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'Bloody Sunday' - Submission to the United Nations' Special Rapporteur on Summary and Arbitrary Executions

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Text: British Irish Rights Watch ... Page Compiled: Fionnuala McKenna
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Submission to the United Nations' Special Rapporteur on Summary and Arbitrary Executions:
The Murder of 13 Civilians by Soldiers of the British Army on 'Bloody Sunday', 30th January 1972

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1.1 This submission seeks the assistance of the Special Rapporteur on Summary and Arbitrary Executions in relation to the deaths on 30.1 .1972 (Bloody Sunday) of 13 civilians, killed by the British army. 13 others were injured.
1.2 We believe that these deaths come within the remit of the Special Rapporteur because they involved:
"The deprivation of life of civilians by members of the armed or security forces in violation of law governing the state of war or armed conflict"

and because they were deaths which took place:

"As a result of abuse of force by police, military or any other governmental or quasi-governmental forces".
[United Nations Factsheet No. 11 on Summary or Arbitrary Executions]
1.3 We submit that these deaths were a violation of the deceased's right to life under Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and under Article 6 (1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which states:
"Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life."
1.4 The 13 people who died on Bloody Sunday were taking part in an illegal demonstration against internment without trial. A crack battalion of the British Army, the 1st Battalion Parachute Regiment (the Paras), reputed to be the toughest regiment in the army, was deployed to mount an arrest operation within the Bogside area of city of Derry, which had been a nationalist "no go area" for British troops for the previous two years. The Paras opened fire on the demonstrators, a small number of whom had previously been engaged in low-level rioting, such as stoning soldiers. Accounts differ as to whether the soldiers were fired upon before opening fire or whether they fired without provocation, but it is undisputed that army statements issued after the incident claiming that the deceased were gunmen and bombers were untrue. There is no evidence that any of the deceased was engaged in attacking soldiers at the time of their deaths; on the contrary most of them were fleeing from the soldiers. No soldier was prosecuted for any of the killings. The British government ordered an immediate judicial inquiry into the incident, undertaken by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Widgery [appended at Annex A]. His report, published in April 1972 less than three months after the event, has been criticised and discredited in a number of important respects. So far, pleas from the relatives of the deceased for a new inquiry to establish the true facts and to properly exonerate the reputations of the deceased have been denied by the British government.
1.5 These matters are described and substantiated in more detail below.

2.1 Northern Ireland is in the grip of a savage sectarian conflict, euphemistically described as "the Troubles", which has its origins in the British invasion and subjugation of Ireland in Tudor times and the partition of Ireland in 1921, but which has intensified since 1968, claiming over 3,100 lives in the past 25 years. The conflict exists between nationalists, who want to see a united Ireland and who are predominantly Catholic by religion, and unionists, who want Northern Ireland to remain a part of the United Kingdom and who are predominantly Protestants. Nationalists who support the use of violence to achieve their ends are known as republicans, and unionists who do so are known as loyalists, although not all those who would describe themselves as republicans or loyalists support political violence. The British army has been deployed continuously in Northern Ireland since 1969. The British Government claims that there has been a public emergency relating to Northern Ireland because of the conflict since 1974 [Fourth Report of the Special Rapporteur on States of Emergency, E/CN.4/Sub.2/1991/28/ Rev.1, 21.11.1991]; it had not made any such claim at the time of Bloody Sunday.
2.2On 9th August 1971, the unionist government of Northern Ireland (known as the Stormont government), with the support of the British government, introduced internment without trial. By the end of 1971 around 900 people, virtually all of them nationalists, were imprisoned, in violation of international norms on the right to a fair trial. At the same time that internment was introduced, a six month ban on public demonstrations was imposed under emergency legislation in force at the time. The Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA), formed in 1967 to combat the widespread political and social discrimination against Catholics in Northern Ireland which is one of the roots of the conflict, called a demonstration in Derry for Sunday 30th January 1972, as much in protest against the ban on the right to demonstrate as a protest against internment itself.
2.3 The city of Derry (officially known as Londonderry) is situated on the north-western border of Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland. At the time of Bloody Sunday, it had a population of around 55,000, about 33,000 of whom lived in the predominantly Catholic districts of Creggan and the Bogside. The Bogside had been a republican no-go area for about two years, which meant that the Irish Republican Army (IRA), rather than the police or the army, had effective control of the district. The British security forces were naturally dissatisfied with this situation and were looking for an opportunity to carry out the orders of the Commander Land Forces in Northern Ireland, General Ford, issued on 26.10.1971 to Brigadier MacLellan, commander 8 Infantry Brigade, who had overall command of the troops on Bloody Sunday,
"so far as possible, to recreate the state of law in the Creggan and Bogside as and when he could." [Insight, Times, 23.4.1972].
2.4 A week before the Bloody Sunday demonstration, a smaller anti-internment demonstration had been held outside the internment camp at Magilligan, not far from Derry. This demonstration had been broken up with extreme violence by about 300 soldiers. NICRA were anxious to avoid a repetition, and placed "special emphasis on the necessity for a peaceful incident-free day" on 30th January [Irish News, 28.1.1972]. According to Ivan Cooper, a Member of Parliament at the time and one of the organisers of the march, assurances had been obtained from the IRA that it would withdraw from the area during the demonstration [Secret History: Bloody Sunday, broadcast by Channel 4 television on 22.1.1992]. The IRA confirmed that this was the case to the Insight team of reporters who published their own analysis of Bloody Sunday in the Sunday Times on 23.4.1972 [Annex B].
2.5 On 27.1.1972 the Democratic Unionist Association in Derry, in an act of provocation aimed at both nationalists and the Stormont government, announced that they intended to hold a public religious rally in the Guildhall Square, the intended termination point of the NICRA march, on Sunday 30th January. Their Vice-President, the Rev. James McClelland, was reported in the Irish Press on 28.1.1972 as saying,
'The civil rights march is not legal. Theirs [the DUAs], he said, would be. The authorities will have to keep their word and stop the civil rights march and give us protection."
On Sunday 30th, several newspapers announced that the religious rally had been called off. The Sunday Post reported McClelland as saying on the previous day,
"We were approached by the Government and given assurances that the Civil Rights march would be halted - by force if necessary. We believe wholesale riot and bloodshed could be the result of the Civil Rights activities tomorrow and we would be held responsible if our rally takes place. We have appealed to all loyalists to stay out of the city centre tomorrow."
2.6 Thus the demonstration on Bloody Sunday took place against a background of high political tension and in an atmosphere of the apprehension of violence, which would have been as apparent to the security forces as it was to everyone else involved.

