the guardian Tue 13 November 2012
The report of the Saville inquiry into Bloody Sunday runs to some 5,000 pages, so Douglas Murray's purpose in this well-written and balanced account is to digest its findings and make them better known. This is a British tragedy, but in his view too many British people prefer to forget it. Murray chooses some key figures to tell the story: a victim (Barney McGuigan), a soldier (known as F, who shot McGuigan and Patrick Doherty), a terrorist (Martin McGuinness), a politician (Bernadette Devlin), an MI5 informant (known as "Infliction"), the British prime minister at the time (Edward Heath), and so on. Murray's presentation of the facts leaves us in no doubt that in Derry on 30 January 1972 members of the 1st Battalion of the Parachute Regiment killed 13 innocent civilians. Those soldiers were never disciplined or even criticised. Bloody Sunday reinforced the legitimacy of the IRA in some people's eyes but, as Murray points out, IRA gunmen were in the Bogside on that day, their presence later denied out of loyalty to the innocents who were killed. Who fired the first shot? "Infliction" insists that it was McGuinness.