Martin Galvin (MG) interviews Kate Nash (KN) via telephone from Derry about the plan and programme for the 2016 Bloody Sunday March for Justice. Thanks to TPQ transcriber.
Radio Free Éireann
WBAI 99.5FM Pacifica Radio
New York City
26 December 2015
(begins time stamp ~ 46:18)
MG: And we are now back home in Derry with Kate Nash, one of the leaders of the Bloody Sunday March campaign. Kate, how are you today? Merry Christmas!
KN: I'm very well and Merry Christmas to you, Mr. um....
MG: ...Galvin! I know you were hoping to be talking to John McDonagh and Sandy Boyer, the regular hosts, they're much more important than me but you just have to deal with me this week. They get off on Christmas and Boxing Day!
KN: Sorry, Galvin. I know you're name. I'm very sorry, very sorry.
MG: I'm joking, Kate – you're a great friend. Kate, will you and Linda and the other families be marching again next month for the Bloody Sunday families...the Bloody Sunday victims?
KN: We'll be marching on the thirty-first of January, Sunday the thirty-first of January, and this year's theme is titled 'Injustice Exposed'. And of course we have a whole week of programmes which will be actually highlighting that theme. For instance, on the twenty-sixth of January, Martin, we will be having a photograph exhibition by a guy called Joe Gilmartin and he'll be showing aspects of life for the people of the Ardoyne in North Belfast and the way they struggle daily against state control, repression and of course, sectarianism. A number of the residents from Ardoyne will be at the launch so it will be great to connect actually and find out first-hand what they have to endure. And on the 30th of January, which is the day before the march, I'm on a panel discussion in The Bogside and that discussion will be called 'The Whole Truth'. I'll be talking about Bloody Sunday. But interestingly enough, we have a young woman called Janet Donnelly, whose father was actually wounded in Ballymurphy, his name was Joseph Murphy. And Joseph, on his death bed, really, was insisting to the family that they had taken him to the barracks and had shot through the same wound. And his body was actually exhumed this year, just fairly recently, and of course they found the bullet! So she will be talking about that. And we also – somebody who was just mentioned there recently by one of your guests - we have a young lady called Shauna Moreland, who will be talking about her mother, Caroline Moreland, who was actually murdered by a paramilitary but he was known as Scappaticci, he was also a British state agent so I'm looking forward to hearing those stories.
MG: Alright. That's a great programme. I should mention the Ballymurphy Massacre occurred just about the time of internment in August, the ninth (and the few days thereafter) in 1971. It was the same regiment, the British Paratroop Regiment, and a lot of people believe, including myself, that they got the go-ahead to do that because they could get away with that with impunity - they felt no qualms about opening fire in Doire a few months later in January, 1972.
KN: And of course, I believe after Bloody Sunday they also shot two men down in the Shankill Road so of course their families must be looking for justice, too.
MG: Kate, some people have said that it's no longer necessary to march – that you got justice because you got the Saville Inquiry. How important is the Bloody Sunday March and continuing the Bloody Sunday March?
KN: Well, I'll tell you how important it is to people here: I think if we didn't show up you would still get thousands of people turning up at those Creggan shops to march and commemorate people - an awful day that still's very sore, a very sore point, especially for the people of Derry. And I have to say we do have a lot of visitors from other countries, Martin. We have people who come from America, I'm not saying in the thousands, but some people from America, Canada, Germany, England. I get messages from people in England all the time - just recently to say that they were appalled at the stance their government has taken with these soldiers, you know? So I get messages like that all the time. And people come from all around – all around The North of Ireland and Dublin – as far away as Dublin...
MG: ...Kate, I know that's true because I've been at the marches but there's a couple of quick things I want to get to: You must be a very frightening person because the soldiers who were responsible for Bloody Sunday, when it came time for them to be questioned, they said they were afraid to go to Antrim Barracks in The North of Ireland under guard with members of the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) (and that's also guarded by the British military) - they're afraid for their safety. So they must be afraid that you and your sister, Linda, and a few of the other people are going to go into Antrim barracks and pull them out and that they would not be safe in the custody of the PSNI at that barracks.
KN: Yes, you would think! Look actually, Martin, these soldiers couldn't be safer. The first one that was actually arrested actually lived in Antrim and I'm sure he's still alive ... I'm sure he's still alive. But these soldiers, as you probably know now, actually won that appeal to the High Court in London – they won that appeal – and in fact now, as suspects of a massacre, these men are allowed to just, in their own time, appear at police stations and to be given twenty-four hour notice and just to be treated very, very special. And no, they don't have to come here. And of course, probably the next move in that, if we get to it – the next move will be a trial in England as well. We, of course, we've never – we've never have stood a chance - the dice is loaded if we go to a British court.
MG: Well, if they go to trial in London I know that there are thousands of people who signed petitions that these men, who the British Prime Minister said committed murder, well, he said it was indefensible, these killings were indefensible, which is the same thing as manslaughter. If they go to London the English people there are signing petitions, they're outraged that anybody would be arrested - they would probably get a jury trial and there's no question in my mind that their verdict – they would be shaking hands and cheering for the soldiers, the troopers, who fired the shots which murdered your brother and the others who were murdered on Bloody Sunday.
KN: Yes, and that's likely to happen, Martin, but the thing is we just have to go, we have to follow wherever this goes and hopefully – hopefully – at the end of it, if all else fails, we will then be able to take it to The Hague because this is a war crime. They committed a war crime. They shot down innocent people, people who weren't armed, a fleeing crowd of people, a lot of them shot in the back and that's indefensible. And at some stage these guys will have to answer.
MG: Well Kate, we want to congratulate you, all the Bloody Sunday families, for keeping up that march, keeping up the public pressure, the international pressure, for there to be justice, and I think without that pressure there wouldn't be any question of these troopers being at least having to face the inconvenience of being questioned about what the British government has admitted was indefensible and unjustified and unjustifiable murder. Alright Kate, we want to thank you and wish you good luck! And we'll be back to you I'm sure before the Bloody Sunday Commemoration March.
KN: Thank you very much Martin and I'm so sorry I forgot your name. I'm very nervous – thank you. Thank you! And a Happy New Year!
MG: Same to you - it's been a long time since I made any woman nervous usually...(both laugh) Alright, good luck, Kate!
(ends time stamp ~ 54:19)