Ex-soldier to be charged in Bloody Sunday killings

Families hold photographs of the victims of Bloody Sunday and march through the Bogside in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, Thursday March 14, 2019. A former British soldier is set to be prosecuted in connection with the deaths of two civil rights protesters in Northern Ireland more than 40 years ago, part of an event known as Bloody Sunday. (Liam McBurney/PA via AP)

LONDON (AP) — A former British soldier is set to be prosecuted in connection with the deaths of two civil rights protesters in Northern Ireland 47 years ago, part of an incident known as Bloody Sunday, prosecutors said Thursday.

The former soldier, identified as soldier "F," was a member of the 1st Battalion Parachute Regiment sent to the protest in Londonderry on Jan. 30, 1972. The veteran 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.

Advertisement

Sixteen other soldiers under investigation will not face prosecution in the shootings, which took place at the height of the unrest in Northern Ireland known as the Troubles.

The charges follow a decade-long investigation that concluded soldiers killed 13 unarmed demonstrators protesting Britain's detention of suspected Irish nationalists. But the results of the inquiry that concluded in 2010 could not be used in any prosecution, and Thursday's charges resulted from a separate police investigation into the incident.

[Want to discuss politics with other America readers? Join our Facebook discussion group, moderated by America’s writers and editors.]

"I wish to clearly state that where a decision has been reached not to prosecute, that this is in no way diminishes any finding by the Bloody Sunday Inquiry that those killed or injured were not posing a threat to any of the soldiers," Stephen Herron, the director of public prosecutions for Northern Ireland, said as he announced the charges. "We recognize the deep disappointment felt by many of those we met with today."

The victims' families have called for justice, while supporters of the soldiers say it is unfair for them to face charges decades after the events.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
More: Ireland

The latest from america

ARABIAN SEA (May 16, 2019) Lt. Nicholas Miller, from Spring, Texas, and Lt. Sean Ryan, from Gautier, Miss., launch an F/A-18E Super Hornet from the "Pukin' Dogs" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 143 on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jeff Sherman/Released)
This month the increasingly bellicose rhetoric and actions emerging from the Trump administration under the guidance of Mr. Bolton have meant a sudden surge of alarm in the region. Will it mean another war in the Middle East?
Kevin ClarkeMay 20, 2019
Though the ruling African National Congress party (ANC) has won the South African elections, it has done so with a dwindling support of the popular vote.
Anthony EganMay 20, 2019
God is continually inviting us to growth and continually enabling us to let some things in our life die so that we can experience new life.
James Martin, S.J.May 20, 2019
“One of the first things that dictators do is to remove the freedom of the press,” he said.
Gerard O’ConnellMay 18, 2019