3.1 According to Lord Widgerys report [paragraphs 16 - 23], on 25.1 .1972 General Ford, the Commander Land Forces in Northern Ireland, put Brigadier Andrew MacLellan, commander of 8 Infantry Brigade, in charge of the operation to contain the march. He prepared Operation Order No. 2/72, dated 27.1.1972. This provided for the erection of 26 barriers, designed to cordon the Creggan and Bogside off from the rest of the city, each of which was to be manned by a platoon from the Brigade and a token police presence. If rioting broke out, water cannon and rubber bullets were to be used if necessary and CS gas as a last resort. "Hooligans and rioters" were to be arrested by a central arrest force, furnished by the 1st Battalion Parachute Regiment (1 Para).
3.2 On 24.1.1972 Chief Superintendent Frank Lagan of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (the police force) told MacLellan that he was of the opinion that the only way to avoid serious violence was to let the march proceed, but that the marchers should be photographed with a view to prosecuting them later for defying the ban on demonstrations and/or for rioting. MacLellan agreed to recommend this approach to General Ford. However, on the same day Ford had sent orders to Lieutenant Colonel Derek Wilford, commander of 1 Para, to prepare for service in Derry on 30.1.1972, and it would appear from the terms of the Operation Order that it was decided to make arrests on the day itself. The Insight team alleged that the plan was approved by the Northern Ireland Committee of the Cabinet (the executive of the British government) because it carried the obvious risk of casualties. On 19.4.1972 the Prime Minister, Edward Heath, confirmed that the plan was 'known to [government] Ministers" [Hansard, col. 523].
3.3 The arrest operation was carried out by Support Company of 1 Para, under the command of Major Ted Loden. Support Company was the only company to fire live ammunition on Bloody Sunday [Widgery, paragraph 26] and was thus responsible for all the deaths and injuries that occurred. The Insight team say that Wilford drew up an operational plan for the arrest operation which Loden declared unworkable only 2 hours before the demonstration was due to begin. As a result, 1 Para was deployed through the barricade on Little James Street, which had the effect of driving the demonstrators down Rossville Street, despite the fact that the Operational Order said,
"(c) The scoop up [arrest] operation is likely to be launched on two axes, one directed towards hooligan activity in the area of William St/Little Diamond and one towards the area of William St/Little James St."
It was because of the confined location defined by the Order that when Wilford requested permission from MacLellan to deploy his troops, he was ordered, "Not to conduct running battle down Rossville Street" [official Brigade Log, quoted at Widgery paragraph 29, emphasis from original]. According to Insight, Wilford did not tell Loden, when he briefed him, of "the geographically limited operation which MacLellan had carefully defined."
3.4 Wilford himself, speaking on the BBC television documentary, Inside Story: Remember Bloody Sunday, broadcast on 28.1.1992, said of his own orders:
"I asked...the question which in fact for a long time has...worried me. I said, 'What happens if there is shooting?' To which I got really a very...sparse reply to the effect that, 'Oh well, well deal with that when it comes.' It's my greatest regret that I didn't actually pursue that question and say, 'Right you know what - what do you want us to do if we're shot at?"'
Soldiers in Support Company, however, were briefed to expect to be shot at. The Company Sergeant Major, interviewed for the same programme, said,
"I did expect when we went into the Rossville flats to be fired at."
The Platoon Sergeant said,
"I was just told that there was a possibility that gunmen would be in the area and to keep our eyes out especially for high ground like the Rossville flats - obvious sniper position."
3.5 Lord Widgery said of 1 Para's attitude to the use of lethal force [paragraph 94],
"In the Parachute Regiment, at any rate in the 1st Battalion, the soldiers are trained to take what may be described as a bard line upon these questions. The events of 30 January and the attitude of individual soldiers whilst giving evidence suggest that when engaging an identified gunman or bomb-thrower they shoot to kill and continue to fire until the target disappears or falls. When under attack and returning fire they show no particular concern for the safety of others in the vicinity of the target. They are aware that civilians who do not wish to be associated with violence tend to make themselves scarce at the first alarm and they know that it is the deliberate policy of gunmen to use civilians as cover. Further, when hostile firing is taking place the soldiers of 1 Para will fire on a person who appears to be using a firearm against them without always waiting until they can positively identify the weapon.
Wilford, interviewed on Remember Bloody Sunday, put it more succinctly,
"When we moved on the streets we moved as if we in fact were moving against a well-armed well-trained army.

