Derry Journal

Adding Insult To Injury

Friday 21st January 2005

Bloody Sunday was an offence against this community that has left a legacy of hurt and bitterness that still reverberates until this day.

When the new inquiry was established many people hoped that at last the relatives of the dead and injured and the wider Derry community could begin the healing process so vital if this community is to move on.

However, the decision this week to jail 'Ducksie' Doherty for refusing to talk to the Inquiry could lead to a serious loss of confidence in the Inquiry and subsequently its conclusions.

Mr. Doherty who is adamant that he was not present on Bloody Sunday, felt that he had no evidence to contribute to the Inquiry.

When the Inquiry persisted in asking him to give evidence he agreed to meet with them to see why they were so interested in speaking to him and discovered that they wanted to question him about allegations made by an informer.

Mr. Doherty decided that these allegations were not worth responding to and so he did not attend the Inquiry.

It is scandalous that the first person and very possibly the only person to see the inside of a prison cell because of Bloody Sunday is a Derry republican.

Many British soldiers went to the Inquiry but simply did not answer any questions put to them yet nothing was done about that.

Former British Prime Minister Edward Heath hid behind a poor memory to avoid answering awkward questions yet nothing was done about that.

'Ducksie' Doherty did not co-operate because he had nothing to say and he is jailed.

The British government have the power to release Mr. Doherty and they should do so immediately. the Irish government for their part should do all in their power to lobby for Mr. Doherty's immediate release.

The continued imprisonment of Mr. Doherty is adding insult to injury and if the bloody Sunday inquiry wants to retain its credibility it should take steps to end this scandalous state of affairs.

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