Lawyer Michael Mansfield QC, who represented the families of some of the victims of Bloody Sunday, has said that those soldiers who submitted fraudulent accounts of events should be charged with perjury.
The Saville Inquiry found the members of the British Parachute Regiment “knowingly put forward false accounts”. They attempted to justify firing on unarmed civil rights activists.
Mansfield said, “I do think, given the strength and clarity of the conclusions, where invented stories or falsehoods were told, that the Director of Public Prosecutions, either here in Northern Ireland or in London, should consider whether it is so serious - because the rule of law has been flagrantly breached on this occasion by a number of soldiers on a number of UK citizens - that consideration should be given to a prosecution.”
The report found that “Despite the contrary evidence given by soldiers, we have concluded that none of them fired in response to attacks or threatened attacks by nail or petrol bombers. No one threw or threatened to throw a nail or petrol bomb at the soldiers on Bloody Sunday.”
On Wednesday Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Brian Cowen met with the relatives of those killed on Bloody Sunday. Members of the McKinney, Duddy, Nash and Young met with the Taoiseach to present him with an original copy of the Saville report. Mickey McKinney’s 27-year-old brother Roy was among those shot dead by British paratroopers.
He said, "Somebody has to be held to account for what happened on Bloody Sunday." The Public Prosecution Services will pass a judgment on whether to prosecute any individuals. Their decision is not expected for some time. Northern Ireland’s First Minister Peter Robinson has also come forward saying that all wrongdoings should be put on public record.
He said, “We can’t expect the truth to be told and then not be prepared to tell it yourself…There’s a requirement from all of the paramilitary organizations to ’fess up and indicate the roles that they played.” He accepted the findings of the Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday and hoped that it will bring some closure for the families of its victims. He also said that it was now time for everybody to come clean.