Bloody Sunday: disappointment only one soldier to be prosecuted

A young man walks past Free Derry Corner after fresh graffiti had been put on it following the PPS announcement
A young man walks past Free Derry Corner after fresh graffiti had been put on it following the PPS announcement

Veteran journalist Eamonn McCann feared there would be “trouble” in Londonderry if a decision had been made not to prosecute any soldiers for Bloody Sunday.

Speaking ahead of the announcement yesterday to U105, Mr McCann was asked if he was concerned if there are not prosecutions, would be elements in Londonderry who would cause unrest?

Eamon McCann. (Photo Lorcan Doherty / Presseye.com)

Eamon McCann. (Photo Lorcan Doherty / Presseye.com)

Mr McCann replied: “I wouldn’t doubt there will be people angry enough to feel that they have to express that anger on the streets. Yes I would fear there would be trouble in Derry tonight if it was announced there would be no prosecutions, but I have to say I don’t anticipate that.” He was confident there would be prosecutions and therefore that there would be no violent response, he said.

After the announcement of one prosecution, he posted a photo on Facebook of Free Derry Corner, which has a new slogan added: “No Justice, No Peace”.

Under the photo he wrote: “Derry responds. Without justice there can be no peace. No justice, No peace. The fight for justice for the Bloody Sunday victims continues.”

Former Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams tweeted: “The Bloody Sunday Massacre was wrong. The Widgery whitewash was wrong. Today’s decision to prosecute only 1 British soldier for murdering civilians on 30 Jan 1972 is wrong.”

Sinn Fein’s NI leader Michelle O’Neill said there was “huge disappointment” that only one former soldier has been charged.

She added: “The British state must be answerable for the crimes it has committed in Ireland.”

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood MLA said that the decision to prosecute a single soldier marks another difficult day for the Bloody Sunday families, who will be “incredibly disappointed” by the decision.

“We will continue to stand with them as they campaign against the heinous wrongs that have been committed against them and against our community,” he said.

Irish Deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney tweeted: “Every civilian who died or was injured on Bloody Sunday was an innocent victim who posed no danger to anyone.

“My thoughts are with all of their families right now. A decision has been made today to pursue a prosecution and it is very important that no one prejudice that process.”