The brother of a young man shot dead on Bloody Sunday has said he was “horrified” when he discovered the solider responsible for his brother’s killing will not be prosecuted.
However, John Kelly said he will stand side by side with the other families when soldier F is brought before the courts.
On January 30, 1972, John Kelly's 17-year-old brother Michael was fatally shot as he stood in front of Rossville Flats in Derry when the Parachute Regiment opened fire on a civil rights march.
The only soldier who will be prosecuted is soldier F, for the murder of James Wray and William McKinney, and the attempted murders of Joseph Friel, Michael Quinn, Joe Mahon and Patrick O’Donnell.
Speaking after the announcement today, Mr Kelly said: “When we went in to the City Hotel people were in great form, a good mood. We had a cup of tea and coffee and were waiting in anticipation.
“Eventually the PPS team came out and delivered their conclusions. They went from sector to sector, and once they got to the second sector I knew that something bad was going to happen.
“And when they did sector 3, where Michael was murdered, I was horrified that Michael was not included in the killings that he committed. They said there wasn’t enough evidence or something to that effect.
“The evidence is there, they have an x-ray of the bullet embedded in Michael’s spine which was traced back to soldier F’s rifle. What more do they want? But they threw it in the bin, they threw it in the bin.”
Mr Kelly said the families had no inclination with regards to who or how many soldiers would face prosecution despite media reports to the contrary.
“We had absolutely no idea, but you see reports over the last week or two about who was going to be prosecuted, saying there was going to be four according to the Daily Telegraph. I wish to God there was going to be four, at least we would’ve had a better result, but this is a bad result for the families.
“However, in saying that it’s a great result for the Jim Wray family and the Willie McKinney family and the four who were injured. It’s a great result for them, and their victory is our victory.
“It’s hard to take only one out of eighteen.
“We’ll walk side by side with all the families year after year as we’ve always done over the years. Hopefully this prosecution will happen, I think we will see this man in a court of law and we’ll be there to support those families.
“And it’s important to remember, if he’s prosecuted for Jim Wray and Willie McKinney, he’s being prosecuted for my brother, for Paddy Doherty and for Barney McGuigan.”
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