Tánaiste: Today is another traumatising day for the people of Derry

By Eoin English
Irish Examiner Reporter

The Tánaiste says his thoughts are with the families of those killed in Derry on Bloody Sunday following today's decision to charge just one soldier from the Parachute Regiment in relation to the two of the deaths.

Simon Coveney said the families of the victims have been very dignified while understandably disappointed following the decision of the UK's Public Prosecution Service.

Speaking in Cork today, Mr Coveney said: "This is another traumatising and difficult day for the people of Derry and the decisions today don’t change the facts as they were outlined in the Saville Inquiry which found that nobody who was killed that day was guilty of anything," he said.

They were all innocent victims who posed no threat to anybody – none of that changes – what today was about was whether the public prosecution service had sufficient evidence to secure a conviction and they had made a decision to prosecute one individual in that regard for the murder of two people and the attempted murder of another four.

"I know that for the families, this is a difficult day, another difficult day and as I say, our thoughts are with them."

He said he understood the disappointment of the families of those killed on the Bogside .

But he stressed again that just because a prosecution is not being taken, it doesn’t mean crimes were not committed.

"That simply means there wasn’t sufficient evidence to secure a conviction – the families have been very dignified today albeit expressing disappointment and understandably so but I think the facts are still there and clear and the record will show and the fact that a prosecution will now take place I think reinforces certainly some of the facts that have been outlined in the Saville Inquiry."

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