4.1 The march passed off peacefully, as the organisers had intended, until it reached the junction of William Street and Rossville Street, where the lorry at the head of the march turned right up Rossville Street, leading the marchers away from any confrontation with soldiers at the barrier in William Street. However, about 200 marchers, most of them young men, broke away from the march and began throwing stones at the soldiers on the barricade. The soldiers responded with rubber bullets and water cannon, and these rioters were effectively repelled. It was at this point that 1 Para requested permission to commence its arrest, or scoop up" operation. According to the official Brigade Log, one sub unit was ordered forward at 1 6.07 hours. Three minutes later, at 16.10, Support Company began firing. Under30 minutes later, 13 civilians were dead and another 1 3 lay injured.
4.2 The facts set out above are generally agreed to be correct by all concerned. Virtually all other significant matters of fact are disputed and are the subject of conflicting evidence. Even the number of people taking part in the demonstration is contested: Lord Widgery [paragraph 24] said that there were between 3,000 and 5,000; according to the Insight team, the organisers claimed there were 30,000; Bernadette Devlin MP, a speaker at the demonstration, said in Parliament that there were at least 15,000 [Hansard, 1.2.1972, col. 293].
4.3 Much controversy surrounds the question of who precisely sanctioned Support Company's opening fire upon the demonstrators. According to Widgery [paragraphs 27 - 29], the order to commence the arrest operation came from MacLellan and was given to Wilford over a secure wireless link, as a result of which it was not recorded in the verbatim record of the ordinary brigade radio network. However, the official Brigade Log does not record the order either, but only a limited authorisation to deploy a sub unit, no mention being made of Support Company. Furthermore, a tape recording of the actual messages relayed over the ordinary radio network was produced in evidence at the Widgery inquiry which is at odds with the official log, in that the log records permission for the sub unit to carry out the scoop up operation, but the tape does not; its absence was explained by the Brigade Major as resulting from the fact that this order was also given over the secure link, but this does not explain why one such order appears in the log but the other does not. [For a fuller explanation of these matters, please see Justice Denied: A Challenge to Lord Widgery's Report on 'Bloody Sunday', International League for the Rights of Man, pages 18- 23, at Annex C.] However, MacLellan, his Brigade Major, and Wilford all gave Widgery sworn testimony that MacLellan gave the order, and Widgery accepted their evidence. Chief Superintendent Lagan of the RUC, though, told Widgery that he had formed the impression that 1 Para went ahead without authority from MacLellan. Insight, on the other hand, allege that, in the heat of the moment, with the geographically confined original plan in tatters, it was really Loden who was in charge of the troops during the crucial 35 minutes when all the shooting took place, and that MacLellan had no idea what Support Company was doing or even where it was. 1 Para's Company Sergeant Major told Remember Bloody Sunday that he clearly remembered the order from his company commander as being, "Move, move, move!" Brian Cashinella, Northern Ireland correspondent for the Times in 1972, told Secret History that as 1 Para came through the barricade,
". . . I was standing next to General Robert Ford at the time who was a new commander, and he was waving his swaggery stick saying, 'Go on the Paras, go and get them, go on, go and get them.' And then all was mayhem."
4.4 Equal controversy surrounds the question of whether the soldiers opened fire without justification, or whether they came under fire first. Lord Widgery attached very great importance to this issue, to the extent that it overshadowed any consideration of whether the level of lethal force applied by Support Company was justified, either generally or, especially, in each individual case where someone died or was injured. Widgery was faced with a direct conflict of evidence between soldiers who gave evidence at the inquiry, all of whom maintained that Support Company came under fire first and that they continued to experience heavy and sustained fire throughout the 30 crucial minutes, and all the evidence which he heard and statements which were made available to him (which ran into hundreds) from eyewitnesses who claimed that the Paras had opened fire without justification and that none of those who were killed or injured was armed or firing upon or throwing bombs at the soldiers. Widgery made a curious decision, considering his high judicial office and his considerable legal experience, not to go into in any depth the evidence of the 13 wounded, many of whom he did not interview, despite the fact that they had survived being shot at by the soldiers and were able to give first-hand evidence as to their behaviour. In any event, he preferred the evidence of the soldiers to those of the eyewitnesses, saying [paragraph 97]:
"Those accustomed to listening to witnesses could not fail to be impressed by the demeanour of the soldiers of 1 Para. They gave their evidence with confidence and without hesitation or prevarication and withstood a rigorous cross-examination without contradicting themselves or each other. With one or two exceptions I accept that they were telling the truth as they remembered it."
4.5 It is difficult to square Widgery's attitude to the soldiers' evidence with his finding [Conclusion 10]:
"None of the deceased or wounded is proved to have been shot whilst handling a firearm or bomb."
All the soldiers who gave evidence claimed to have fired only in response to a perceived threat from an identifiable person who was either firing at them or threatening them with a nail or petrol bomb, yet Widgery found that [paragraph 65]:
"Although a number of soldiers spoke of actually seeing firearms or bombs in the hands of civilians none was recovered by the Army. None of the many photographs shows a civilian holding an object that can with certainty be identified as a firearm or a bomb. No casualties were suffered by the soldiers from firearms or gelignite bombs. In relation to every one of the deceased there were eye witnesses who said that they saw no bomb or firearm in his hands. The clothing of 11 of the deceased when examined for explosives showed no trace of gelignite."
(A twelfth victim's clothing had been laundered by the hospital and could not be tested, and the thirteenth had been photographed, after he died, with nailbombs in his pockets - this matter and the individual situation of each of the deceased is gone into at section 5 below.)
4.6 Widgery himself speculated on a possible resolution of this conflicting evidence. He suggested [paragraph 64] that more than 26 people had been shot - even though the soldiers' evidence accounted for only 25 victims when 26 people were known for sure to have been hit (although one of the wounded may have been hit by an IRA gunman, please see 4.8 below) - and that some of the casualties had been "spirited away over the border into the Republic". The Insight team followed this up by making enquiries of Letterkenny hospital, the usual refuge across the border for wounded IRA members. The hospital told them that they received no casualties with gunshot wounds on Bloody Sunday, or for a week afterwards, and that they were surprised not to do so as they had been expecting some extra patients in the aftermath of the event.
4.7 Another conflict of evidence which the Widgery Inquiry failed to resolve was the difference between the soldiers' account of the bombardment they suffered at the hands of the crowd and the eyewitnesses' insistence that they saw no gunmen (with the exception of Father Daly - please see 4.8 below), heard no bombs exploding, and were unaware of any hail of bullets except those fired by the soldiers. The soldiers said that they came under heavy and sustained gunfire, were pelted with nail and petrol bombs, and came under a rain of bottles, some of them acid bombs, yet the only damage reported by any of them were two soldiers who said that acid fell on their trouser legs without burning through to their skin. Not a single soldier was hurt, despite Widgery's finding that [paragraph 95}: "Civilian, as well as Army, evidence made it clear that there was a substantial number of civilians in the area who were armed with firearms. I would not be surprised if in the relevant half hour as many rounds were fired at the troops as were fired by them."
He went on immediately to explain the soldiers' miraculous lack of injury:
"The soldiers escaped injury by reason of their superior field-craft and training."
4.8 It seems clear that, despite NICRA's attempts to ensure a peaceful demonstration and to secure the withdrawal of the IRA from the area, there were nonetheless some IRA gunmen around. The Insight team claimed to have interviewed IRA members, and concluded that, while there was no necessity to believe what they were told, the IRA's version of events co-incided with all the other available evidence. In 1972, both the Official and the Provisional IRA were operating in Derry. The Officials told Insight that they withdrew all their weapons from the Bogside, except those held by the Bogside Official Unit, which were dispersed in several safe dumps. All other weapons were held in two cars patrolling in the Creggan. They also decreed that no firing against the army was to be initiated by their men, who were only to open fire defensively. However, they admitted that seven unauthorised shots were fired by Officials during the time in question, and that one authorised defensive shot was fired in William Street by one of their members. The Provisionals said that they had withdrawn all their weapons from the Bogside, except for those acting as stewards on the march. Both wings of the IRA admitted that they sent for reinforcements from the Creggan when the firing started, but they did not arrive and were not in a position to fire upon the army until after the army had ceased firing, although the IRA did indeed fire upon soldiers then. There is also independent evidence of the presence of gunmen in the crowd. Father (now Bishop) Daly saw a gunman just after Jack Duddy was killed by army gunfire, and photographer Fulvio Grimaldi took a photograph of this gunman. The Insight team also interviewed a witness who said he saw someone with a carbine fire seven shots at the soldiers from the fifth floor of the Rossville Flats. One of the wounded, Alexander Nash, was hit in the arm by a low velocity bullet which may have come from a gunman rather than a soldier. However, all the available evidence suggests that the IRA were not present in force; that those of their members who were present and armed fired very few shots; and they could not have produced the fusillade of firing that the soldiers claimed to have experienced.
4.9 Another inconsistency in the evidence was the difficulty of marrying up the evidence given by the soldiers as to the shots they had fired with the indisputable evidence of the wounds suffered by the dead and injured. The ammunition check made after the event by the army showed that Support Company had fired 108 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition from self-loading rifles [Widgery, paragraph 40]. 102 of these rounds were fired during the crucial 30 minutes. In only two cases out of the 13 deceased were identifiable bullets recovered from the bodies, so that it is possible to say with certainty that Soldier F shot Michael Kelly and Soldier 0 shot Gerald Donaghy. In no other case can any soldier's description of his actions be matched exactly to the gunshot wounds suffered by any victim, although Widgery was able to make an educated guess as to which soldier or group of soldiers may have been responsible for some of the killings. Widgery said that he had no way of knowing how many shots each soldier had fired other than by their own account, and he gave a breakdown of the shots fired at paragraph 62 of his report. From this breakdown, it emerges that no officer above the rank of lieutenant fired any shot. Eleven privates were responsible for firing 62 rounds between them, while ten officers fired 46 rounds altogether. Only three soldiers altogether fired more than 10 rounds: Private S fired 12, Lance Corporal F fired 13, and Private H fired 22 (20% of all the shots fired by the Paras). Private H's evidence to the inquiry was that 19 of these shots were fired at a sniper firing from a window of a flat in Glenfada Park. Photographic and other evidence showed that no shots had been fired through the window in question, and Widgery discounted H's evidence, ruling that the 19 shots were unaccounted for [paragraph 85]. In an interview during the Remember Bloody Sunday programme, 1 Para's Company Sergeant Major revealed that one soldier had actually expended two more rounds than he had been issued. The exchange with Peter Taylor, the reporter, went as follows:
"CSM: I was quite happy about the normal return of one round, two rounds, three rounds. But then er I came to this particular soldier who had actually expended two more rounds than he's been issued. And I was concerned about it.
PT: Two rounds more than he'd been issued?
CSM: He'd act ... he'd expended two rounds more than he'd been issued.
PT: That's Soldier H?
CSM: I'm not prepared to say who it was but there was a soldier who had expended two rounds more - well it was in fact on the Widgery Report came on - it came out on the Widgery Report.
PT: Widgery doesn't say he expended two rounds more than he'd been issued with.
CSM: Well he did.
Peter Taylor then asked the Company Sergeant Major what his reaction had been and what he had said to the soldier.
"CSM: I said, 'What the hell were you doing?' And he said, 'I was firing at the enemy,' he said, 'I was firing at gunmen.
PT: Did you believe him?
CSM: I didn't know what to think at the time.
PT: Did you believe him?
CSM: No. Knowing the soldier as - as I do know him I don't believe he was firing at gunmen.
PT: Did you see any gunmen?
CSM: No.
PT: Did you see any weapons?
CSM: No.
PT: Did you see any nail bomber?
CSM: No."

