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

30 January 2022, 12:52 | Updated: 30 January 2022, 13:07

By Seán Hickey

The chair of the public inquiry into the Bloody Sunday attack believes government's intentions to grant amnesty to Northern Ireland veterans is an 'undoubtedly good' intention.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Sunday 30 January marks the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, where British soldiers shot and killed 13 civil rights protesters and injured many more. None were armed.

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

Lord Mark Saville was the chair of the independent public inquiry into the atrocity, which found that British Army killings of people in Derry on the day were completely unjustified. He spoke to Tom Swarbrick on the matter, when Tom asked what his view was on the government's plans to grant amnesty to soldiers who served during the Troubles.

He pointed out that the public inquiry was not a criminal court, but "whether there is sufficient admissible evidence to justify criminal proceedings" is another question.

Lord Saville added that Soldier F, an unnamed veteran who was implicated as taking part in the Bloody Sunday killings, wasn't pursued for such reasons.

Read more: Irish Deputy PM criticises Boris Johnson's veteran prosecution pledge

Read more: Mark Francois Slams Jeremy Hunt For Equating British Army Veterans And IRA

Tom wondered if Lord Saville felt "discomfort" around arguments for granting amnesty, making the case that people argue the Bloody Sunday atrocities were "a long time ago" and a line should be drawn.

"It's a very difficult question to decide between seeking justice where there are allegations of murder on the one hand, and chasing people down the decades when any prosecution should have taken place long ago, on the other", he declared.

"What do you think of the manner in which the current British government are making those decisions?" Tom pushed.

"I don't know the whole of their thinking, the idea behind it is undoubtedly good which is to try and draw a line under those terrible Troubles."

"Whether that is in fact the correct thing to do is difficult for me to say because I'm not privy to all the information", he concluded.

More Tom Swarbrick

See more More Tom Swarbrick

'Boris Johnson is Boris Johnson': Minister defends PM after pledge not to change

'Boris Johnson is Boris Johnson': Minister defends PM after pledge not to change

Swarbrick On Sunday 18/07

Swarbrick On Sunday 26/6 | Watch again

RMT boss declares rail strikes are 'absolutely' a class struggle

RMT boss declares rail strikes are 'absolutely' a class struggle

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch defended the union's strike action this week.

Train strikes until Xmas! Millions face travel misery as rail unions demand 7% pay hike

Worst 'yet to come' for food price rises that could last over a year - Ex-Sainsbury's CEO

Worst 'yet to come' for food price rises that could last over a year - Ex-Sainsbury's CEO

Swarbrick On Sunday 18/07

Swarbrick On Sunday 19/6 | Watch again

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch defended the union's strike action this week.

Rail workers demand 7% raise as union 'gunning' for strike set to bring misery to millions

UK to take 'most vulnerable' refugees from Rwanda under deal, says scheme's negotiator

UK to take 'most vulnerable' refugees from Rwanda under deal, says scheme's negotiator

Swarbrick On Sunday 18/07

Swarbrick On Sunday 12/6 | Watch again

Jailed geologist's 15-year prison term is 'worse than a death sentence', say son-in-law

Geologist's 15-year prison term in Iraq 'worse than death sentence', says son-in-law

Queen could block Boris Johnson calling General Election, expert tells LBC

Queen could block Boris Johnson calling General Election, expert tells LBC

Sadiq Khan: Platinum Jubilee is the 'catalyst' for English economic recovery

Sadiq Khan: Platinum Jubilee is the 'catalyst' for English economic recovery

'The City of London is a major drain on productive economic activity in Britain'

'The City of London is a major drain on productive economic activity in Britain'

Swarbrick On Sunday 18/07

Swarbrick On Sunday 29/05 | Watch again

'Nonsense' to suggest Brexit to blame for surge in inflation, says Dr Liam Fox

'Nonsense' to suggest Brexit to blame for surge in inflation, says Tory MP

Turkey could block Sweden and Finland from joining NATO claims Erdogan ally

Turkey could block Sweden and Finland from joining NATO, claims ex-Erdogan aide