Friday 22 March 2019

Saville Report found that 'Soldier F' was at 'heart of the shooting'


The Guildhall in Derry
The Guildhall in Derry

Mark Bain

The British army veteran facing murder charges over the killing of two people on Bloody Sunday has always been called 'Soldier F'.

As with all military witnesses at the Saville Inquiry, the former paratrooper was granted anonymity as he gave evidence. He will now face prosecution for the murder of James Wray and William McKinney and the attempted murders of Joseph Friel, Michael Quinn, Joe Mahon and Patrick O'Donnell.

Soldier F reportedly joined the Parachute Regiment in 1966. As a member of the regiment's 1st battalion, Soldier F said he fired 13 rounds in Derry on January 30, 1972 when he gave evidence to the Saville Inquiry in 2003.

He subsequently claimed to have few memories of the day in question. The veteran, believed to be a grandfather in his 70s, stayed in the army after Bloody Sunday. It is thought he left active service in 1988. He now lives outside the UK and is said to be suffering from ill health.

He was one of four soldiers the report said were "at the heart of the shooting" and "on their own evidence they killed seven of the 13 victims". When it was put to Soldier F in October 2003 he murdered them without justification, he replied: "The people I shot are the petrol bombers or a person who had a weapon."

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News