5.1 On the day after Bloody Sunday, 31st January 1972, The Home Secretary, Reginald Maudling, made the following statement to the House of Commons [Hansard. cols. 32 -33]:
'The House will have heard with deep anxiety that a number of people were killed and injured in the course of disturbances in Londonderry yesterday.

A march was organised in deliberate defiance of the legal order banning marches. The GOC [General Officer Commanding] Northern Ireland has reported that at an appropriate point this march was stopped by the security forces and that those who were under the control of the organisers turned back. A large number of trouble-makers refused to accept the instructions of the march stewards and attacked the Army with stones, bottles, steel bars and canisters of CS [gas]. The Army met this assault with two water cannon, CS, and rubber bullets only. The GOC has further reported that when the Army advanced to make arrests among the trouble-makers they came under fire from a block of flats and other quarters. At this stage the members of the orderly, though illegal, march were no longer near the vicinity. The Army returned the fire directed at them with aimed shots and inflicted a number of casualties on those who were attacking them with firearms and with bombs."

At this point, Bernadette Devlin MP interrupted the Home Secretary, accusing him of lying to the House. He continued:
"In view of the statements that have been made which publicly dispute this account, the Government have decided that it is right to set up an independent inquiry into the circumstances of the march and the incidents leading up to the casualties which resulted."
Bernadette Devlin, who had been present at the demonstration and was due to speak at the rally, tried to speak in the ensuing debate in order to give her version of events, but, despite support from other MPs, was prevented from doing so by the Speaker.
5.2 On 1st February 1972, the Opposition moved an adjournment debate on the events of Bloody Sunday. It was well understood by all concerned that, once the Tribunal of Inquiry was set up, the law of contempt would prevent any further comment on those events [see Hansard 1.2.1972, cal 242]. It is significant, therefore, that the Minister of State for Defence, Lord Balniel, despite protests from a number of MPs, insisted on making the following statement during the debate [Hansard, col 270]:
"In normal circumstances one could well claim that, since an inquiry is to be set up, it would be better that nothing should be said at this stage which might seem to prejudge what the findings of the inquiry will be. But, as the House knows, there has been a series of reports involving the most serious allegations against the Army's conduct. It is conceivable, although I much hope that it will not prove to be the case, that these allegations will be given further currency during the course of the debate.

I think, therefore, that it is right for me to set out in good faith the facts as I know them, although I realise that the facts as I know them conflict with the statements which have been made by other people. It is right because, however urgently the inquiry is conducted, some time is bound to elapse before the evidence can be collected and weighed. It is not right that the Army's case could go by default when bitter, intemperate, and, to the best of my belief, inaccurate or untrue statements have been made against it. It would be grossly unfair to the forces in Northern Ireland. We must also recognise that the IRA is waging a war, not only of bullets and bombs but of words. It is waging a highly skilled war of propaganda, in which corpses, the unutterable sadness of relatives, the confusion, the gullibility and the downright lies are all brought into play. If the IRA is allowed to win this war I shudder to think what will be the future of the people living in Northern Ireland.

To allow the Army's case to go by default would be to allow to go by default the very people whose sole purpose is to prevent Northern Ireland sliding into civil war."

At this point Lord Balniel was interrupted while MPs argued about the propriety of his continuing to give the army's version of events. He nevertheless went on to describe at some length the governments view of IRA tactics, which he said had recently changed because of inroads by the intelligence services into their command structure. He alleged that the IRA was increasingly directing its attacks to "soft" targets, and was using the general public as "crowd cover" to shield its members while it attacked the security forces. Justifying the imposition of the ban on demonstrations, he said:
"Civil rights marches suit the IRA's tactics and purposes well - not just because of their propaganda value but also because they give it a chance to create trouble."

