Bloody Sunday eyewitness demands justice for victims of atrocities

30 January 2022, 14:22

Bloody Sunday eyewitness shares impact of atrocities on his life

By Seán Hickey

This eyewitness to the atrocities of Bloody Sunday drives home the need for justice for the families affected.

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Andrew Pierce was joined by author and Bloody Sunday eyewitness Eamonn Lynch on the 50th anniversary of the atrocities.

On 30 January 1972, British soldiers opened fire on civil rights protesters in the city of Derry, Northern Ireland. 13 British citizens were shot dead on the day, with many more injured.

Read more: Bloody Sunday amnesty could 'draw a line' under atrocities, Lord Saville suggests

The Saville Inquiry into the events of Bloody Sunday found that there was no justification for soldiers to shoot protesters on the day. Andrew wondered how the events of the horrific day impacted Mr Lynch.

"From Bloody Sunday on I became an active Republican" he told Andrew. He added that he had been interned for 13 months, only to be released from prison when the practice was abolished. Internment was a government policy during the Troubles which allowed security services to detain people without trial or reason.

Read more: Bloody Sunday: Families hold remembrance walk for those killed on 50th anniversary

Eamonn Lynch recounts steps on Bloody Sunday

"Words like British justice to me were like an oxymoron, because I had watched it on my own street", Mr Lynch went on.

He went on to describe the playing down of events, reminding Andrew that "the British public did not know what happened on our streets" until the Saville Inquiry some 40 years later.

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The author admitted that he will "always have a difficulty in accepting" justice following the events of that day.

Andrew asked him whether David Cameron's apology went any way to reconciliation. Mr Lynch insisted that whilst it was wecome, it "didn't bring justice" to victims.

"Until there is some element of justice, the sore of Bloody Sunday will probably always remain."