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After 38 years of Bloody Sunday happened in 1972 in Derry, Northern Ireland, today the Saville Report was published and the Prime Minister David Cameron officially apologized in the House of Commons for the British army’s actions. As sung in U2’s 1982 hit “Sunday Bloody Sunday“, this incident took place on January 30, 1972, and twenty-six unarmed civil rights protesters or bystanders were shot by the British Army during a Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association march; 14 of them, 7 of them were teenagers, lost their lives as a result. Widgery Tribunal held just after the event, but it largely cleared the soldiers and British government and was criticized as a whitewash. In 1998, the Saville Inquiry chaired by Lord Saville of Newdigate established to review the events, and after spending 12 years and £192 million, the 5000-page report was finally made public today on June 15. The report determines that the unarmed protesters who died were innocent: there was no warning before the shooting and none of the casualties was posing a threat or doing anything that would justify the firing; some of those killed or injured were clearly fleeing or going to help those injured or dying; and many of the soldiers lied about their actions. The prime minister called that the actions of the Army were “unjustifiable and unjustified”, and said he was “deeply sorry” on behalf of the Government and the country.
Why it took so long to reveal the truth? It is also criticized that huge sum of public money has been spent for the investigation (British media tend to be very sensitive about public spending).
As the name of the country “The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” suggests, UK consists of four ‘countries’; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It is considered that England is the Anglo-Saxons, while other three countries are Celtic with their own languages and strong cultural identities. Things may not be so straightforward and is more complicated, but as EU becomes border-less and more united, why don’t these ‘countries’ become literally independent – so that they won’t fight nor talk bad about each other anymore!