Having created the impression that those involved in the Bloody Sunday march were either active supporters of or had been used by the IRA, he went on to suggest that responsibility for the violence on Bloody Sunday lay with the organisers of the march, a sentiment which was echoed by Lord Widgery in his report [Conclusion 1].

Lord Balniel then gave his version of the facts as he knew them:

"I turn now to the events of Sunday afternoon in Londonderry. Intelligence information had given the security forces good reason to believe that the IRA would exploit the opportunities afforded by the march and subsequent rioting to mount attacks on the security forces. Marchers began to gather in the Creggan, at about 2 pm. By about 2.45, when they numbered about 800, they set off on a tour of the Creggan and the Bogside, gradually building up their strength to about 3,000. The march was well marshalled at this stage.

Troops from the three resident Londonderry battalions were manning a number of barriers inside the edge of a Catholic area, and in particular in the area of William Street. The decision precisely when and where to intervene in an illegal march in order to frustrate it is a matter for the commander on the spot. In this case, no action was to be taken against the marchers unless they tried to break through barriers or to direct violence against the troops.

The marchers reached the barrier in William Street, east of the junction with Rossville Street, just before 3.40. There was a brief discussion between the march leaders, the Army and the RUC. The leaders began to move off, but stewards were unable to keep control and large groups of trouble-makers started to throw stones, bottles, steel bars, and other missiles - including canisters of CS - at the troops manning the barriers in the area. Water cannon were used, and the bulk of the crowd moved back to the open ground around Rossville Street, leaving behind a hooligan element still attacking troops at the barriers. At this stage troops used CS and rubber bullets against the rioters.

By five minutes past four the crowd in Rossville Street was largely dispersing. There was clear separation between the rioters at the barricades and the remaining marchers in the area. There had, however, already been two incidents foreshadowing the terrorist violence which was to come. At 3.55 a high-velocity round was fired across William Street from the direction of the Rossville Flats, striking a drainpipe four feet above the heads of a party of soldiers. A few moments later, a man was seen preparing to light a nail bomb in William Street; he was shot as he prepared to throw, was seen to fall, and was dragged away by his fellows.

Between 4.05 and 4.10, the brigade commander ordered the 1st Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, to launch an arrest operation against the rioters, who, as I have said, were well separated from the marchers. These rioters were flagrantly breaking the law; hurling missiles at the troops and establishing a degree of violence which was quite unacceptable. The level of their violence was highly dangerous to the police and Army.

The hon. Member for Leeds, South [Merlyn Rees, Shadow defence spokesman] has asked about the responsibility for the decision to arrest. The arrest operation was discussed by the Joint Security Council after decisions had been taken by Ministers here. Where the barricades are actually placed is a matter for the operational commanders on the spot.

The Parachute Regiment, the Belfast reserve Battalion, had been deployed to Londonderry as a precaution, and had been kept behind the line of barriers for use in this way in case it was needed. Three companies of soldiers therefore came through the barriers in William Street at about 4.15 pm. They fired rubber bullets when necessary. It is the noise of these rubber-bullet firings which, incidentally, I believe is the reason why many of the marchers who were well away from the area believed that the Army opened fire first.

Two companies made a number of arrests. One company found the rioters it intended to arrest withdrawing towards Rossville flats and followed them in armoured vehicles towards those buildings. On the way, three rounds struck one vehicle, and a burst of about 1 5 rounds from a sub-machine gun struck the ground just a few yards away from a group of soldiers as they got out of their vehicle.

The soldiers continued to arrest the rioters whom they had chased. They arrested about 28 in a matter of a few minutes. At the same time, they came under fire from gunmen, nail bombers and petrol bombers, some in the flats and some at ground level. Between 4.17 and 4.35 pm, a number of these men were engaged. Some gunmen and bombers were certainly hit and some almost certainly killed. In each case, soldiers fired aimed shots at men identified as gunmen or bombers. They fired in self-defence or in defence of their comrades who were threatened. I reject entirely the suggestion that they fired indiscriminately or that they fired into a peaceful and innocent crowd."

5.3 Thus Lord Balniel, speaking on behalf of the government, gave an official version of events which it was about to set up an independent inquiry to investigate. During the same debate, Bernadette Devlin was at last allowed to give her account. It differed substantially from that of the Minister for Defence. She also, alone among the MPs who spoke in the debate, gave the dead and injured the dignity of naming them.
5.4 On the same day, the Ministry of Defence issued a detailed account of the army's version of events, relayed by the British Information Services, Third Avenue, New York, as follows:
'The march in Londonderry on January 30 was held in contravention of the Government's ban on all processions and parades. This ban of course applies to both communities in Northern Ireland.
Of the 13 men killed in the shooting that began after the bulk of the 3,000 marchers had been peacefully dispersed, four were on the security forces wanted list. One man had four nail bombs in his pocket. All were between the ages of 16 and 40.
The shooting started with two high-velocity shots aimed at the troops manning the barriers. No one was hit and the fire was not returned. Four minutes later a further high-velocity shot was aimed at a battalion wire-cutting party. This shot also was not answered.
A few minutes later a member of the machine-gun platoon saw a man about to light a nail bomb. As the man prepared to throw, an order was given to shoot him. He fell and was dragged away.
Throughout the fighting that ensued, the Army fired only at identified targets - at attacking gunmen and bombers. At all times the soldiers obeyed their standing instructions to fire only in self-defence or in defence of others threatened.
The bulk of the marchers dispersed after reaching the barricades, on instructions from March Stewards. A hard core of hooligans remained behind and attacked three of the barriers. When the attacks reached an unacceptable level, the soldiers were ordered to pass through and arrest as many as possible. They were not, however, to conduct a running battle down the street.
As they went through the barriers the soldiers fired rubber bullets to clear the streets in front of them. They made 43 arrests.
The troops then came under indiscriminate firing from apartments and a car park. The following is the army's account of the return fire:

1. Nail-bomber hit in the thigh.
2. Petrol-bomber, apparently killed in the car park.
3. A bomber in the flats, apparently killed.
4. Gunman with pistol behind barricade, shot and hit.
5. Nail-bomber shot and hit.
6. Another nail-bomber shot and hit.
7. Rubber bullet fired at gunman handling pistol
8. Nail-bomber hit.
9. Three nail-bombers, all hit.
10. Two gunmen with pistols, one hit, one unhurt.
11. One sniper in a toilet window fired on and not hit.
12. Gunman with pistol in third floor flat shot and possibly hit.
13. Gunman with rifle on ground floor of flats shot and hit.
14. Gunman with rifle at barricade killed and body recovered."

