McDonald’s has issued an apology for a Halloween advert running in their Portugal stores using the slogan ‘Sundae Bloody Sundae’.
The poster which has caused outrage on social media was posted by a customer who spotted it in one of the fast-food outlets branches in Portgual.
Posting a photo of the advert on Twitter, the customer captioned the picture: “Portugal is cancelled.”
Thirteen people were killed and 15 people wounded after members of the British Army’s Parachute Regiment opened fire on civil rights demonstrators in the Bogside area of Derry on Sunday 30 January 1972.
The day became known as ‘Bloody Sunday’, one the darkest days of The Troubles in NI.
A spokeswoman for McDonald’s said: “When promoting its Halloween Sundae ice cream, McDonald’s Portugal developed a local market activation for a small number of its restaurants in Portugal.
“The campaign was intended as a celebration of Halloween, not as an insensitive reference to any historical event or to upset or insult anyone in any way.
“We sincerely apologise for any offence or distress this may have caused. All promotional material has been removed from restaurants.”
With many thanks to: Belfast Live and Sheena McStravik for the original story
‘ Soldier F’ faces charges for the murders of James Wray and William McKinney
A motorcyclist at a rally in London supported by British army veterans last April criticising the prosecution of Soldier F. Photograph: Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images
A former British army paratrooper facing prosecution for two murders and four attempted murders on Bloody Sunday is expected to appear in court in Derry in August.
The Army veteran — a former lance corporal in the Parachute Regiment known only as Soldier F — faces charges for the murders of James Wray and William McKinney in Derry in 1972.
He also faces charges for the attempted murders of Joseph Friel, Michael Quinn, Joe Mahon and Patrick O’Donnell.
Relatives have been informed by Northern Ireland’s Public Prosecution Service (PPS) that it is anticipated that Soldier F will make his first court appearance on a date in August at the magistrates’ court in Derry.
A PPS spokeswoman said: “Significant progress has been made on the process of preparing the large volume of court papers required before a summons can issue to Soldier F.
“While this complex process is at an advanced stage, the public prosecution service has had to request some further material from police before the necessary papers can be finalised.
“Based on the estimated time required for this material to be provided, the prosecution team expects to be in a position to issue a summons to the defendant next month.
“It is therefore envisaged at this stage that Soldier F will make his first court appearance on a date in August, at Londonderry Magistrates’ Court.
“In line with our commitment to keep the families informed of all developments, the PPS wrote to those involved last week with this latest timetable.”
Ciaran Shiels, from Madden & Finucane solicitors — which represents Bloody Sunday families, said: “We have requested a timetable in relation to the prosecutions and we had previously made submissions that Soldier F should face criminal proceedings in Derry as it was in this city where the crimes we say he committed took place.”
Thirteen civil rights demonstrators were shot dead on January 30th 1972, on one of the most notorious days of the Northern Ireland Troubles.
Bloody Sunday families vowed to continue their campaign for justice after it was announced in March that only one former paratrooper — Soldier F — is to be prosecuted over the shootings.
Relatives of those who died reacted with a mix of vindication, disappointment and defiance.
As well as the 13 who died on the day, 15 others were shot and injured.
One of the injured died months later from an inoperable tumour and some consider him the 14th fatality.
Prosecutors had been considering evidence in relation to potential counts of murder, attempted murder and causing grievous injury with intent.
A murder investigation by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) followed the £195 million inquiry and files on 18 soldiers were submitted to prosecutors in 2016 and 2017 for consideration.
One has since died. Four other soldiers included in the Saville Report died before police had completed their investigation.
Papers before prosecutors included 668 witness statements and numerous photos, video and audio evidence. – PA
With many thanks to: The Irish Times for the original story
The only soldier to be charged with murder and attempted murder in relation to Bloody Sunday will be summonsed to appear at Derry courthouse next month, the Derry News can reveal.
The former member of the Parachute Regiment, known only as Soldier F will be formally charged with two counts of murder in relation to James Wray and William McKinney. He will also face four counts of attempted murder in relation to the late Patrick O’Donnell and Michael Quinn, Joseph Friel and Joseph Mahon.
Ciaran Shiels of Madden and Finucane Solicitors revealed the news a short while ago and said that the Public Prosecution Service has now confirmed in writing to his client Mickey McKinney (brother of William McKinney) that the additional material which had been outstanding from the PSNI was now timetabled to be sent to the PPS very soon.
