It took nearly forty years for the families of Bloody Sunday (Derry, January 1972) to get at least a measure of Justice.
And yet it happened in the full glare of the Media.
Of course nobody will ever be brought before the Courts. Those Paras will never go to jail. There is a trade-off. Nobody…British Government, IRA, Loyalists will be going to jail for anything.
We tacitly accepted that in 1998 when we voted YES in the Referendum on the Good Friday Agreement. We kidded ourselves that Victims would not be forgotten.
Actually they have not been forgotten. They have been marginalised and ignored.
The Peace Process is too important …we are told.
A few months before Bloody Sunday, another massacre occurred. In Ballymurphy where I lived. I saw it happen…or at least some of it.
Internment had been introduced in the early hours of 9th August 1971 and that night, all hell broke lose.
John and Brid (in the photograph) search for Justice for their family members. They have support from SDLP and other groups but its a long hard fight. The Truth IS known. The Community needs the Truth to be acknowledged. But really the British Government has been digging in.
The second worst feeling is KNOWING what happened. Look at the second photograph… at #8 and #9….thats a few metres from where I was living.
But there is actually a worse feeling. I was 19 years old and we had all seen the situation deteriorate thru 1971…but the memories of that few days wont go away. It changed me as a person….it made me fear and it made me hate. And I resent being afraid. And I resent that I hated….and I resent that I cannot fully get over it.
Nobody has the right to come into my life…uninvited…and change me.
The Truth will set me free? Well like I say…I know the Truth and so do the British Government. So its really only a question of the Truth being acknowledged.
The real victims here are John and Brid. Their family members were murdered and routinely slandered for forty years.