5.5 It was these official accounts of the victims which gave the gravest offence of all to their relatives and to the eyewitnesses who knew that they were not armed, and which continue to give offence to this day because they have never been fully and publicly repudiated.
5.6 Lord Widgery also caused deep offence by his conclusion 10:
None of the deceased or wounded is proved to have been shot whilst handling a firearm or bomb. Some are wholly acquitted of complicity in such action; but there is a strong suspicion that some others had been firing weapons or handling bombs in the course of the afternoon and that yet others had been closely supporting them."
Below we examine the case of each of the deceased in turn.

Gerald Donaghy was aged 17 when he was killed by a single shot to his abdomen, fired by Soldier G, at Glenfada Park. He did not die at once, and was taken wounded to the house of Raymond Rogan, where his pockets were searched for some means of identification. He was examined there by a doctor, Kevin Swords, who had to disturb some of his clothing, including his jeans, in order to carry out the examination. Dr Swords recommended immediate hospitalisation, and Raymond Rogan and another man, Leo Young, set out to drive him to hospital in Rogan's car. When they reached a military checkpoint in Barrack Street, Rogan and Young were ordered out of the car and a soldier drove it to the Regimental Aid Post of 1st Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment, where a Medical Officer, identified at the Widgery hearings as Soldier 138, examined Gerald Donaghy and pronounced him dead. He also carried out a more detailed examination shortly afterwards. None of the people who had contact with Gerald Donaghy from the time he was shot until this point in time, including the army Medical Officer, noticed anything in Gerald Donaghy's pockets. However, a very short time later, a police photograph was taken of his body while he lay in the car which showed that he had a nail bomb in one of his trouser pockets. Soldier 127 then searched the body and found four nail bombs altogether in his trouser and jacket pockets. Despite what Widgery described as an exhaustive examination of these facts, he nonetheless concluded, in the teeth of the evidence, that the nailbombs had been in Gerald Donaghys pockets all along. He dismissed the suggestion that they had obviously been planted on the body as "mere speculation" and went on to say [paragraph 88]:
No evidence was offered as to where the bombs might have come from, who might have placed them or why Donaghy should have been singled out for this treatment."
Widgery did not comment on the fact that these four nail bombs were the only "proof" that any nailbomb had been present on Bloody Sunday, nor did he make any attempt to investigate whether Gerald Donaghy might have lived if he had been able to get to hospital quickly enough. Nor did he mention that Gerald Donaghy was the only victim of Bloody Sunday to have any paramilitary links, having been a member of the IRA's Youth Wing, which may well have been the reason why he was "singled out". A friend of Gerald Donaghy's who was with him when he was shot and who helped him into Rogan's house, identified only by his first name, Denis, was interviewed by Inside Story. Denis said that he had not seen any nail bombs in his friend's pockets and that, had he done so, he would have removed them. Raymond Rogan was also interviewed, and confirmed that he had thoroughly searched all Gerald Donaghy's pockets and that they did not contain any nail bombs.

James Wray died, aged 22, in Glenfada Park at the same time as Gerald Donaghy. He was one of a crowd of people running away from the soldiers. Two eyewitnesses, Mr Porter and Mr O'Reilly, told Widgery that they saw James Wray fall to the ground wounded and that he was then shot a second time from behind and killed. The post mortem evidence shows that he was shot twice, one bullet travelling right to left, superficially across his body, and the other entering his back and travelling right to left. Widgery makes no comment on this evidence that he was killed while lying wounded in his report. Malachy Coyle told Secret History that he was with Wray, whom he did not know, when he died. Coyle said that Wray was lying on the ground, complaining that he was unable to move his legs, when he was shot a second time and killed.

Gerald McKinney was part of the same fleeing crowd as Donaghy and Wray. He died at the age of 35 from a single shot that travelled through his chest from left to right. Mr O'Reilly said that Gerald McKinney was shot by the same soldier who shot Gerald Donaghy, and that both victims were unarmed at the time. Two other eyewitnesses, McKinney's brother-in-law John OKane and former policeman Charles Meehan, neither of whom was called to give evidence before Widgery, said that Gerald McKinney had his arms raised in surrender at the time of his death. The trajectory of the bullet which killed him is consistent with this account; had his arms been at his sides, the bullet would have passed through at least his left arm, if not both.

William McKinney died just after Gerard McKinney, to whom he was not related. John Carr, a schoolboy, testified that after Gerard McKinney had been shot, William McKinney ran towards him and bent over him, where he himself was killed. William McKinney was 26 years old and died from a single bullet which passed through his chest from right to left and then through his left wrist. He was shot from behind. Widgery dealt with the deaths of Donaghy, Wray and the two McKinneys en bloc, saying [paragraph 83]:
"I find the evidence too confused and too contradictory to make separate consideration possible,"
an assertion which was challenged by the Insight team, who said there was plenty of photographic and eyewitness evidence available to enable events to be disentangled. In his Conclusion 8, Widgery said that the firing by soldiers in Glenfada Park "bordered on the reckless".

John Young also died at Glenfada Park, aged 17. He was killed by a single shot to his head. He was among a group of young men, some of whom had been throwing stones at the soldiers. Two eyewitnesses -a priest, Father O'Keefe, and a postman who had served for 12 years in the British navy - gave evidence at the Widgery Inquiry that John Young had no gun or nailbomb in his hands. However, forensic tests disclosed lead particles on his left hand, from which Widgery concluded [paragraph 76] that he had probably fired a gun. The forensic expert who gave evidence at the hearing, Dr John Martin, explained that there were several ways in which a body could be contaminated by lead particles, even though the deceased had not been firing a gun, including contact with the floor of a military vehicle, proximity to firing, and being handled by someone else who had fired a weapon. John Young's body was loaded into an army vehicle by soldiers who had either been firing themselves or had been in close proximity to colleagues who had been firing. Secret History said that they had interviewed eyewitnesses who said that John Young. who was dressed in his Sunday best, had not fired at the soldiers.

William Nash died at the same time and in the same circumstances as John Young. He was 19 years old and died from a single shot to his chest. Widgery concluded from lead particles found on his left hand that he had been firing a gun, probably at Soldier P, who said that he had shot four times at someone who was firing a pistol at him. Paul Coyle, an eyewitness interviewed for the Secret History programme, said that he believed Nash had been going to someone's assistance when he was shot. Coyle is emphatic that William Nash had no weapon.

