Northern Ireland

Family says 'Exchequer got off light' with Saville

Saville
Image caption Lord Saville gives evidence to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee

The son of a man killed on Bloody Sunday has said 'the Exchequer got off quite light' when it spent £200m on the Saville Inquiry.

Tony Doherty was reacting to Lord Saville's evidence to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee on Wednesday.

Lord Saville, who led the inquiry, defended the length of time it took and the cost to the taxpayer.

However, the East Londonderry DUP MP Gregory Campbell said Lord Saville should have shown 'a little regret'.

"I listened with incredulity to Lord Saville, but I suppose when you run up the biggest legal bill in British legal history and the longest public inquiry in British legal history, you have to try to justify it in some way," he added.

"What we could have had from Lord Saville, and unfortunately we still don't have it, is an explanation as to why the inquiry, with all its bloated expenditure, didn't examine why the soldiers were in the Bogside in the first place."

Tony Doherty, whose father Patrick was killed on Bloody Sunday, said that he believed lawyers were paid too much in general, but that the Saville Inquiry was no different to any other inquiry in that regard.

"We couldn't give a damn how much money was spent because, as far as we are concerned, had the events of Bloody Sunday not been covered over in the Widgery Inquiry in 1972, there wouldn't have been a need to spend a further penny.

"£200m was spent on the Bloody Sunday Inquiry into the deaths of 14 innocent people and over a dozen wounded by gunfire. If you look at the Billy Wright Inquiry into a man who was considered to be a mass murderer himself that actually cost £30m. So, if you compare that, I think the Exchequer got off quite light in terms of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry," he said.

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