Murder inquiry after 40 years into Bloody Sunday killings by British soldiers
Fourteen died after civil rights marchers were shot dead by Parachute Regiment
Forty years after the day that shook the North, police are preparing to open a murder inquiry into the Bloody Sunday killings in Derry.
The inquiry has been delayed because the resources are not available for the four-year investigation, a senior Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) officers told Breakingnews.ie.
The new inquiry will be conducted in the aftermath of the Saville Inquiry, which found that civil rights demonstrators shot dead by British soldiers in Derry were innocent.
The PSNI told the press that the new inquiry will require a team of 30 and extra specialist resources.
Chief Constable Matt Baggott told Breakingnews.ie: 'I do not think anywhere else in the world is facing the challenges of organized crime, paramilitary activity, alongside having to deal with 30 years of misery in such a way.'
On January 30, 1972 thirteen innocent people were shot dead when British soldiers opened fire after a civil rights march in Derry. A fourteenth man died five months later.
The report compiled by Lord Saville was unequivocal, it blamed the British Army for the events of Bloody Sunday.
Among the principle findings were:
No warning had been given to any civilians before the soldiers opened fire
None of the soldiers fired in response to attacks by petrol bombers or stone throwers
Some of those killed or injured were clearly fleeing or going to help those injured or dying
None of the casualties was posing a threat or doing anything that would justify their shooting
Many of the soldiers lied about their actions
Martin McGuinness was present at the time of the violence and 'probably armed with a sub-machine gun' but did not engage in 'any activity that provided any of the soldiers with any justification for opening fire.'
Constable Baggott agreed that the matters contained in the Saville report should be investigated, but he asked what the consequences were for keeping people safe now if detectives were diverted from today’s crimes?
'I cannot ask the people doing this to take on a whole raft of other tasks which may be serious by themselves,' he reportedly told the Policing Board in Belfast.
Assistant Chief Constable Drew Harris said the matter would need to be brought to the Policing Board which oversees policing in the North to assess priorities.
Constable Baggott added that material in the Saville report is excluded from criminal proceedings so any investigation would be effectively starting from scratch.
Constable Harris said: 'That will be a large investigation obviously and setting aside the resources to properly start that and take that forward is a corporate issue which is under investigation at this time.'
Harris added: 'The special resources required for this scale of investigation are just not available at this moment to commence an investigation of this scale and length of time. It is an undertaking which will take perhaps three to four years.'
Sinn Féin North Belfast Assembly member Gerry Kelly told Breakingnews.i.e. that it was a huge issue for the Bloody Sunday families and he was worried that police will not move it forward at the pace that is necessary.
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