Bloody Sunday families told only one prosecution to go ahead

Posted By: March 15, 2019

Irish Republican News. Thursday, March 14, 2019

 Families of the victims have been left angry and upset after Crown
 Prosecutors claimed today there is sufficient evidence to prosecute
 only one the seventeen soldiers known to have been involved in the
 Bloody Sunday massacre.

 Fourteen people, half of them teenage boys, were taking part in a civil rights
march in Derry when they were shot dead by British paratroopers on
January 30, 1972. A further 22 innocent civilians were injured.

 Many of the families who emerged from this morning’s meeting with the
 prosecutors were visibly upset.

 Earlier the relatives of those killed on Bloody Sunday gathered at the memorial
in the Bogside to walk together to the city center, where the meeting
took place. They carried before them placards bearing the names and
faces of their loved ones, and a single word: Justice.

 Nine years ago, they made that same walk ahead of the publication of the
 Saville Report, which found none of the victims had posed a threat when they
were shot.  British Prime Minister David Cameron then issued a
 famous apology for the slaughter.

 While some families backed away from campaigning at that point, others continued

the annual march for justice. A breakthrough finally came when a
murder investigation was launched in 2012.

 John Kelly is among the majority of families who wanted to see all of
 the soldiers involved in shootings prosecuted.

 “My view is they are all guilty of murder,” says Kelly. “Any soldier who
 fired a shot that day should be charged with murder.”

 He added: “It’s not just about Bloody Sunday, it’s about all the other killings
. If they can get away with Bloody Sunday, they can get away
 with anything.”

 British army veterans’ representatives and many MPs had been lobbying
 for a complete amnesty for the British military in Ireland. Last week,
 British Direct Ruler Karen Bradley said any killing carried out by a
 British soldier in the north of Ireland is “not a crime”. She later
 withdrew the remark.

 Amid immense media attention, it ha been confirmed that only one former
 paratrooper – soldier F – is to be charged with two murders and four
 attempted murders.

 Kate Nash, who lost her brother William on Bloody Sunday, said her
 stomach had been “in knots” waiting for today’s news on prosecutions.
 She has dedicated her entire life to being a voice for her brother and
 says the families “just want justice”.

 “I hear politicians talking about jailing this one and that one, but not
 soldiers, because they shouldn’t have to face that. What makes them
 special that they shouldn’t have to face it?”