The introduction of the Gold Coast Suns into the competition in 2011 saw a rivalry within Queensland Football for the first time ever. The Lions and Suns play each other two times a year. The best player on the ground is awarded the Marcus Ashcroft Medal. Gold Coast won the first Q Clash by 8 points in Round 7, 2011.
Although British Prime Minister John Major rejected John Hume's requests for a public inquiry into the killings, his successor, Tony Blair, decided to start one. A second commission of inquiry, chaired by Lord Saville, was established in January 1998 to re-examine Bloody Sunday. The other judges were John Toohey QC, a former Justice of the High Court of Australia who had worked on Aboriginal issues (he replaced New Zealander Sir Edward Somers QC, who retired from the Inquiry in 2000 for personal reasons), and Mr Justice William Hoyt QC, former Chief Justice of New Brunswick and a member of the Canadian Judicial Council. The hearings were concluded in November 2004, and the report was published 15 June 2010. The Saville Inquiry was a more comprehensive study than the Widgery Tribunal, interviewing a wide range of witnesses, including local residents, soldiers, journalists and politicians. Lord Saville declined to comment on the Widgery report and made the point that the Saville Inquiry was a judicial inquiry into Bloody Sunday, not the Widgery Tribunal.
Evidence given by Martin McGuinness, a senior member of Sinn Fin and later the deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, to the inquiry stated that he was second-in-command of the Derry City brigade of the Provisional IRA and was present at the march. A claim was made at the Saville Inquiry that McGuinness was responsible for supplying detonators for nail bombs on Bloody Sunday. Paddy Ward claimed he was the leader of the Fianna ireann, the youth wing of the IRA in January 1972. He claimed that McGuinness, the second-in-command of the IRA in the city at the time, and another anonymous IRA member gave him bomb parts on the morning of 30 January, the date planned for the civil rights march. He said his organisation intended to attack city-centre premises in Derry on the day when civilians were shot dead by British soldiers. In response McGuinness rejected the claims as "fantasy", while Gerry O'Hara, a Sinn Fin councillor in Derry stated that he and not Ward was the Fianna leader at the time.
Many observers allege that the Ministry of Defence acted in a way to impede the inquiry. Over 1,000 army photographs and original army helicopter video footage were never made available. Additionally, guns used on the day by the soldiers that could have been evidence in the inquiry were lost by the MoD. The MoD claimed that all the guns had been destroyed, but some were subsequently recovered in various locations (such as Sierra Leone and Beirut) despite the obstruction.
By the time the inquiry had retired to write up its findings, it had interviewed over 900 witnesses, over seven years, making it the biggest investigation in British legal history. The cost of this process has drawn criticism; as of the publication of the Saville Report being 195 million.
The inquiry was expected to report in late 2009 but was delayed until after the general election on 6 May 2010.
The report of the inquiry was published on 15 June 2010. The report concluded, "The firing by soldiers of 1 PARA on Bloody Sunday caused the deaths of 13 people and injury to a similar number, none of whom was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury." Saville stated that British paratroopers "lost control", fatally shooting fleeing civilians and those who tried to aid civilians who had been shot by the British soldiers. The report stated that British soldiers had concocted lies in their attempt to hide their acts. Saville stated that the civilians had not been warned by the British soldiers that they intended to shoot. The report states, contrary to the previously established belief, that no stones and no petrol bombs were thrown by civilians before British soldiers shot at them, and that the civilians were not posing any threat.
The report concluded that an Official IRA sniper fired on British soldiers, albeit that on the balance of evidence his shot was fired after the Army shots that wounded Damien Donaghey and John Johnston. The Inquiry rejected the sniper's account that this shot had been made in reprisal, stating the view that he and another Official IRA member had already been in position, and the shot had probably been fired simply because the opportunity had presented itself. Ultimately the Saville Inquiry was inconclusive on Martin McGuinness' role, due to a lack of certainty over his movements, concluding that while he was "engaged in paramilitary activity" during Bloody Sunday, and had probably been armed with a Thompson submachine gun, there was insufficient evidence to make any finding other than they were "sure that he did not engage in any activity that provided any of the soldiers with any justification for opening fire".
Regarding the soldiers in charge on the day of Bloody Sunday, the Saville Inquiry arrived at the following findings:
Lieutenant Colonel Derek Wilford: Commander of 1 Para and directly responsible for arresting rioters and returning to base. Found to have 'deliberately disobeyed' his superior Brigadier Patrick MacLellan's orders by sending Support Company into the Bogside (and without informing MacLellan).
Major Ted Loden: Commander in charge of soldiers, following orders issued by Lieutenant Colonel Wilford. Cleared of misconduct; Saville cited in the report that Loden "neither realised nor should have realised that his soldiers were or might be firing at people who were not posing or about to pose a threat". The inquiry found that Loden could not be held responsible for claims (whether malicious or not) by some of the individual soldiers that they had received fire from snipers.
Captain Mike Jackson: Second in command of 1 Para on the day of Bloody Sunday. Cleared of sinister actions following Jackson's compiling of a list of what soldiers told Major Loden on why they had fired. This list became known as the "Loden List of Engagements" which played a role in the Army's initial explanations. While the inquiry found the compiling of the list was 'far from ideal', Jackson's explanations were accepted based on the list not containing the names of soldiers and the number of times they fired.
Major General Robert Ford: Commander of land forces and set the British strategy to oversee the civil march in Derry. Cleared of any fault, but his selection of 1 Para, and in particular his selection of Colonel Wilford to be in control of arresting rioters, was found to be disconcerting, specifically as "1 PARA was a force with a reputation for using excessive physical violence, which thus ran the risk of exacerbating the tensions between the Army and nationalists".
Brigadier Pat MacLellan: Operational commander of the day. Cleared of any wrongdoing as he was under the impression that Wilford would follow orders by arresting rioters and then returning to base, and could not be blamed for Wilford's actions.
Major Michael Steele: With MacLellan in the operations room and in charge of passing on the orders of the day. The inquiry report accepted that Steele could not believe other than that a separation had been achieved between rioters and marchers, because both groups were in different areas.
Other soldiers: Lance Corporal F was found responsible for a number of the deaths and that a number of soldiers have "knowingly put forward false accounts in order to seek to justify their firing".
Intelligence officer Colonel Maurice Tugwell and Colin Wallace, (an IPU army press officer): Cleared of wrongdoing. Saville believed the information Tugwell and Wallace released through the media was not down to any deliberate attempt to deceive the public but rather due to much of the inaccurate information Tugwell had received at the time by various other figures.
Reporting on the findings of the Saville Inquiry in the House of Commons, the British Prime Minister David Cameron said:
"Mr Speaker, I am deeply patriotic. I never want to believe anything bad about our country. I never want to call into question the behaviour of our soldiers and our army, who I believe to be the finest in the world. And I have seen for myself the very difficult and dangerous circumstances in which we ask our soldiers to serve. But the conclusions of this report are absolutely clear. There is no doubt, there is nothing equivocal, there are no ambiguities. What happened on Bloody Sunday was both unjustified and unjustifiable. It was wrong."