County Derry: British Government To Payout Over Bloddy Sunday Killings

22 Sep

BREAKING NEWS UPDATE:

and agencies, guardian.co.uk, Article history

Jimmy Duddy, nephew of one of the Bloody Sunday victims, John Johnston
Jimmy Duddy, nephew of one of the Bloody Sunday victims, John Johnston, touches his uncle’s gravestone in the City Cemetery, Derry. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA

The victims: profiles of 14 people who died

The British government is to pay compensation to families of those killed or wounded on Bloody Sunday, the Ministry of Defence announced on Thursday.

More than a year after David Cameron apologised to the victims and described the 1972 Derry shootings as “unjustified and unjustifiable”, the Ministry of Defence has said it is in contact with the lawyers of victims’ relatives and is preparing to make amends where required.

“We acknowledge the pain felt by these families for nearly 40 years, and that members of the armed forces acted wrongly. For that, the government is deeply sorry,” said an MoD spokesman. “We are in contact with the families’ solicitors and where there is a legal liability to pay compensation we will do so.”

Thirteen unarmed civilians died in the Bloody Sunday shootings, when paratroopers opened fire during a civil rights protest in the Bogside area of Derry in January 1972. A 14th man died of his wounds several months later.

An initial inquiry absolved the soldiers and the government of much of the blame, and in 1974 the MoD made a series of mostly small payments without accepting any responsibility. But last year’s Saville inquiry, which was 12 years in the making, came to the unequivocal conclusion that the killings had been unjustified.

“We found no instances where it appeared to us that soldiers either were or might have been justified in firing,” it said.

“Despite the contrary evidence given by soldiers, we have concluded that none of them fired in response to attacks or threatened attacks by nail or petrol bombers. No one threw or threatened to throw a nail or petrol bomb at the soldiers on Bloody Sunday.”

According to the BBC, the move to pay compensation comes after lawyers for most of the families wrote to the prime minister asking what steps he would take to “fully compensate” them for “the loss of their loved ones, the wounding of others, and the shameful allegations which besmirched their good name for many years.”

It is not yet clear who exactly will be compensated, and by how much, as many of those directly affected by the shootings have since died, and it is not known whether more distant relatives will make claims.

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The British govt is to pay compensation to the families of those killed and wounded on Bloody Sunday.

 
 MoD wants issue of compensation resolved

MoD wants issue of compensation resolved
 
Morning Ireland: Tommie Gorman looks at reports of compensation for Bloody Sunday victims
 
The British government is to pay compensation to the families of those killed and wounded on Bloody Sunday.

The development was reported by BBC’s Radio Foyle in Derry this morning.

After the publication of the Saville Report last year, the British Prime Minister described what happened in the Bogside in 1972 as both unjustified and unjustifiable.

Lawyers representing families of many of those involved in the Bloody Sunday campaign wrote to David Cameron about the issue of compensation.

Britain’s Ministry of Defence has replied to the lawyers, saying it wants to resolve the compensation question as quickly as possible.

Keywords:  bloody sunday, saville, britain, derry

Compensation will be paid to families of those killed and wounded on Bloody Sunday, the Government has announced.

“We acknowledge the pain felt by these families for nearly 40 years, and that members of the Armed Forces,” said a Ministry of Defence spokesman.

“For that, the Government is deeply sorry. We are in contact with the families’ solicitors and where there is a legal liability to pay compensation we will do so.”

NEWS UPDATE:

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s defense ministry says it is prepared to pay compensation to relatives of 13 Irish demonstrators shot to death in 1972 by British troops.

The ministry said on Thursday it was in contact with lawyers acting for the families of those killed during a protest in the Northern Ireland town of Londonderry, an outrage that became known as “Bloody Sunday.”

A 12-year-long investigation ruled in 2010 that British soldiers had been entirely to blame for the slaughter. Prime Minister David Cameron said the report had proven the deaths had been “unjustified and unjustifiable.”

The Bloody Sunday Inquiry, authorized by Britain’s government in 1998, was seen as a key step to heal wounds left from Northern Ireland’s four-decade conflict that left 3,700 dead.

British govt lawyers get Saville report

Thousands join final Bloody Sunday march

Bloody Sunday relatives call for prosecutions

Bloody Sunday relatives seek legal advice

Saville: Bloody Sunday killings unjustifiable

More to follow…

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