Feature

An inquiry that benefits only lawyers

Britain continues to pay hundreds of thousands of pounds a month for Lord Saville's report on the events of Bloody Sunday, said Max Hastings in <em>The Guardian, </em>even though there is no doubt about what happened.

Max HastingsThe Guardian

Britain is still paying—literally—for Bloody Sunday, said Max Hastings. When Tony Blair was first elected, in 1998, he thought he could achieve peace in Northern Ireland by throwing the republicans a bone in the form of an inquiry into Bloody Sunday, that infamous day in 1972 when British soldiers fired on peaceful protesters in Northern Ireland, killing 13 people. Lord Saville, the judge who heads the inquiry, finally ended his hearings in 2004, but this week we learned that his report won’t come out for another year. “At 4,000 pages, the report will be longer than War and Peace,” while the entire enterprise has cost taxpayers nearly $300 million. And for what? The events were not in doubt. Former IRA members have gone on record saying that they never felt an inquiry was necessary; a government apology for the massacre was all they were ever after. Yet Britain continues to pay hundreds of thousands of pounds a month on the forthcoming Saville report. “It has all been madness, a demonstration of what happens when lawyers are permitted by a weak judge to graze unchecked for years upon limitless pastures of public money.”

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