NPR logo Inquiry Exonerates 'Bloody Sunday' Protesters, Faults British Army Soldiers


Inquiry Exonerates 'Bloody Sunday' Protesters, Faults British Army Soldiers

Earlier today, David Cameron, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, released the results of The Bloody Sunday Inquiry, chaired by the Rt. Hon. Lord Saville of Newdigate.

The 12-year investigation examined "a definite matter of urgent public importance, namely the events on Sunday 30th January 1972 which led to loss of life in connection with the procession in Londonderry on that day."

On January 30, 1972, British soldiers killed 13 Catholic demonstrators in Northern Ireland.

According to Larry Miller, reporting for NPR, the report, which is 5,000 pages long, concluded the British Army alone was at fault, officially exonerating the protesters who lost their lives.

"What happened on Bloody Sunday was both unjustified and unjustifiable," Cameron said. "It was wrong."

In Parliament, the prime minister apologized on behalf of the government and Britain, and said the soldiers who took part in the massacre lied when they said they were attacked by Irish Republican Army (IRA) gunmen.

"The conclusions of this report are absolutely clear," Cameron said. "There is no doubt. There is nothing equivocal, there are no ambiguities."

These are shocking conclusions to read and shocking words to have to say. But you do not defend the British army by defending the indefensible.

The investigation, which was commissioned by Tony Blair, cost around $300 million, and called more than 900 witnesses.