38 years on after a £195 million 12 year inquiry, Lord Saville’s results were finally published today finding that:
“None of the casualties shot by soldiers of Support Company was armed with a firearm or (with the probable exception of Gerald Donaghey) a bomb of any description. None was posing any threat of causing death or serious injury. In no case was any warning given before soldiers opened fire.
“None of the casualties was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury, or indeed was doing anything else that could on any view justify their shooting.”
David Cameron has called the killings “unjustified and unjustifiable”. Much will be written, many opinions are now being given by those more eloquent than this child of the troubles, and by those who suffered loss on both ‘sides’. Perhaps today will mark another watershed in the complex history of Northern Ireland. Our only hope for the future is one of forgiveness, or at least a willingness to draw a line and choose to work together for a shared future. Much in the way one relative of one of those killed bravely said that he was happy it was finally over, and that he wasn’t interested in seeing any of the soldiers involved go to prison.
Watching one version of events tonight, Bloody Sunday with U2’s song as its theme reminded me of the poignant version of the song from Rattle and Hum on the day of the Enniskillen Bomb, a song that finishes with the hope of the resurrection.
UPDATE – Bono gives his view on events in a New York Times Op-Ed.