Wednesday 13 December 2017

How the 14 victims of the Bloody Sunday massacre died

Below is a full list of the 14 victims of Bloody Sunday and the circumstances of their shootings. It includes references to the now largely discredited findings of the 1972 Widgery Inquiry.

Patrick Doherty (31)

Was shot from behind as he attempted to crawl to safety from the forecourt of Rossville Flats. He died at the scene after being hit with a single round that entered his body through the right buttock and exited the left side of his chest. While the soldier who fired at him claimed initially that Mr Doherty had been armed with a pistol, a photograph of Mr Doherty that had been taken moments before he was hit showed no evidence of any firearm.

Gerald Donaghy (17)

Was running between Glenfada Park and Abbey Park when he was shot in the abdomen. The teenager, who the IRA later admitted was a member of its youth wing, na Fianna Eireann, was carried to the house of local man Raymond Rogan, where he was examined by a doctor.

Mr Rogan and another man then attempted to drive the teenager to the city's Altnagelvin Hospital. However, they were stopped at a military checkpoint and ordered to abandon the vehicle. At this point, a soldier drove Gerald to an army first-aid post. He was pronounced dead on arrival.

Intense controversy surrounds what happened next. A police photograph of his clothes showed a number of nail bombs in his pockets. However, those who treated the youth, including the army medical officer, said they found nothing in his pockets. Lord Widgery, in the first judicial inquiry, had rejected claims that the nail bombs had been planted.

Paddy Ward, a self-proclaimed leader of the IRA youth wing at the time, told the Saville Inquiry that he had given Gerald two nail bombs in the hours before he was shot.

John 'Jackie' Duddy (17)

Shot in the chest in the car park of Rossville Flats, he was the first to be killed on Bloody Sunday. Witnesses claimed that he was unarmed and running away from the scene when he was hit.

Hugh Gilmour (17)

Was hit with a single shot as he ran away from the rubble barricade on Rossville Street. A photo taken of the stricken teenager showed no evidence of a weapon and witnesses insisted that he was unarmed. Mr Gilmour died at the scene.

Michael Kelly (17)

Shot once in the abdomen close to the rubble barricade. He died in the ambulance on the way to hospital. Lord Widgery accepted that he was not armed but speculated whether he was standing close to someone who was, given the traces of lead particles on his clothes. This theory did not countenance contamination from soldiers who handled his body.

Michael McDaid (20)

Died instantly after being shot in the face at the barricade. The downward trajectory of the bullet's entry wound led to claims that he was shot by soldiers positioned on top of Derry's historic stone walls, which overlooked the scene.

Kevin McElhinney (17)

Was shot from behind as he crawled toward Rossville Flats. The bullet entered his right buttock and exited his shoulder. Witnesses, including a Catholic priest, claimed that he was not armed. When he was hit, fellow marchers ran out from the flats and dragged him inside, but he died soon after.

Bernard 'Barney' McGuigan (41)

Was going to the aid of Patrick Doherty, waving a white handkerchief in his hand, when he was shot in the head. Eyewitnesses claimed that he was unarmed. Citing lead on his hands, Widgery found that he been been close to someone who had fired. This again ignored the possibility of contamination.

Gerard McKinney (35)

Was running close behind Gerald Donaghy in Glenfada Park when the teenager was shot.

Witnesses said he then raised his hands and shouted: "Don't shoot!" but moments later he was hit in the chest.

The bullet passed sideways through his body but did not wound either arm, indicating that his hands were indeed raised at the time.

William 'Willie' McKinney (27)

(not related to Gerard). Also shot in Glenfada Park. A keen amateur film-maker, he had recorded scenes from the march with his hand-held cinecamera before the shooting started. The camera was found in his jacket pocket as he lay dying.

William Nash (19)

Struck by a single bullet to the chest close to the rubble barricade. With the trajectory again downwards, it is thought he may also have been fired on by a soldier on the walls. Witnesses said he was unarmed, but Widgery found that he had probably been firing a gun. This was again based on lead particles on his left hand.

James Wray (22)

Shot twice in Glenfada Park. Two witnesses to the Widgery Tribunal said the second shot was fired at close range while he lay injured on the ground from the first bullet.

John Young (17)

Killed instantly with a single shot to the head at the rubble barricade. The bullet hit him in the left eye and travelled downward through his chest, indicating that he may also have been shot from the walls above. Again based on lead particle on his left hand, Widgery found that he had probably fired a gun.

However, two witnesses insisted he was unarmed.

John Johnston (59)

Was shot twice from soldiers inside a derelict building in William Street. This incident happened away from the scene of the rest of the shootings and took place around 15 minutes earlier. He survived the day but died six months later.

His family insist his death was linked to the injuries sustained and claim he is the 14th victim of Bloody Sunday.


Thirteen other people, excluding Mr Johnston, were injured on the day. They were: Michael Bradley (22), Michael Bridge (25), Alana Burke (18), Patrick Campbell (51), Margaret Deery (31), Damien Donaghy (15), Joseph Friel (22), Danny Gillespie (32), Patrick McDaid (25), Daniel McGowan (38), Joseph Mahon (16), Alexander Nash (51) and Michael Quinn (17).

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News