Michael McDaid, aged 20, died from a single shot to his face alongside John Young and William Nash. Lead particles were found on his jacket and his right hand. Widgery concluded that he had probably been contaminated by lead associated with firing by Young or Nash. In none of these three cases did Widgery in his report give any serious consideration to the evidence of the eyewitnesses or to the possibility of contamination emanating from the soldiers or their vehicle.

Michael Kelly, aged 17, was shot by Soldier F in the same bout of firing that killed Young, Nash and McDaid. He died from a single shot to his abdomen. There were lead particles on his right cuff, from which Widgery concluded that he had been close to someone firing a gun. However, Widgery accepted that Michael Kelly himself had fired no weapon, nor thrown any bomb at the soldiers.

Kevin McElhinney died at the age of 1 7 from a single shot which hit him from behind as he was trying to crawl to safety in the Rossville Flats. Although two eyewitnesses, Father O'Keefe and a newspaper photographer, testified that he was unarmed, Widgery inferred that he must have been killed by Sergeant K, who said that he had fired upon a man who was crawling along carrying a rifle. In a phrase that was typical of the ambiguity of many of Widgery's findings concerning all the deceased, he concluded [paragraph 82]:
'Though I hesitate to make a positive finding against a deceased man, I was much impressed by Sergeant K's evidence."

Like Kevin McElhinney, Patrick Doherty was shot in the back while crawling to safety in the Rossville Flats. He died from a single bullet wound at the age of 31. A series of photographs taken by Gilles Peress showed that he was unarmed, yet Widgery found that he had probably been killed by Soldier F in the mistaken belief that he had a pistol.

Seventeen-year-old Jack Duddy was killed by a single shot that passed through his upper chest from right to left. Four eyewitnesses, Father Daly, Mrs Bonner, Mrs Duffy and Mr Tucker, all testified that he was running away from the soldiers at the Rossville Flats when he died and that he was unarmed. The latter three all said that they saw a soldier take deliberate aim at him as he fled. Widgery concluded that he was hit by a bullet intended for someone else.

Another seventeen-year-old to die at the Rossville Flats, Hugh Gilmore was hit by a single bullet that passed through his left elbow and then travelled on into his body from right to left, as he was running from the soldiers. Eyewitness Geraldine Richmond was running with him, and testified that he was unarmed, as a photograph taken after he was hit confirmed. She was under the impression that he had been shot from behind. The trajectory of the bullet shows that he was shot from sideways-on; this is not inconsistent with his having turned to look back while running away. Despite her testimony, which was subjected to rigorous cross-examination by Counsel for the British army, Widgery pref erred a written statement from Sean McDermott, who was not called as a witness, which said that Hugh Gilmore was standing on a barricade facing the soldiers at the time of his death.

Bernard McGuigan died at the age of 41 in the act of going to the assistance of a wounded man in the Rossville Flats. He died from a single shot through the back of his head. He had a white handkerchief in his hand with which he was signalling his peaceful intention. He had no weapon. Lead particles were found on both his hands. Widgery concluded that the forensic evidence [paragraph 74]
" .... constitutes ground for suspicion that he had been in close proximity to someone who had fired."
6.14 Three aspects arise from the known facts about the circumstances in which the deceased died, none of which was commented upon by Widgery. First, nearly all of the deceased were killed by single, aimed shots to the head or trunk. This does not suggest the uncontrolled firing of soldiers who were in a state of panic, but highly disciplined action by soldiers who were trained to shoot to kill. Indeed, Widgery himself concluded [Conclusion 11]:
'There was no general breakdown in discipline."
Secondly, all the deceased were men and nine of them were under the age of 25. This suggests that soldiers were targeting particular members of the crowd, perhaps in conformity with a pre-conceived picture of who should be targeted in such a situation. Thirdly, in all the cases, but most notably those of Gerald Donaghy, James Wray, Kevin McElhinney, William McKinney, Jack Duddy, Patrick Doherty and Bernard McGuigan, serious questions arise as to whether the deceased were in fact murdered. Far from considering that question, Widgery seems to have been at pains to put the construction on the evidence which is most favourable to the soldiers, at the expense of the reputation of the deceased.
6.15 In 1974, the British government issued the following statement:
"On the afternoon of the 30th January 1972 in the area of the Rossville Flats in Londonderry the Army launched an operation to arrest persons who were rioting after an illegal march. In the course of this arrest operation terrorist gunmen opened fire on the Army and bombs were also thrown at the soldiers, and some of the gunmen fired from behind a barricade between the Rossville Flats and Glenfada Park. The soldiers returned fire in self-defence and in order to protect their comrades, and the soldiers were entitled in law to return the fire of the bombers and of the gunmen who had fired first at them. As a result of the fire by the Army 13 persons were shot and killed.
In the summary of the conclusions to his Report, Lord Widgery said that some of the deceased were wholly acquitted of complicity in handling firearms or bombs, but that there was a strong suspicion that some others of the deceased had been firing weapons or handling bombs in the course of the afternoon and that others had been closely supporting them. But Lord Widgery also found that none of the deceased was proved to have been shot whilst handling a firearm or bomb.
Her Majesty's Government say that the Army and the Ministry of Defence are under no legal liability in respect of the deaths of the 13 deceased, because the troops acted lawfully in self-defence and in order to protect their comrades when they opened fire on the gunmen and bombers who had attacked them. But having regard to the finding of Lord Widgery that none of the deceased was proved to have been shot whilst handling a firearm or bomb, Her Majesty's Government now state that they accept that, by reason of this finding of Lord Widgery, all of the deceased should be regarded as having been found not guilty of the allegation of having been shot whilst handling a firearm or bomb and in a spirit of goodwill and conciliation towards the relatives and friends of the deceased and on an ex gratia basis Her Majesty's Government have agreed to pay to the relatives of each of the deceased the respective sums set out below:
Patrick Joseph Doherty
Gerald Vincent Donaghy
John Francis Duddy
Hugh Pius Gilmour
Michael Gerald Kelly
Michael Martin McDaid
Kevin Gerard McElhinney
Bernard McGuigan
James Gerard McKinney
William Anthony McKinney
William Noel Nash
James Patrick Joseph Wray
John Pius Young
The payment of the above sums shall, where claims have been made on behalf of infants, be subject to the approval of the High Court of Justice in Northern Ireland."
The government's use of the words "acquitted" and "found not guilty" suggest that they saw the Widgery Tribunal as some sort of trial of the victims, rather than there being any need to focus on the perpetrators.
6.16 In a letter addressed to Derry MP John Hume dated 29.12.1992, Prime Minister John Major said:
"The Government made clear in 1974 that those who were killed on 'Bloody Sunday' should be regarded as innocent of any allegation that they were shot whilst handling firearms or explosives. I hope that the families of those who died will accept that assurance."
The relatives of the deceased regard the shift from "not guilty" to 'innocent" as a limited form of progress.

