So the Saville Report has finally arrived after 12 years and £195m. The responses to it suggest that justice has finally been done and people are ready to move on.
In 1972, I was a student in Dublin – living in Hatch Street above the appropriately-named Hatch Street Maternity Home. It was a dreadful time. I went on the huge march in Dublin which took place as the first funerals were held. I was in Merrion Square when the first of the attacks which led to the burning of the British Embassy took place.
At this distance, I find myself more and more often asking the ‘What if ?’ questions. So what if these killings had never happened? What if the Widgery Report had been less unsatisfactory as an account of what happened?
I fear that the reality is that the Bloody Sunday deaths were joined by many, many more .. as Bloody Sunday drove recuitment for the Provisional IRA, intensified and prolonged the conflict.