Socialist Worker

One soldier to face murder trial over Bloody Sunday killings

by Simon Basketter
Issue No. 2646

Families of those killed hold a press conference

Families of those killed hold a press conference


Only one former British paratrooper will be prosecuted for two murders and four attempted murders on Bloody Sunday, Northern Ireland's Public Prosecution Service has announced.

The solider will face prosecution for the murders of James Wray and William McKinney and the attempted murders of Joseph Friel, Michael Quinn, Joe Mahon and Patrick O'Donnell.

Thirteen civil rights demonstrators were shot dead on January 30 1972. Some 15 others were shot and injured with one dying later from their injuries.

Sixteen other soldiers will not face prosecution.

Nor will two ex-members of the Official IRA who were also investigated.

A solicitor for a number of the Bloody Sunday families, Ciaran Shiels, said, “This is a remarkable achievement by the families and victims of Bloody Sunday.

“Notwithstanding the unprecedented attempted political interference with the independence of the judicial process, the families have not only succeeded in consigning the Widgery report to history, and securing the complete vindication and declaration of innocence of all of the victims of Bloody Sunday through the Saville Inquiry, they have now secured the prosecution of Soldier F for the murder and attempted murder of six innocent people.

“We are disappointed that not all of those responsible are to face trial.”

Relatives of the killed had marched together to hear the news of whether any soldiers would be prosecuted.

Pictures

They marched again to the city’s Guildhall, holding pictures of those killed.

Families of those killed onBloody Sunday have said they havehad a “terrible disappointment” from the decision not to prosecute more soldiers.

“To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity,” said John Kellywhose brother 17 year old Michael was killed on the day.

“We have walked a long journey since out fathers and brothers were brutally murdered.”

The government has confirmed it will pay all soldiers F’s legal costs.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said, “Clearly, we are indebted to those who served with courage and distinction to bring peace to Northern Ireland.”

James Wray’s brother Liam said he was “very saddened for the other families" of those killed on Bloody Sunday.”

“Their hearts must be broken,” he said. “It has been a sad day but the Wray family are relieved.”

He added, “There are a lot of sad and heartbroken people today.”

“The Bloody Sunday families are not finished yet,” he said.


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News
Thu 14 Mar 2019, 12:32 GMT
Issue No. 2646
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