A murder investigation into the Bloody
Sunday massacre will begin in January, with an initial team of 15 detectives
assigned to the case and a dedicated office in Derry.
The stepping up of the probe was announced
by PSNI Deputy Chief Constable Judith Gillespie and Assistant Chief Constable
Drew Harris during a meeting with relatives of those murdered and wounded in the
Bogside in 1972.
The relatives, accompanied by lawyer Peter
Madden, sought the meeting yesterday after voicing concern about "lack of
progress" in the case. DCC Gillespie confirmed that the "complex" murder
investigation would "start in earnest" next month.
"We’ve now appointed a full-time, dedicated,
senior investigating officer, who’s an experienced senior detective who will
lead the criminal investigation and we’re putting full-time dedicated resources
in support of him to take forward that investigation," she said.
As part of the murder investigation, police
are urging eye-witnesses who gave evidence to the Saville Inquiry to come
forward and make further statements.
Bloody Sunday families welcomed the
announcement as a "positive step forward."
Joe McKinney, whose older brother William -
a Derry Journal employee - was murdered in Glenfada Park, said he was "relieved"
by the development.
"It was a very good, very amiable meeting
and the police representatives were very forthcoming in how they are planning to
conduct the investigation. It seems we are making progress at last and I
certainly feel relieved. This is what it has all been about."
Peter Madden, of Madden & Finucane Solicitors, described the
meeting as "fairly positive" and welcomed PSNI progress in the case.
Chief Constable set out the progress so far, which is that the murder
investigation has now started and that there will be a dedicated office based in
"In January, police will begin interviewing witnesses as part of the
actual murder investigation.
"Soldiers will be treated as suspects and will be
interviewed in due course.
"They will be arrested and questioned about murder.
"The other important point is that the families will be kept informed throughout
the investigation by family liaison officers who will maintain direct contact
"This is the first real indication that things have moved forward in a