Families' long wait for the Bloody Sunday report

By Freya McClements
BBC News

Image caption,
The countdown to the Saville Report in Derry's Bogside in March 2010

When the Saville Inquiry into the army killings of 13 civilians on Bloody Sunday closed in 2004, the report was scheduled for publication in the spring of the following year.

The next five years would be a catalogue of delays and disappointments, as date after date came and went without the report.

After yet another postponement, at the end of 2009 a date was given.

The Saville Report was to be handed to the Northern Ireland Secretary of State on the week of the 22 March, 2010, but this was delayed first by legal checks, then the general election.

It will finally be published on Tuesday.

For the relatives of the victims, the long wait for the Saville report has been a frustrating and difficult journey.

All are agreed on one thing - if they get the truth, it'll be worth it.

"We have to hope that the truth always prevails," said Linda Roddy.

She was 13 when her brother William Nash was killed. Her father, Alex Nash, was shot and injured going to the aid of his son.

"My whole life has been spent with this, as have the lives of so many others.

"My father always blamed himself because he felt it was up to him as a parent to protect his son, so they took his life away.

"I'm angry at the delays to the report, but I also feel hope.

"I just hope we don't have to live to regret the decision to ever get involved in this inquiry," she said.

The Chairperson of the Bloody Sunday Trust, Eamonn McCann, said the delays prolonged the anxiety and stress on the families.

"It's been a very difficult process for the families, and nobody expected it to take so long.

"It's distressing to think that so many have died in the interim. There is only one parent of the victims left, and many of the survivors have died.

"Even the fact that their numbers are dwindling is reason enough to see the report published speedily and in an appropriate manner.

"They decided in 1972 that they would get the truth, and for many family members this has been the defining issue of their lives.

"They don't just deserve the truth, they need the truth."