Soldier to face murder charges over "Bloody Sunday"

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published 1 week ago - Duration: 01:42s

Soldier to face murder charges over "Bloody Sunday"

A former British soldier will be prosecuted for two murders in the "Bloody Sunday" killings of 13 unarmed Catholic civil rights marchers in Londonderry by British paratroopers in 1972 - one of the most notorious incidents of the Northern Ireland conflict.

Saskia O'Donoghue reports

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Soldier to face murder charges over "Bloody Sunday"

A former British soldier will be prosecuted over the "Bloody Sunday" killings of 13 unarmed Catholic civil rights marchers in Londonderry in 1972.

The unnamed paratrooper, referred to as Soldier F, will face chargers over two murders and four attempted murders.

The killings were one of the most notorious incidents of the Northern Ireland conflict; part of a simmering feud between Catholics and Protestants which turned into decades of "Troubles" in the British-ruled province.

3,500 died during a period lasting around 30 years.

In January 1972, British troops opened fire during an unauthorised march in the Bogside, a nationalist area of Londonderry.

They killed 13 people and wounded 14 others, one of whom died later.

In 2010, an inquiry said the victims were innocent.

Northern Ireland's Public Prosecution Service said on Thursday (March 14) that the evidence given was insufficient to charge 16 other former soldiers.

Victims' family and friends spoke of their devastation over that decision.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BROTHER OF BLOODY SUNDAY VICTIM WILLIAM MCKINNEY, LIAM REA, SAYING: "I'm relieved that at least one soldier who's responsible for those actions is going to be prosecuted.

But I'm extremely saddened, because we're a family, the Bloody Sunday families (...) but my heart is broke for the rest of the families, as it's been a very black day for them." Earlier in the day, the bereaved and their supporters had marched through the streets of Londonerry, carrying pictures of victims and singing "We shall overcome." Nearly 50 years later, some here feel like their march still goes on.

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