Irish prime minister visits Bloody Sunday memorial Copyright 1998 Nando.net Copyright 1998 The Associated Press LONDONDERRY, Northern Ireland (January 23, 1998 09:43 a.m. EST http://www.nando.net) -- Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern laid a wreath Friday at the memorial for "Bloody Sunday," the worst attack on Catholic civilians by British troops in Northern Ireland's history. He renewed demands for a new investigation. Ahern stood in silence before the gray concrete structure commemorating the 13 civil rights demonstrators killed by British paratroopers Jan. 30, 1972. The deaths galvanized Catholic support for the outlawed Irish Republican Army like few other events in the Northern Ireland conflict. A British inquiry concluded that troops were justified in firing because the IRA fired at soldiers first, and some demonstrators may have been armed. Catholics, IRA supporters and moderates dispute the claim because no soldiers were shot and no firearms were recovered by authorities. On Friday, Ahern called yet again for his British counterpart, Tony Blair, to reopen the investigation into the shootings. "All that I want to see is that the truth, the real facts of that particular day are made known," Ahern said. Blair has said he might apologize on behalf of the British government and call for a new investigation, but his decision has not been announced.
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