Bloody Sunday: Court rejects MoD’s appeal against compensation

The Bloody Sunday murders happened during a civil rights marches on the streets of Co Derry Image copyrightPA MEDIA


A Ministry of Defence (MoD) appeal against a decision to award the family of a man killed on Bloody Sunday an extra payment of £15,000 has been dismissed by the Court of Appeal.

Senior judges rejected claims that Bernard McGuigan’s relatives were not entitled to the aggravated damages for injury to his feelings.

The MoD argued against the payment because he died instantly.

Mr McGuigan was shot as he went to the aid of another man.

Thirteen people were killed and 15 wounded when members of the Army’s Parachute Regiment opened fire on civil rights demonstrators in Derry on Sunday 30 January 1972.

On Thursday, judges backed a finding that Mr McGuigan, a father-of-six, would have experienced fear and dread when members of the Parachute Regiment opened fire.

Bloody Sunday victims, top row (left to right): Patrick Doherty, Gerald Donaghey, John Duddy, Hugh Gilmour, Michael Kelly, Michael McDaid and Kevin McElhinney. Bottom row: Bernard McGuigan, Gérard McKinney, William McKinney, William Nash, James Wray and John Young

Lord Justice McCloskey said: “All of this conduct… was capable of generating in every person of normal mental fortitude in the area a reasonable apprehension of being shot or wounded.”

In 2010 the Saville Inquiry into the shootings established the innocence of all of the victims.

Those findings led to the then Prime Minister David Cameron issuing a public apology for the soldiers’ actions.

He described the killings as “unjustified and unjustifiable”.

Liability has been accepted by the MoD in legal actions taken against it by those bereaved or injured.

Court proceedings have centred on the level of damages in each case, with more than £3m in total paid out to date.

Thirteen people were murdered and 15 were wounded on Bloody Sunday

Mr McGuigan, known as Barney, was a painter and decorator.

He was shot at the Rossville Flats area as he went to the aid of 31-year-old Patrick Doherty, who was also shot dead on the day.

The 41-year-old had been waving a handkerchief or towel when he was hit by a bullet to the head, killing him instantly.

A claim by his estate was settled for £258,000.

A High Court judge then awarded a further £15,000 in aggravated damages.

He found that the soldier’s actions would have “filled the deceased with fear and dread, coupled with a strong sense of indignation and hurt at being the innocent victim of a blatant, unprovoked and unjust attack by members of the Army.”

Guildhall Square in Co Derry was packed for David Cameron’s apology on behalf of the British State in 2010 Image copyrightPACEMAKER

The MoD went to the Court of Appeal to challenge the additional award, claiming it was wrong in law because Mr McGuigan’s death was instantaneous.

But counsel for his family insisted the payout was justified by the terror he experienced during the shootings.

Mr McGuigan had been sheltering behind a wall when he went out to try to offer help, clearly aware he was put himself in danger, the court heard.

“That’s why he was waving the piece of towel as he went out,” the family’s barrister submitted.

Ruling on the appeal, Lord Justice McCloskey described the MoD’s case as unsustainable and affirmed the £15,000 compensation for aggravated damages.

He also made an award of costs of the hearing against the MoD.

With many thanks to: BBC NewsNI for the original story 

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Families to challenge anonymity

BLOODY Sunday relatives are to challenge the anonymity granted to Soldier F. 

SUPPORT: Two life size figures in a loyalist area of East Belfast in support of the double murder-accused paratrooper ‘Soldier F’

Before yesterday’s hearing at Derry Magistrates Court, families of victims and surviving wounded walked in unison from the city’s Diamond to Bishop Street Courthouse. Michael McKinney said the first hearing in the case was an important day and he was thinking of his brother William as he went into the court. “I was leaving the house this morning and I looked at a picture of us at Downing Street shortly after we started the campaign for justice for Willie and the others and I thought we’ve come a long way since the campaign started in 1992,” he said. Liam Wray, also described yesterday as “historic”.

Following the hearing, solicitor Ciaran Shields – who represents the McKinney family, three of the wounded as well as the family of Patrick O’Donnell, deceased, who was also wounded  – said the court proceedings progressed as expected. He also revealed plans to challenge the anonymity granted to Soldier F. Following Bloody Sunday, most of the British soldiers involved

CAMPAIGN: Liam Wray and Michael McKinney whose brothers were murdered by ‘Soldier F’ on Bloody Sunday in 1972

were granted anonymity as a security measure. That was renewed during the Seville Inquiry, while Derry District Judge Barney McElholm granted a further interim order yesterday. Mr Shields said he intended to write to the Public Prosection Service to ask it to “robustly” challenge Soldier F’s anonymity. “Public confidence in this prosecution requires it to proceed in an open and transparent manner,” he said. “Soldier F should be prosecuted in a manner consistent with the prosecution of the vast majority of the limited number of soldiers who were prosecuted in the past for murder and attempted murder, without the benefit of anonymity.”

