3 December 2008
Press Notice No 1
Bloody Sunday Inquiry
The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee has expressed disappointment that Lord Saville has declined an invitation to give it evidence on why the final report of the 10-year-long Bloody Sunday Inquiry has been delayed a further year.
Lord Saville wrote: “I understand from your letter that the purpose would be to examine reasons for the delay recently announced in the final publication of the inquiry’s report and the continuing costs arising therefrom.
“You inform me that the Committee would not wish in any way to inquire into the details of the inquiry itself and that it is fully aware that it would be inappropriate to seek to do so. However, without going into such details it would not be possible for me to say more to the Committee than I have already said publicly, namely that this has been an inquiry involving nearly two thousand five hundred witnesses and tens of thousands of documents; and that the Tribunal are determined to deal fairly, accurately and thoroughly with all the many issues to which it has given rise, as they are sure Parliament intended when setting up the inquiry.
“In these circumstances I regret to say that I must decline the invitation.”
Sir Patrick Cormack MP, Chairman of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, commented: “While I am disappointed that Lord Saville did not feel able to appear before the Committee, I am grateful for his response and respect his position. I must make it very plain, however, that the Committee is extremely disappointed and concerned at this further delay and the consequential costs, and at the inevitable worry that gives to many people. We sincerely hope that this will be the last delay and that the inquiry’s report will be published before the end of 2009.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. 14 people died on ‘Bloody Sunday’, 30 January 1972, in Londonderry, 13 during a civil rights demonstration, and one later from injuries received. The Bloody Sunday Inquiry was set up by the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and it opened on 3 April 1998.
Committee Membership is as follows: Sir Patrick Cormack MP (Chairman) (Conservative, South Staffordshire), Mr David Anderson MP (Labour, Blaydon), Rosie Cooper MP (Labour, West Lancashire), Mr Christopher Fraser MP (Conservative, South West Norfolk), Mr John Grogan MP (Labour, Selby), Mr Stephen Hepburn MP (Labour, Jarrow), Lady Hermon MP (Ulster Unionist Party, North Down), Kate Hoey MP (Labour, Vauxhall), Dr Alasdair McDonnell MP (SDLP, Belfast South), Mr Denis Murphy MP (Labour, Wansbeck), Stephen Pound MP (Labour, Ealing North), Mrs Iris Robinson MP (Democratic Unionist Party, Strangford), David Simpson MP (Democratic Unionist Party, Upper Bann).
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