demanded justice on Sunday, as they commemorated one of the darkest days in modern UK history.

The “Bloody Sunday” victims’ names were read out under a leaden sky to the mournful notes of an Irish flute, as the relatives and hundreds of supporters gathered for a memorial event in the city of Londonderry — known as Derry to pro-Irish nationalists.

Michael McKinney, whose brother William was among those killed, said the UK government was “scared” of allowing any prosecutions of the soldiers for fear of what a trial might uncover.

“We shall overcome,” McKinney added, invoking the US civil rights message that was sung by the marchers in 1972, in pressing their demands for Catholic rights against Londonderry’s Protestant minority.

The children were followed by older relatives carrying portraits of those killed when members of the British Parachute Regiment fired more than 100 high-velocity rounds into crowds.

The yearly memorial service was attended for the first time by an Irish premier, as Taoiseach Micheal Martin joined other dignitaries in laying a wreath at an obelisk commemorating the 14.

“It is important because time is moving on too for many, many families, and families need closure.”

At the entrance to the Bogside, a wall normally proclaims in large writing: “You are now entering Free Derry.” This weekend the mural read: “There is no British justice.”

But his government is pushing legislation that critics say amounts to an amnesty for all killings during Northern Ireland’s three decades of sectarian unrest, including by security forces.

The mammoth inquiry, whose report ran to 5,000 pages, prompted then prime minister David Cameron to issue a landmark apology in parliament. 

– ‘Reckless’ Johnson –

Michael McKinney is seeking a judicial review of the prosecutors’ decision.

“It’s important for the rest of the world to see what they done to us that day. But will we ever see justice?” he told AFP.

In Northern Ireland, new tensions today surround the UK’s fractious divorce from the European Union.

The government, which is in protracted talks with the EU on the issue, is sympathetic to their demands.

She said that Johnson, facing demands to resign over allegations of lockdown-breaching parties in Downing Street, was ill-equipped to stand up to unionist hardliners.

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