[Sinn Fein]

31ú Eanáir 2002

Bloody Sunday Commemorative debate

Sinn Fein chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin will this evening participate in a debate with Irish Times journalist Fintan O'Toole on the consequences of Bloody Sunday 30 years on. The debate will take place in the Uí Chaidhin room, Trinity College at 7.30pm.

Speaking before the debate Mr. McLaughlin said:

``On Jan 30th 1972 Derry and the world awakened to a new day just like so many others but for many families in Derry that day would change their lives forever.

``By teatime on that Sunday afternoon, 3 women would be widowed, 19 children would lose a father, 20 parents would lose a son, 99 siblings would lose a brother, a week later another child would be born, never to see his father and a few months later another woman would lose a husband to the tragic events of that day.

``In the years following the British government attempted to bury the truth behind the events of what has now become known as Bloody Sunday.

``Due to the courage and determined campaigning of the families with the undiminished support of the people of Derry and growing support throughout Ireland and the world, 26 years later, on January 29th 1998, Tony Blair was forced to announce the establishment of a new independent inquiry into the Bloody Sunday Deaths. The Saville Inquiry was eventually established.

``The 14 citizens of Derry were not the only casualty of that day 30 years ago. The Civil Rights Association also died that day on the streets of Derry.

``But what Bloody Sunday also highlighted was the need for Irish Independence based on equality and justice. 30 years after the terrible events of the 30th January 1972 the debate on how to achieve that goal must begin in earnest.'' ENDS

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