The Bloody Friday programme ended with the words 'No Republican was prepared to appear on the programme.' We hear constant demands from republicans for inquiries, one after another, and constant demands for the truth. However they themselves refuse to tell the truth.
My colleague Nigel Dodds has raised the Bloody Friday atrocity in the House of Commons at Westminster. He tabled an Early Day Motion, backed by the eight DUP MPs and Mark Durkan of the SDLP. 'That this House notes with sadness that July 21, 2012, marks the 40th anniversary of the Bloody Friday bombings in Belfast ; further notes that the events of the day were some of the most horrific acts of terrorism ever carried out by the IRA, which set off 22 bombs in the city centre in an 80-minute period, killing nine people and injuring 130 others including 77 women and children; and recognises that many of the victims and their families still bear the mental and physical scars to this day, that we should never forget to honour the memory of those killed and that justice demands that those in the republican movement and Sinn Fein leadership with information should now come forward to provide truth and closure for the victims.'
Nigel Dodds said, 'It is appropriate that on the 40th anniversary of this event that we remember this attack which was aimed not at any military or security target, but at the ordinary people of Belfast. there has been a great deal of talk about reconciliation amongst some republicans but an important first step must be that those who were involved in this terrible atrocity might come clean and admit their role.'
He continued, 'It is well known that Gerry Adams was a senior figure in the Belfast IRA at the time of Bloody Friday yet he will not even admit to having been a member of that organisation. Not only should those who were involved step forward and bring forward information about what happened that day but they should also explain exactly why bombs were placed outside railway stations, bus stations and shops.'
Some republicans claim that the IRA were surprised by the death toll on Bloody Friday and had not expected it but that excuse is simply not credible. They had already seen the death toll in the Donegall Street bombing on 20 March, when they murdered six people.
The Early Day Motion and the documentary are small steps in truth recovery but nevertheless they are important steps and must be followed by others. It is important that, as long as republicans refuse to answer the questions, we keep on asking them until we do get answers.
Sinn Fein are going on a charm offensive in the Irish Republic and questions about Bloody Friday and the disappeared are the last thing they want, especially since Gerry Adams is now in the Dail and especially since he was a leading member of the IRA in Belfast back in 1972.
Bloody Friday was produced and directed by Lena Ferguson who deserves great credit for researching and creating this exceptional programme.