The British Government plans on releasing the controversial Bloody Sunday report on June 15.
The new Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Owen Paterson, said in Dublin Wednesday that the British Government had gone to great lengths to ensure that the report was released "in a sober and considered manner."
In a joint news conference with the Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheal Martin at Iveagh House in Dublin, both men said they were confident that the report would ring closure to the Bloody Sunday incident, in which 13 men were shot dead in Derry city on January 30, 1972.
“I said on day one that I wanted to see the Saville Inquiry report published as soon as possible. This report is 5,000 pages long, it has cost $280 million and I said I wanted it published in a manner that it was considered with the real seriousness that it deserved,’’ said Paterson.
“Although I went to Derry Guildhall and saw the families and two local MPs, Mark Durkan and Martin McGuinness last Thursday [and] I went through some detail with them, I’ve yet to see the soldiers and their representatives.
“But I have gone to great lengths and worked very closely with officials, we’ve looked at every possible angle, to make sure this report is published in a sober and considered manner.
British Prime Minister David Cameron will make a statement to parliament at 3.30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 15, and the report will be publicly made available after his statement.
Paterson said that no effort was spared in the inquiry, and that politicians will be given the summer to review the report before a return to parliament in October or November.
“And we then propose to allow everyone to read it through the summer and then to return to parliament sometime in the autumn, probably end of October/early November, and have a full day’s adjournment debate to give it the serious consideration that it deserves,” he added.
"It’s hard to think that a government could have gone to greater lengths to try to get to the bottom of this tragic event than to spend this enormous sum of money [and] I think 20 to 30 million words being bandied around as the volume of evidence.”
Martin commended the work done by Paterson and his predecessor Shaun Woodward with the families of the Bloody Sunday victims.
“There has been very detailed work by Owen and indeed by his predecessor Shaun Woodward with the families and with the public representatives who have been working with the families. This has been a major piece of work in itself and it will require detailed and considered reflection, given the enormity of the publication.
“And I think, at the time of publication, it’s important that people would give it that detailed consideration and reflect significantly on the content of the report so that there wouldn’t be immediate rushes to judgment but that people would give it the consideration it requires, given the length of time that it has taken and the enormous inputs from all sides.”
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