Former members of the Official IRA may now be willing to give evidence to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry if a deal can be agreed with regard to the men maintaining their anonymity. The prospect of IRA members explaining their role and orders on the day that 13 people were killed in Derry in January 1972 is expected to be outlined by legal representatives at the Saville Inquiry later today.

Earlier this year the Bloody Sunday Inquiry heard that with a few exceptions there was a wall of silence surrounding membership of the IRA and its actions on Bloody Sunday. Last week one civilian said that he believed he knew the identity of a gunman whom he saw fire five to six gunshots on the day but the witness refused to disclose the man's identity.

Lawyers for relatives of the Bloody Sunday victims have been discussing an initiative which they believe could break down the silence surrounding IRA activity. The relatives have said that the whole truth of the events of that day in every respect must be made known.

It is expected that the lawyers representing members of the Official IRA will today indicate their willingness to testify if their identities are protected. Anonymity has already been granted to a number of army witnesses who are due to give evidence.