A former paratrooper’s claim that the army operation in Londonderry on Bloody Sunday was “a job well done” has been condemned by relatives of those who lost their lives in the incident.
Thirteen people were killed when troops opened fire in the Bogside area of the city in January 1972. A 14th person passed away later from his injuries.
A number of former soldiers are expected to find out next week if they will be prosecuted over the killings.
In June 2010 the Saville Inquiry ruled that all the victims were innocent, prompting then Prime Minister David Cameron to make an historic apology in the House of Commons, saying what happened on Bloody Sunday was “unjustified and unjustifiable.”
But a soldier who was part of the army operation on Bloody Sunday says he does not accept all the conclusions of Lord Saville’s report.
Speaking to the BBC, the man identified as Sergeant O, told veteran journalist and documentary maker Peter Taylor that while “some innocent people were killed”, the army operation on the day was still “a job well done.”
Despite the inquiry’s findings, he maintains that soldiers were being fired upon and returned fire, adding that he feels no guilt about what happened.
“I don’t care what Lord Saville said,” he said. “He wasn’t there.”
Relatives of those killed described his comments as “cold” and “brutal”.
Kate Nash, whose 19-year-old brother William was shot dead, told the BBC: “What a horrible lie to continue to stand by, even as you become an older person. Very cold and very brutal.”