AT a private function, held at Crawford Square, under the auspices of the Civil Rights Veterans’ Network, on Wednesday Nov. 23rd., some relatives of those murdered, shot and injured on Jan. 30th 1972 by the 1st Parachute regiment, discussed a check-list of tasks pertaining to the proposed ‘March for Justice’, to be held in Derry on January 29th, commencing at 2.30pm along the traditional route, beginning at Creggan Shops. It was agreed that a public meeting would be booked at Pilots Row Community Centre, in the Bogside, to be held on Friday, December 9th, commencing at 8.pm to which all the families of the fourteen murdered on Bloody Sunday, and seventeen shot or injured, will be invited to attend.
The meeting was chaired by a local author and historian, Fionnbarra O’Dochartaigh, a co-founder of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association in 1967. He was flanked on the platform by Kate and Linda Nash whose brother, William (19), was killed and whose father was wounded on reaching his dying son to offer aid and comfort. Also in the audience was a spokesman for those wounded and injured, and a brother of Ranger Best, a Derry-born serving British soldier who was killed by the Official IRA, on May, 21, 1972.
Amongst those who spoke in favour of the’ March for Justice’, was Helen Deery, whose brother Manus, was killed a day earlier. She has arranged to carry the main ‘March for Justice’ banner alongside Ranger William Best’s brother or sister, on January 29th in Derry. Both families believe that both brutal untimely deaths are connected, as many local people believe that Ranger Best was tortured and shot dead in retaliation for Manus Derry’s murder, a day earlier, by the British Army.
The organisers of the December 9th public meeting have made a special appeal for stewards and marching bands to assist them in advance of the ‘March for Justice’ which will commemorate the 40th anniversary of the original civil rights demonstration, organised against internment without charge or trial and the torture of detainees, following army and police swoops which began on August 9th 1971. Those wishing to assist or obtain further information are cordially invited to contact the civil rights veterans’ network by phone or e-mail: 028-71-286359- Mobile: 0778366081 or firstname.lastname@example.org