The fact that representatives of the biggest Nationalist party in the North travelled to Belfast to greet the commander in chief of the Parachute Regiment has come as a bomb-shell to many citizens of Derry — to members of the Bloody Sunday families in particular.
It is astonishing that this should have happened within 24 hours of the families’ hopes of justice being dashed yet again. With just one exception, all of the members of Prince Charles’s regiment who took part in the Bloody Sunday massacre are to be let off the hook. At least, that’s the British establishment’s plan.
What has happened is a demeaning betrayal. We march for the truth for 50 years, then the leader of the liars is made welcome in our midst!
The Ballymurphy families will know what we mean.
If the lies were over, if Prince Charles and other military commanders were at last to tell the truth and say sorry, he might be entitled to a little bit of respect. But he doesn’t have any respect for the people of Derry or for the Bloody Sunday dead.
Prince Charles’ role in the Parachute Regiment isn’t ceremonial. The paras don’t do ceremony. There was nothing ceremonial about what happened around Rossville Street, Glenfada Park, Joseph’s Place, etc.
Murder was done in the name of the State which Prince Charles is heir to. To shake his hand while the bereaved are still hurting is to bring shame on the city.
The march towards truth and justice will continue for as long as it takes.