Mr Shiels said: “Upon consideration of this material, the PPS will consider whether to add this to the Committal Papers that are being currently prepared.
“We have requested a timetable in relation to the prosecutions and we had previously made submissions that Soldier F should face criminal proceedings in Derry as it was in this County Court Division where the crimes we say he committed took place.
“We can now confirm the that the Committal Papers for Soldier F’s Preliminary Enquiry will be served on him and his lawyers in next month and further that he will be summonsed to appear in Derry District Judges Court a date to be fixed in August 2019.”
On March 14 this year, the PPS announced that Soldier F would face the charges having considered the prosecution of 18 former soldiers and two former members of the Official IRA for their actions in the Bogside on January 30, 1972.
Relatives of those killed and wounded on Bloody Sunday expressed anger that only one soldier will face trial for the events of Bloody Sunday. Thirteen people were shot dead on the day in question 47 years ago.
Soldier F gave evidence to the Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday in 2003 and admitted he had fired a total of 13 rounds.
His claims that those killed and wounded were “gunmen and bombers” were rejected by Lord Saville in his report. The Inquiry also concluded that there was “no doubt” that Soldier F had fired at father-of-six Paddy Doherty and that he had shot Bernard McGuigan as he went to Mr Doherty’s aid. Soldier F also admitted shooting 17-year-old Micheal Kelly but reiterated that he had fired only at those carrying bombs or guns.
Saville concluded that Patrick Doherty, Bernard McGuigan and Micheal Kelly were all unarmed.
With many thanks to: Derry Now and Eamon Sweeney for the original story
The Bloody Sunday March Committee (BSMC) has urged those who can to travel from Derry to Belfast on Thursday to show solidarity with the families of the vicims of the Ballymurphy massacre.
Several BSMC members attended the inquest into the British Parachute Regiment, 1st Battallion, led slaughter of 10 innocent victims in West Belfast over three days in August 1971.
An 11th man later died from a heart attack as a result of being attacked by soldiers conducting the atrocities.
BSMC member Betty Doherty said: “Given our own experiences of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry here in Derry and given the stress and strain we know the Ballymurphy relatives are currently under we felt it was important for us to show our support by travelling to Belfast and standing shoulder to shoulder with them.”
The inquest has been sitting for over 60 days and in that time, it has heard evidence from over 100 people, including civilian witnesses, former senior members of the Parachute Regiment and also from rank and file soldiers of that regiment who participated in the para operation in Ballymurphy.
Ms. Doherty said: “Just like the relatives of all those murdered by the Paras here in Derry the Ballymurphy families have had to struggle long and hard to get to this point in their long campaign and we feel this small act of solidarity lets them know that people in Derry stand with them.”
The BSMC has asked people to travel to the Laganside Courts in Belfast this Thursday to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Ballymurphy families who lost their loved ones at the hands of the same regiment that gunned down 13 people in Derry five months later.
Ms. Doherty said: “Now as the inquest moves towards its conclusion and expectations and pressure are inevitably heightened on the families we would ask people in Derry to travel to Belfast with us next Thursday, May 30, and show their support for them in their calls for truth and justice.”
With many thanks to the: Derry Journal for the original story
Several hundred turned out to protest outside Belfast City Hall
But two counter Republican protests were called off:
Meanwhile, the IRSP has called off a planned protest today, saying it had become aware that the City Hall event was being organised by people from the loyalist community.
Hardline republican party Saoradh said it had also dropped plans to hold a counter protest “following consultation with families affected by collusion and state murder, in addition to an internal membership discussion”.
Solider F is accused of two murders and four attempted murders on Bloody Sunday, 1972.
Hundreds gathered outside Belfast City Hall to call on the UK government to “enact protective legislation” to “safeguard” former British forces and police accused of crimes over the 30-year conflict.
But the families of those killed in disputed circumstances during the conflict have long campaigned for and support prosecutions.
Ballymurphy Massacre group spokesman John Teggart said: “No one is above the law and justice must be served.
Ballymurphy inquest told Army officer suggested planting ammo on victims
“The fact that these crimes happened nearly 50 years ago is irrelevant. It might have been a long time ago, but the illegal acts of these soldiers is affecting the families to this day.”
READ MORE British Army soldier to be prosecuted for murder of teenager shot dead during Troubles
He told supporters: “We need this to continue and it will continue.
With many thanks to: Belfast Live and Michael McHugh and Shauna Corr for the original story