Bloody Sunday Report: Londonderry MP chokes back tears as he reads out names of the dead

A NORTHERN Ireland MP fought back tears in the Commons yesterday as he read out the names of the 14 civilians who died after being shot on Bloody Sunday.

Mark Durkan, whose Foyle constituency includes Londonderry, said the publication of the long-awaited Saville Report came on a "day of deep emotion" for the city.

After David Cameron's apology on behalf of the country, Mr Durkan (Social Democratic and Labour Party) made a highly-charged speech, pausing often to regain his composure.

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Naming each of the people who died, including six 17-year-olds, he said: "Each and every one of those victims ... are all absolutely and totally exonerated by today's report, as are all of the wounded."

Choking back tears, he concluded: "Perhaps the most important and poignant words from today will not be heard here or on the airwaves.

"Relatives will stand at the graves of victims and their parents to tell of a travesty finally arrested, of evidence vindicated and of promises kept.

"And when they do so, they can invoke the civil rights anthem We Have Overcome. We have overcome this day."

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But on an emotionally-charged day in the Commons, an intervention by the Democratic Unionist Party the MP Rev William McCrea provided a reminder of the still open wounds from the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

He listed family members who had been murdered and said no one had ever been charged. "How do we get closure?" he asked. "How do we get justice and how do we get the truth?"

Fellow DUP MP Nigel Dodds said it was difficult to see how the inquiry report could lead to "closure and cleansing" if it was used "as a springboard for more years of agitation in terms of prosecutions over events that happened 38 years ago".

Mr Cameron said: "This is supposed to be something that will help by delivering the truth to help achieve closure."

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In the Lords, Tory Lord Trimble, the former Ulster Unionist leader and Stormont first minister, said: "It would be perverse if the events of Bloody Sunday were used to justify those unjustifiable events that Provisional IRA launched in the 1970s."


Established in 1998, Lord Saville's re-examination of Bloody Sunday is the longest and most expensive public inquiry in British history.

Chaired by Lord Mark Saville of Newdigate alongside judges William Hoyt, from Canada, and Australian John Toohey

Held at Guildhall, Derry and Central Hall at Westminster in London.

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In 2001 the Court of Appeal ruled that military witnesses did not have to travel to Northern Ireland in case their safety was put at risk.

The inquiry interviewed and received statements from around 2,500 people. Over 900 were called to give oral evidence.

160 volumes of data with an estimated 30 million words.