Lough Derg: the spirit of a holy place

IMAGE Wednesday, 04 April 2012
A small island in a lake called Lough Derg is one of the most famous of Ireland's places of pilgrimage. About 35,000 pilgrims come to it each year intent on doing penance for their sins or seeking divine intervention in their lives. Read More...

Nantes-Brest Canal, Brittany's popular leisure waterway

IMAGE Friday, 07 October 2011
The Nantes-Brest Canal is a 364 km long waterway connecting the city of Brest, on the west of Brittany, to the city of Nantes in the south east. Read More...

The shrine of the Cailleach at Glen Lyon

IMAGE Wednesday, 07 September 2011
Each year, in one of the most remote areas of Scotland, a family of stones are brought out of the house in the spring and returned to the house for the winter. The tradition stretches back thousands of years and the site is believed to be the only surviving shrine to the Celtic goddess Cailleach. Read More...

Newport Celtic Festival and Highland Games, Oregon

IMAGE Tuesday, 17 May 2011
A cultural celebration of the seven Celtic nations, the new festival on the Oregon coast features Celtic music, dance, food, drink, crafts, vendors, kids events, family histories and Highland Games. Read More...

World's largest tidal power project

IMAGE Thursday, 07 April 2011
The world's largest tidal stream energy array will be built in the Sound of Islay on Scotland's west coast. Read More...

Wales' new devolution settlement

IMAGE Thursday, 03 March 2011
Following the 'Yes' victory in the 3 March 2011 Referendum, Wales will now be able to pass its own laws in twenty policy fields. Read More...

The Giant's Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

IMAGE Thursday, 03 March 2011
The Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland has an unparalleled display of polygonal columns of basalt rock resulting from a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago. Read More...

Bloody Sunday report clears Civil Rights March victims

Joy for families and relatives as the long-awaited Lord Saville Inquiry concludes that the civilians killed on Bloody Sunday died as a result of "unjustifiable firing" by British soldiers.

Joy for families and relatives as the long-awaited Lord Saville Inquiry concludes that the civilians killed on Bloody Sunday died as a result of "unjustifiable firing" by British soldiers.


Published on June 15th, Lord Saville's report is a re-investigation of Northern Ireland's Bloody Sunday, where 14 civilians were killed and 13 others injured after British troops opened fire on a civil rights march in Derry on January 30th 1972.

Established in 1998, the inquiry gathered evidence from around 2,500 people including civilians, military personnel, police officers, paramilitaries, journalists, politicians, priests and forensic scientists. The evidence was complied in 160 volumes of data with an estimated 30 million words, and cost over €220 million, making it the most expensive and longest public inquiry in British history.

Lord Saville's report now supersedes the controversial Widgery inquiry, published shortly after the killings in 1972, which claimed that many of the victims were armed and absolved the soldiers of any blame.

The Saville inquiry found that the British troops opened fire on the civilians, "none of whom was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury". The report said that no warnings were given, and there was "serious and widespread loss of fire discipline" by some of the soldiers.  

The report also acknowledged that many of the British soldiers involved "knowingly put forward false accounts in order to seek to justify their firing."

In the city of Derry thousands of people gathered in Guildhall Square to follow the reactions to the Saville report in a large outdoor screen, and a media centre was set up for almost 500 media representatives from all around the world.

Reacting to the report, the British Prime Minister David Cameron told the UK Parliament: "These are shocking conclusions to read and shocking words to have to say. But you do not defend the British Army by defending the indefensible."

"What happened on Bloody Sunday was both unjustified and unjustifiable. It was wrong."

"The Government is ultimately responsible for the conduct of the Armed Forces. And for that, on behalf of the Government, indeed on behalf of our country, I am deeply sorry."

Families and relatives of the victims were greeted with applause by the crowd in the Guildhall as they appeared with placards bearing photographs of the victims with the words "Set the Truth Free".

Amid emotional scenes, the families told the report had vindicated the victims and it would now be the verdict of history for all time.

"The victims of Bloody Sunday were innocent and their names have been cleared", said a relative of the victims.

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Celtic Countries is the online magazine for people who enjoy the Celtic nations, their natural splendour, culture, and lifestyles.

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