Following the announcement by the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) earlier in the day that one of the soldiers involved in Bloody Sunday would be prosecuted, the Chair permitted Councillor Duffy to address the Committee on behalf of Sinn Féin. He reminded Members of the sensitive nature of this issue and instructed Members to keep this in mind when addressing the Committee.
Councillor Duffy commended the way the Bloody Sunday families had conducted their campaign and shared their disappointment on the ruling of the PPS. She paid tribute to the dignity and solidarity shown by the families in response to the ruling and added that the British state must be held accountable. She offered the continued support of Sinn Féin to the families.
Councillor Tierney also commended the families and stated that this had been a difficult day. He recalled the events of the 15 June 2010 and stated that the impact of this ruling could not surpass the impact felt on that day. He expressed the continued support of the SDLP to the families and further commended the bravery, dignity and solidarity shown by them.
Councillor Donnelly concurred with the comments of the previous speakers. He stated that he was unsurprised by the ruling, and added that he felt the prosecuted soldier had been used as a scapegoat and would most likely never see the inside of a prison. He explained that the only person who had served time in prison in relation to Bloody Sunday was the Republican Martin Doherty. He expressed his continued support to the Bloody Sunday campaigners.
Alderman McClintock expressed her sympathy to the families of the 2 RUC Officers who were murdered 3 days before the events of Bloody Sunday, as she felt it would be wrong to look at the events of Bloody Sunday in isolation. She explained that she felt there had been attempts to brush over these events by the Saville enquiry and that the majority of all deaths in the troubles were committed at the hand of illegal terrorists.
Councillor Robinson referred to a quote from one of the soldiers involved who said that Bloody Sunday was a “job well done”. He felt this highlighted the attitude of the troops on the ground and the British Government. He commended the families involved and stated that although the ruling was momentous it did not bring closure for them. He stated that the British establishment should be accountable for the events which had occurred.