Bloody Sunday findings hit by new delay

A new delay has been announced in the publication of the findings into the £200m (€222m) Bloody Sunday Inquiry.

Lord Saville’s findings will not now be ready until next March, more than six years after the marathon probe ended into the January 1972 shootings in Derry.

Downing Street had been expected to take delivery of the report later this year - Christmas at the latest.

But Northern Ireland Secretary Shaun Woodward has now been told it will not be ready until March 22 next year.

Relatives of the victims expressed disbelief at the new hold up and a clearly exasperated Mr Woodward said he was concerned by the delay.

He added: “I am concerned at the impact on the families of those who lost loved ones and those who were injured. I am equally concerned at the increased anxiety that soldiers serving on the day will suffer.”

Thirteen men were shot dead when British Paratroopers opened fire on civil rights marchers in the city's Bogside. A 14th man, who was among the wounded, died later in hospital.

The Saville Inquiry, which sat mostly in Derry’s Guildhall, but also in London, effectively ended in 2004, though three witnesses were heard later.

The first witness gave evidence in November 2000.

The inquiry was set up by the then British Prime Minister Tony Blair in January 1998 as a major concession to nationalists and republicans as part of the developing peace process.

But the length of time it took to complete, and especially the costs involved – they currently stand at £188m (€208.6m) – has been subject of fierce criticism among Unionist and Conservative MPs.

Tonight’s confirmation of yet another delay in publication of the report infuriated relatives of the victims.

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