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Justice Delayed is Justice Denied – de Brún

1 February, 2009 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún speaking at the annual Bloody Sunday march in Derry today has said that 'justice delayed is justice denied'.

Ms de Brún said:

"I want to acknowledge and commend the steadfastness, commitment and courage of the Bloody Sunday families and of those wounded that terrible day, 37 years ago.

"Is iomaí constaic a cuireadh romhaibh ar an bhealach ar lorg na fírinne agus sibh ag iarraidh na héagóracha a rinneadh oraibh a chur ina gceart agus chuaigh sibh i ngleic leo le dínit.

"Beag beann ar na constaicí a cuireadh romhaibh - sheas sibh an fód go daingean diongbháilte.

"Throughout those years many people told you - indeed many people honestly believed - that the British government would never yield to your core demand that there should be an independent inquiry and that the injustice of the Widgery report be overturned and finally consigned to the waste bin of history.

"Therefore when Tony Blair, the then British Prime Minister, announced a new inquiry under Lord Saville, it seemed that all the years of closed ears, closed doors, hard work, lobbying, and campaigning, had been truly vindicated. But again you were met with obstruction and destruction of evidence by those who fear truth.

"The theme of this weekend's events and today's march is 'Justice Delayed - Justice Denied'. And given that it is now over 11 years since the announcement of the Inquiry and it is almost 4 years since the inquiry concluded taking evidence - you the families have again displayed tremendous patience while awaiting Saville's findings.

"The overwhelming body of evidence presented to the Inquiry confirms what all of us know - that British paratroopers under the control of the British government murdered 14 unarmed civil rights demonstrators and wounded and traumatised many others on their own streets in this city.

"The families accept that Saville had a large volume of evidence to consider but let him be mindful of the theme of today's march - Justice Delayed is Justice Denied. He must ensure that 2009 is the year that his report is published. He must also ensure that his report is delivered to the families at the same time as to the British Secretary of State.

"Go raibh 2009 ina bliain nuair a aithneoidh rialtas na Breataine, a bhfuil a chuid saighdiúirí freagrach as dúnmharú ar ár sráideanna, fírinne Dhomhnach na Fola.

"Many people here in Ireland and beyond take inspiration from the Bloody Sunday Justice Campaign led by you the families as a shining example of how to articulate your cause and campaign for the disclosure of the truth.

"Over the years the Bloody Sunday platform has been the launching pad for many other justice campaigns. From the Ballymurphy families to the Birmingham 6 and Guildford 4; to those who sought support for the campaign for political status in 1981, and many more relevant issues.

"The original march on January 30th 1972 called for an end to internment, civil rights, equal citizenship and justice.

"Today many people continue in their search for truth and they are entitled to it. Whether it be the Bloody Sunday Families, the families of Ballymurphy where 11 people were murdered in a 24 hour period by the Paras in August 1971 or any other families - they are entitled to the truth.

"Eames/Bradley produced the results of their deliberations on Wednesday last. Sinn Fein will now take the report and reflect on its proposals in consultation with victims and survivors organisations and the governments in the time ahead.

"I want to make specific mention of only one piece of its content today. Eames/Bradley is proposing the creation of a Legacy Commission appointed by the British government, to report to the British government who was a primary combatant in the conflict. This is not the independent and international commission, established by a reputable international body like the UN, that Sinn Fein and others believes is necessary to properly address this issue.

"Before concluding, let me say that it was magnificent to see the march providing a platform demonstrating support for a durable peace process in Palestine. The 'Sea of Flags' initiative representing over 1000 people killed as a direct result of Israel's bombardment and occupation of Gaza was an impressive demonstration of solidarity with the suffering people of Gaza.

"Justice Delayed, Justice Denied describes well the current situation in the Middle East.

"Justice demands an end to the blockade of Gaza. Justice demands an immediate opening of its frontiers to allow much needed humanitarian aid to reach those in need.

"Is ceart agus is cóir go rachaidh gach duine a raibh baint acu leis an choimhlint i mbun caibidlíochta chun bealach chun tosaigh a lorg atá idirbheartaithe.

"As an MEP I was a member of the Monitoring Commission overseeing the elections in the West Bank and Gaza. Those elections were open, fair and inclusive. Those who deny the people of Gaza the right to decide their democratically elected representatives are delaying a just and durable peace. Let us all continue in our efforts to ensure that that day will be realised soon.

"In conclusion can I thank the organisers of the Bloody Sunday weekend for their excellent work and once more pledge my party's support and solidarity to the families of the Bloody Sunday dead and wounded.

"Mar athrú ar na blianta a chuaigh romhainn tháinig an mórshiúl inniu chuig an áit ar cuireadh stop leis seacht mbliana is tríocha ó shin. Ar an bhliain seo chugainn cinntímis go rachaidh sé ar aghaidh chuig an cheann scríbe a bhí beartaithe don chéad mhórshiúl - Cearnóg an Ghildhalla.

"The pursuit of truth continues." ENDS

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