Since its inception, the Bloody Sunday Trust took a lead role in assisting families in the pursuit of truth and justice.
1997 - The Walsh Report
In the 1990s, the Trust commissioned the first independent review of the available evidence concerning the Bloody Sunday massacre, carried out by Professor Dermot Walsh of the University of Limerick. Published in 1997, this review was the most significant factor in securing the support of the Irish Government for the demand for a new inquiry. This inquiry was established by the British Government under the chairmanship of Mark Saville, a leading Law Lord and subsequent member of the UK's first Supreme Court.
1998 - Bloody Sunday Centre – Shipquay Street
The Trust acted as a conduit for family members and friends seeking support or redress during the course of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry. In 1998, it established the Bloody Sunday Centre, which was based for a time in the former Northern Bank building in Shipquay Street with a small staff, which included the two Bloody Sunday family liaison officers, John Kelly and Mickey McKinney. These premises were gifted to the families and Trust for the duration of the Inquiry by local businessman Garvan O’Doherty. Throughout the inquiry, the Trust provided a range of support services for civilian and family witnesses who were giving evidence. This included advice, counselling services from Cunamh and a facility to watch the inquiry as it happened. Madden & Finucane Solicitors, who represented many of the families at the Inquiry, were also based in the Shipquay Street building during this period.
2004 – Bloody Sunday Centre – Foyle Street
For a time, the Trust relocated the Bloody Sunday Centre to premises in Foyle Street, where it continued to facilitate the families and provide a range of services including support, advice and counselling for those affected by Bloody Sunday.
2005 – New book ‘The Families Speak Out’
The Trust commissioned its then Chair, Eamonn McCann, to research and write the book ‘The Bloody Sunday Inquiry – The Families Speak Out’. The book, published by Pluto Press, examined the Inquiry from the perspective of twenty-one relatives and survivors.
2007 – the Museum of Free Derry
The Trust launched its first major signature project with the opening of the Museum of Free Derry in 2007. Housed in a building in Glenfada Park, which still shows the scars of the Paratroopers assault on marchers, the Museum provides an opportunity for local people and visitors to the city to learn about Bloody Sunday and the civil rights struggle preceding it. A major new rebuild of the Museum is now underway.
2010 – Bloody Sunday Family Advice Centre
Ahead of the publication of Lord Saville’s report, the Bloody Sunday Trust received funding from the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs to establish the Bloody Sunday Family Advice Centre in Creggan’s Rath Mor Centre. Here, Mickey McKinney resumed his role as Family Liaison Officer, and Julieann Campbell was employed as the families’ Press Officer. The new space was officially opened by Lawrence McElhinney, the last surviving parent of Bloody Sunday, and it provided a central meeting point for all the relatives and wounded as the publication date loomed.
2010 – Families launch Set the Truth Free campaign
In February 2010, the families and Bloody Sunday Trust decided to draw upon the strength of the original campaign and establish a movement to ‘Set the Truth Free’. This initiative had one aim – that the families should see the entire Bloody Sunday report without redactions. On St Patrick’s Day 2010, a small group of relatives and Trust representatives took the campaign to London where they demonstrated outside Buckingham Palace and the Ministry of Defence before attending St Patrick’s Day celebrations in the Houses of Parliament. As part of this action, relatives also symbolically returned the 1972 Widgery Report to 10 Downing Street in Westminster.
2011- New book ‘Setting the Truth Free’
To mark the 40th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the Trust commissioned former reporter and niece of Jackie Duddy, Julieann Campbell, to research and write ‘Setting the Truth Free: The Inside Story of the Bloody Sunday Justice Campaign’, published by Liberties Press, Dublin. The book won the 2013 Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize.
2012 – The Gerald Donaghey Report
In June 2012, the Bloody Sunday Trust and Pat Finucane Centre produced a powerful report into the case of Gerald Donaghey, the only victim not to have been fully exonerated by the Report of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry. Despite a wealth of evidence to the contrary, Lord Saville and his colleagues found that Gerald was ‘probably armed with nail bombs’ when he was shot, although he ‘was not a threat at the time’. The publication, ‘Gerald Donaghey: The Truth about the Planting of Nail Bombs on Bloody Sunday’, attempts to address this injustice. A piece of theatre was also developed to accompany the publication, written and directed by Dave Duggan. In January 2013, family and friends of Gerald Donaghey took their campaign to clear his name to the European Parliament in Brussels.
1996-2016 – Bloody Sunday Memorial
For the past twenty years, the Trust has taken on responsibility for the upkeep and maintenance of the Bloody Sunday Memorial on Rossville Street.
The Trust organises, in collaboration with the Pat Finucane Centre, a range of events to commemorate the anniversary of Bloody Sunday (30 January) and the anniversary of the publication of the Bloody Sunday Report (15 June). These events have included participants not just from Derry, but also from a wide range of contributors both Unionist and Nationalist, from throughout Ireland and internationally.