Thursday 30 March 2017

Bloody Sunday: Families of victims to be paid compensation after 40 years

Relatives of those shot dead on Bloody Sunday at a march in Derry ahead of the release of the Saville report in 2010
Relatives of those shot dead on Bloody Sunday at a march in Derry ahead of the release of the Saville report in 2010

Michael McHugh

THE BRITISH Government is to pay compensation to relatives of those killed or injured by soldiers on Bloody Sunday in Northern Ireland.

Fourteen people died after paratroopers opened fire in January 1972 during a civil rights protest in Derry.



British Prime Minister David Cameron has already apologised to victims and said the shootings were wrong.



A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "We acknowledge the pain felt by these families for nearly 40 years, and that members of the armed forces acted wrongly. For that, the Government is deeply sorry.



"We are in contact with the families' solicitors and where there is a legal liability to pay compensation we will do so."



Lord Saville drew up a landmark report last year which criticised the Army over the killings.



His panel ruled that the Army fired first and without provocation.



It found all 14 who died and the others who were injured almost four decades ago had been unarmed and were completely innocent.



The troops had also continued to shoot as the protesters fled or lay fatally wounded on the ground. One father was shot as he went to tend to his injured son, the mammoth 5,000-page report revealed.



Soldiers later insisted they had only retaliated, in a bid to cover-up the truth, the document - described as "shocking" by Mr Cameron - said.



"We found no instances where it appeared to us that soldiers either were or might have been justified in firing," it said.



"Despite the contrary evidence given by soldiers, we have concluded that none of them fired in response to attacks or threatened attacks by nail or petrol bombers. No one threw or threatened to throw a nail or petrol bomb at the soldiers on Bloody Sunday."



Bloody Sunday was one of the worst state acts of the conflict and helped ignite 30 years of violence by the IRA.



Victims have spent years campaigning for justice and the revision of an original probe into the massacre which they branded a whitewash.



Here is a list of people killed during Bloody Sunday.



Patrick "Paddy" Doherty (31)



Gerald Donaghy (17)



John "Jackie" Duddy (17)



Hugh Gilmour (17)



Michael Kelly (17)



Michael McDaid (20)



Kevin McElhinney (17)



Bernard "Barney" McGuigan (41)



Gerald McKinney (35)



William "Willie" McKinney (26)



William Nash (19)



James "Jim" Wray (22)



John Young (17)



John Johnston (59)



John Johnson was shot twice on January 30, 1972 and died on June 16, 1972. His family say he died prematurely and that his death was due to the injuries received and trauma he underwent on Bloody Sunday.



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