Thousands brave the rain to attend Bloody Sunday March for Justice

Sun, 29/01/2012 - 21:10 -- Editor

Several thousand people joined some of the Bloody Sunday families on their March for Justice today.

Despite torrential rain and freezing temperatures a massive crowd came out to mark the 40th anniversary of the murders.

The crowd were led by a woman carrying a simple floral wreath with the number 14 on it, to signify the 14 people who lost their lives that day. Behind her family members carried a banner which read March for Justice.

Behind the familes a line of people carried 14 small black flags to symbolise the people who were murdered that day. Patrick ('Paddy') Doherty (31), Gerald Donaghy (17), John ('Jackie') Duddy (17), Hugh Gilmour (17), Michael Kelly (17), Michael McDaid (20), Kevin McElhinney (17), Bernard ('Barney') McGuigan (41), Gerald McKinney (35), William ('Willie') McKinney (26), William Nash (19), James ('Jim') Wray (22), John Young (17) and John Johnston (59) who died from his injuries several months after the day.

Kate Nash, sister of William Nash spoke to the crowd first, telling them she was humbled and encouraged by the numbers of people who chose to come out and walk with them for justice. She restated the family's determination for justice for their loved ones and said that, although she was pleased that the British government stated what their family and everyone else already knew - that her brother was innocent - that the only conclusion she will accept is prosecution of her brother's killer.

She also spoke of Martin Corry and Marian Price, asking everyone who values human rights to unite in calling for their release. "Prison is punishment enough," she said. "Anything else is abuse."

She pledged to keep the Bloody Sunday March for Justice going until all victims of state violence got the justice they deserved. She sent a message to David Cameron which echoed his statement about the Bloody Sunday victims back in 2010. "Lack of justice is unjustified and unjustifiable," she said.

Next to speak was Liam Wray, who's brother James was gunned down on Bloody Sunday.

He told the crowd that the march was not a political gathering and that the families had unfinished business. He said that there were countless families across Northern Ireland still crying out for justice, for answers, for recognition and equality. He called for equality for all victims.

He asked why the politicians at Stormont had not pursued prosectution as a next step after the Bloody Sunday dead were declared by the British government to be innocent. He called for Gerald Donaghey's name to be completely cleared. "We will not suffer this stain on our family member," he said.

Kate Nash then paid tribute to Civil Rights activist Ivan Cooper who was gifted a Bloody Sunday banner and Paddy Nash led the crowd in a rendition of 'We Shall Overcome'.