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Truth must be told about IRA actions on Bloody Sunday - Beattie

Ulster Unionist Justice Spokesperson Doug Beattie MC MLA, has welcomed the news that the Police have passed a file to the PPS relating to the activities of the IRA in Londonderry on Bloody Sunday.  

Doug Beattie MC said:

“The news that the PSNI has reported a former Official IRA member to the Public Prosecution Service and is preparing a file on a second member due to their activities on Bloody Sunday, shows that there is another narrative to that day.

“Bloody Sunday was one of the darkest days of Northern Ireland’s recent history and up until now there has been a single narrative around the events of that day which led to an acknowledgment by David Cameron, the then Prime Minister, where he said the actions of British soldiers were wrong. 

“What seemed to get lost was the fact that in the six months leading up to Bloody Sunday the IRA murdered six soldiers and two RUC officers in Londonderry, and indeed on Bloody Sunday itself, another soldier died of injuries sustained in an attack in the city four months previously.

“This nails the myth that the Troubles somehow began with the events of that tragic day.  

“It is worth noting that investigations by the PSNI Legacy Investigations Branch (LIB) have shown that not only was the IRA active on that day, but the actions of its members helped to create the situation that left 13 innocent people dead. Martin McGuinness, feted in death, was in life one of those who ignited a volatile situation. 

“The Saville Report found that that shortly after the first two civilians were shot, members of the Official IRA fired a rifle at soldiers near where the march was taking place. Saville also found that Martin McGuinness had engaged in paramilitary activity during the day and that he was ‘probably armed with a Thompson sub-machine gun.’

“The families deserve all the truth and at the moment Sinn Fein - the holders of the IRA archive and institutional memory - know the truth. It is time they stood up and explained exactly what the IRA’s real role was during the events of that day. It is time they acknowledged the actions of IRA members on that day were wrong, and as they call for British soldiers to be charged, so too they need to call for those IRA members to be charged as well. 

“However, experience has shown us that Sinn Fein’s notion of equality in Northern Ireland flows one way. When it comes to the actions of the Police, the Army or the State, then Sinn Fein demand inquiries, investigations and legacy inquests galore. But strangely enough, when it comes to the actions of the IRA, Sinn Fein just want us to forget about it for the sake of the peace process.”

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