Like all imperial crimes, the British occupation of Ireland has been built on mass murder and countless lies. Well, reality has finally caught up with one of them: all of the Irish victims massacred by members of the 1st Battalion of the British Parachute Regiment on “Bloody Sunday” 38 years ago were innocent and unarmed.
What’s more, “many of the soldiers involved ‘knowingly put forward false accounts in order to seek to justify their firing,’” the newly released Bloody Sunday Inquiry Report finds. Will the murderers, who lied to cover up their crimes, be prosecuted? Or will the incident just go down as another example of collateral damage in the service of empire?
The Prime Minister has apologized. Good start. But in 1972, he was six years old. Queen Elizabeth, on the other hand, was 46, and had already been on the throne for twenty years. Will she go to Derry (forget the Buckingham Palace photo-op, please) and apologize personally to the families of the victims on the ground where her troops shot them down? Or will all be forgiven — and forgotten — because they were “just following orders”?
Update: from a commentary on the report: “In Saxon times, the only offence that carried the automatic sentence of death was debasement of the currency.”11:59 am on June 15, 2010 Email Christopher Manion