With many thanks to: The Irish News and Seamus McKinney for the original story


That was renewed during the Seville Inquiry,


Flute band repeats its support for Soldier F at Ballymoney

DEFIANT: The flute band’s insignia

A flute band which wore Parachute Regiment insignia during the Apprentice Boys parade in Londonderry last month was defiant as it also displayed the symbol at a parade in Ballymoney on Saturday.

Members of Clyde Valley Flute Band, who also had the letter ‘F’ displayed on the sleeves of their uniforms to show support for Soldier F, took part in the annual Royal Black Institution’s ‘Last Saturday’ parade.

The former paratrooper is facing prosecution for two murders and four attempted murders at Bloody Sunday.

Saturday’s parades took place in Ballygowan, Ballymoney, Dungannon, Holywood, Garvagh and Seskinore.

Around 17,000 members and 350 preceptories were expected to take part, along with bands.

The Belfast Telegraph contacted both the Royal Black Institution and the solicitors of the band regarding Saturday’s parade, but did not receive a response.

Police officers had surrounded the Larne band as it made its way through the Waterside area of Londonderry during August’s Apprentice Boys parade in order to prevent a breach of the peace.

Members of the band were also stopped by police for two hours as their bus made its way back to their home town.

Following the parade the Apprentice Boys of Derry apologised for any offence caused by the band’s insignia, saying: “We recognise that this may have caused upset to many in the nationalist community.”

North Down First Flutes band uniform also in support of SOLDIER F worn by a second loyalist band

The PSNI has since said that a review would take place into its operation involving the band, while DUP leader Arlene Foster said they were entitled to wear the symbol as a matter of freedom of speech.

Meanwhile, bands from across Northern Ireland and as far afield as Scotland will gather at the start of October in a show of solidarity with the band.

A parade and rally will be held in Larne to show support for the group which has found itself at the centre of the political storm.

With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph and Ralph Hewitt for the original story 


The Parachute Regiment on Bloody Sunday shamed the honourable Para Regt Maroon Beret worn by many good men

Ex-Para’s ‘Bloody Sunday’ comments were nothing short of a disgrace

13 people were murdered on Bloody Sunday and another died of his injuries some months later

The sister of a man killed on Bloody Sunday has described a former soldier’s comments on the shootings as “very cold and very brutal”.

Thirteen people died on the day after troops opened fire in Londonderry in January 1972, and a 14th person died later from his injuries.

The former paratrooper told the BBC that he feels no guilt for what happened.

He said he still considers it a job well done.

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Key findings of Saville Report
The man known as Sergeant ‘O’ is one of a number of ex-soldiers who will find out next week if they will be prosecuted over the killings

The Saville Inquiry into the killings concluded that all the victims were innocent.

Speaking to the BBC’s Peter Taylor, Sergeant ‘O’ said that Lord Saville was not there on the day and whilst he accepted that some of those who were killed were innocent he did not accept that all of the victims were innocent.

‘Cold and brutal’
Kate Nash, whose 19-year-old brother William was shot dead described the soldier’s comments as cold and as a lie.

“What a horrible lie to continue to stand by, even as you become an older person.

“Very cold and very brutal.”

Eighteen ex-paratroopers have been reported to the PPS over the killings and the Bloody Sunday victims are currently waiting to hear if any will face charges.

Image caption
Michael McDaid, William Nash, John Young were killed on Bloody Sunday
Lord Saville’s official inquiry into the killings concluded that all victims were innocent and posed no threat.

The paratroopers, he said, lost their self-control and fired without discipline.

His unequivocal conclusion led the then prime minister, David Cameron, to deliver a historic apology in the House of Commons and to the people of Derry.

What happened on Bloody Sunday, he said, was “unjustified and unjustifiable. It was wrong”.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) began a murder investigation following the report.

The BBC previously obtained a letter from a senior public prosecutor detailing the criminal charges the soldiers could face.

They include murder and attempted murder, wounding, perjury and joint enterprise, which means an offence where two or more people are involved.

With many thanks to: BBCNI for the original story