#OTD in 2010 – David Cameron issues a formal, state apology for the “unjustified and unjustifiable” killing of 14 civil rights marchers by British soldiers on Bloody Sunday in Derry in 1972.

Prior to the publication of the Saville Report, thousands of people converge at the Bloody Sunday Memorial to walk to the Guildhall; symbolically completing the march which was prevented from reaching its destination in 1972.

Results of Bloody Sunday Inquiry under the aegis of Lord Saville are published twelve years after it was established by Prime Minister Tony Blair. The hard-hitting findings made a mockery of the Widgery Tribunal whitewash of 1972 and elicited a historic apology from Prime Minister David Cameron in the House of Commons.

Saville’s core finding (Volume I Chapter 5) found “The firing by soldiers of one PARA on Bloody Sunday caused the deaths of 13 people and injury to a similar number, none of whom was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury.”

Saville went on to state “What happened on Bloody Sunday strengthened the Provisional IRA, increased nationalist resentment and hostility towards the Army and exacerbated the violent conflict of the years that followed. Bloody Sunday was a tragedy for the bereaved and the wounded, and a catastrophe for the people of Northern Ireland.”

The terrible events of Bloody Sunday were further exacerbated some months later when a patently absurd whitewash of the paratroopers conduct was delivered following the Widgery Report which proved to be the final nail in the hopes of moderate nationalists that justice would be seen to be done.

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