No more soldiers to be prosecuted over 1972 Bloody Sunday shootings | UK | News (Reports)


Northern Ireland’s Public Prosecution Service reviewed the cases of 15 veterans who families of the victims believe may have been involved. Thirteen people were killed and 15 injured on January 30, 1972 when troops of the 1st Battalion of the Parachute Regiment fired on demonstrators during a civil rights march in Londonderry.

Only one serviceman, known as “Soldier F”, will face trial over the killings.

The reviews were requested by families of the victims.

PPS senior assistant director Marianne O’Kane said: “I have concluded that the available evidence is insufficient to provide a reasonable prospect of conviction of any of the 15 soldiers who were the subjects of the reviews.

“Accordingly, the decisions not to prosecute these 15 individuals all stand.”

No new evidence was submitted for the reviews. However, solicitors for the families had sent detailed submissions to the PPS setting out why they believed the initial decisions had been wrong.

They believe 10 other soldiers should be facing prosecution for murder and attempted murder.

Soldier F has been charged with the murder of James Wray and William McKinney.

He is also accused of the attempted murders of Patrick O’Donnell, Joseph Friel, Joe Mahon, Michael Quinn and another unnamed person.

Lawyers representing the families of those killed said they found the decision “deeply disappointing” and that they may challenge it in the High Court.

Ms O’Kane added: “I know that today’s outcome will cause further upset to those who have pursued a long and determined journey for justice over almost five decades.

“I can only offer reassurance to all of the families and victims of Bloody Sunday, and the wider community, that my decisions were conducted wholly independently and impartially, and in accordance with the Code for Prosecutors.”

Ciaran Shiels, a solicitor from the firm representing the majority of the victims, said the decision to request a review had followed “painstaking analysis” that led them to conclude that the initial decision-making was “flawed and unlawful”.

He added: “To bring no further prosecutions is deeply disappointing for the families and wounded.

“They are left with the firm conclusion that members of the Parachute Regiment have effectively gotten away with mass murder. They are left with no alternative now but to consider challenging these decisions in the High Court by way of judicial review proceedings.”

John Kelly, whose brother Michael was killed in Bloody Sunday, said: “We’re not giving up yet, we have now the next stage, the judicial review at the High Court.

“It’s been a long road, nearly 50 years.

“We’re all getting old, a lot of people are dying.

“But as long as we’re able to walk, we’ll go after them. We certainly will not stop until we see justice for our loved ones.”


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