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24/09/2021

Bloody Sunday decision: ‘The whole British Army has blood on its hands’-Eamonn McCann

Eamonn McCann

Eamonn McCann, a member of the Bloody Sunday March for Justice Committee says he believes recent press speculation that four former members of the Parachute Regiment will face prosecution for murder is true.

Speaking to the Derry News he said: “I remember when we were told that there would never be any prosecutions at all. In fact Sinn Fein were very clear that there was no need for prosecutions and only a tiny number of families were prepared to go on ahead and seek prosecutions.

“I certainly feel that those families that kept on going are entitled to feel vindicated. I welcome it if it is true that four soldiers are going to be charged.

“The one thing missing of course is that none of senior officers will be charged. Frank Kitson, the British Army Commander in Belfast, Robert Ford, Commander of Land Forces in Northern Ireland and Michael Jackson, second-in-command in Derry on the day. Jackson should have faced ten charges of perjury himself and he’s still swanking about on various TV programmes giving his opinion of British Army operations to this day.

“Part of me thinks that it’s actually unfair to charge the soldiers on the ground whilst the officers who sent them into to do what they did just a few months after Ballymurphy are not being charged.

“These were people who knew what the Para’s capable of but they sent them in with political cover from Ted Heath’s cabinet.

“It reminds me of what Rudyard Kipling said about the ‘poor bloody infantry carrying the can again.’ Don’t get me wrong, I welcome the fact that charges will be brought, but it’s not the end of the matter.

“David Cameron would not have been able to admit the shootings were unjustified and unjustifiable if these senior figures were going to be charged at some point. That’s a terrible thing and it reflects on the Parachute Regiment but it should reflect on the British Army as a whole, so it was a half-hearted apology.

“So we shouldn’t be thinking ‘that’s as good as it gets’, an attitude that goes back years before the conclusions of the Saville Inquiry were launched. The blame is still being put

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