Bloody Sunday annivserary march to go ahead in Derry

Civil rights march, Bloody Sunday

The organisers of a march to mark the 40th anniversary of Bloody Sunday have defended their decision to stage the event.

Most of the families of the 14 people who were killed on Bloody Sunday in 1972 said they will not take part.

Vinny Coyle, from the Civil Rights Veteran's Association, said he believed the decision to have the march was the right one.

"Justice didn't go away with the end of the Saville Inquiry," he said.

Mr Coyle said the association would also be calling on the British government to set up an international truth and reconciliation forum.

"There will be a huge amount of support for this, because injustice is still going on.

Disregarded and disrespected

"We would love all the families to be there but if they choose not to go, that's their choice," he said.

But some family representatives said that many relatives felt "disregarded and disrespected".

Tony Doherty, whose father was killed on Bloody Sunday, criticised those behind the proposal.

"They have no moral authority, no mandate, no right and have disrespected our views which were publicly aired in the run up to the 39th anniversary," he said.

John Kelly, who lost his brother, accused the organisers of trying to "hijack" the march for their own use.

"I would say to these people to hold this event on another date, and we will march with you then," he said.

"I personally rang most of the families and they do not want to know, they have made their decision and they will not go back on it."

A meeting will be held on Friday at 20:00 GMT in the Pilots Row Centre.

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