7.1 Thirteen people were injured on Bloody Sunday. Many of them were shot in close proximity to those who died, and were fortunate not to be killed themselves. Their testimony was clearly vital to any inquiry into the event, yet Lord Widgery called only seven of them to give evidence at the hearing. Some of the victims were still in hospital at the time, but all had made written statements, to which Widgery appears to have paid scant regard, and presumably he could have gone to them it they were too ill to come to him. Widgery only made findings in respect of three of the wounded. Below we review what is known about their experiences.

These two men were both shot in the William Street/Rossville Street area, about ten minutes before the main bout of army firing commenced in which all the other victims were killed or wounded. Corporal A and Soldier B testified at the hearing that they had taken deliberate aim and fired at people who appeared to be throwing lighted nailbombs at a group of soldiers who were giving cover to a wire-cutting party. Nevertheless, Widgery [paragraph 36] found that John Johnson, who also gave evidence, was
" ..... an innocent passer-by going about his own business in Londonderry that afternoon and was almost certainly shot by accident."
John Johnson died prematurely young of a brain tumour, not long after Bloody Sunday; his family felt that the trauma of Bloody Sunday may have contributed to his untimely death. Damien Donaghy, who was too ill to attend the hearing, his leg having been shattered by a high velocity bullet which kept him in hospital for six months, was also found by Widgery not to have been involved in nail bombing. He was interviewed for Secret History, in which he affirmed that he had done nothing to warrant being shot. Eyewitnesses Betty and William Curran were also interviewed, and confirmed that neither Johnson nor Donaghy, nor anyone else in the vicinity, was throwing nail bombs. No nail bombs were found in the area.

Michael Bridge was a steward on the march. He was present when Jack Duddy was killed. He told Widgery that he was so outraged that he ran into the open, jumped up and down, flung out his arms as if crucified with his fingers outspread to show that he had no weapon, and shouted at the soldiers, "Shoot me! Shoot me!' Father Daly testified that he saw a Para take aim and fire at Bridge, wounding him in the leg. Widgery made no mention of this incident in his report.

Seventeen-year-old Michael Quinn was among the group of people fleeing Glenfada Park when James Wray, Gerald Donaghy, and the two McKinneys were shot. He testified that he had no weapon and was not involved in nail bombing. He was shot in the face, the bullet passing through his cheek. Widgery made no findings concerning his wounding.

Patrick O'Donnell told Widgery he was wounded in Glenfada Park as he lay on the ground trying a shield an old woman with his body. Widgery did not comment on his bravery or his injuries.

Patrick McDaid testified that he had helped to carry another of the wounded, Margaret Deery, to safety in a house in Chamberlain Street. When he left the house, he ran in the direction of Rossville Street, and was shot in the shoulder while running. Widgery does not mention Patrick McDaid in his report.

Alexander Nash gave evidence that he had been wounded in the arm while summoning an ambulance for his son William, who died. Unlike all the other victims, he was shot by a low velocity bullet. Widgery concluded [paragraph 79] that Alexander Nash was hit by a "civilian" firing haphazardly at the soldiers. (Please see paragraph 4.8 above.)

A 37 year old mother of 13 children, Margaret Deery was the only female victim of Bloody Sunday. She told Insight that she was shot at a distance of 25 yards by a Para who leapt from an armoured vehicle and immediately took aim in her direction. She was seriously injured in the leg and crippled for life. Widgery did not call upon her or any of the eyewitnesses who corroborated her story to give evidence.

Michael Bradley was a neighbour of Jack Duddy. He told Secret History that he saw red when he saw Duddy lying dead. He picked up some stones and started throwing them, whereupon he was immediately shot in the upper arm. Widgery did not call him to give evidence or give any consideration to whether or not the soldiers had employed minimum force against him.

These four men are included in Widgery's list of the injured, but his report makes no mention of them.

7.11 We understand that some, if not all, of the injured received compensation from the state for their injuries, but we have been unable to obtain precise details.

7.12 None of the injured was ever prosecuted for rioting. Nor, to the best of our knowledge, was any of them charged with any offence arising out of the events on Bloody Sunday.

8.1 The Widgery Tribunal was controversial from the outset, and Lord Widgery's findings are controversial to this day.

8.2.1 The inquiry was instigated under the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act 1921, which allows for a three-person tribunal to conduct a public inquiry, but the government appointed Lord Widgery as the sole investigator, with the consequence that he personally has become identified with the report, which has been the subject of much criticism. Given the massive conflict of evidence which emerged between the soldiers' version of events and that of the survivors and other eyewitnesses, it might have been preferable to have had the benefit of more than one scrutineer.
8.2.2 Although on the face of it the appointment of the Lord Chief Justice of England to conduct the inquiry demonstrated that the government was according the matter the serious attention it required, and his appointment had the support of the two major opposition parties in parliament, the choice of Lord Widgery was not seen as an impartial appointment by many of those most directly affected by Bloody Sunday. Lord Widgery had held the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Artillery, and had subsequently been a Brigadier in the Territorial Army. Coming from a landed background in Devonshire, he was in every sense a member of the British establishment, and serious consideration was given by many witnesses to boycotting the inquiry altogether, although ultimately they decided to proffer their testimony.
8.2.3 Despite the cross-party support for the appointment of Lord Widgery personally, a number of MPs expressed doubts about his being the sole arbiter [Hansard, 1.2.1972, col. 241 et seq]. The Leader of the Opposition, Harold Wilson, a former Prime Minister, suggested that it might be wiser for Lord Widgery to have the assistance of two or more colleagues. Jeremy Thorpe, the Liberals' leader, urged the appointment of "two assessors drawn from this country, from Europe or the Commonwealth." A Northern Ireland MP, Gerry (now Lord) Fitt, called for the additional appointment of an international jurist or judge in order to make the inquiry's findings more acceptable to those who lost husbands and sons". However, these and other calls were not accepted by the government.

Lord Widgery himself made a very controversial decision at the outset of the inquiry by deciding to hold the inquiry not in Derry but in Coleraine, a mainly Protestant town 30 miles away. At paragraph 5 of his report he claimed that he made this decision reluctantly "for reasons of security and convenience". These reasons can only have applied to the security and convenience of soldiers who were called as witnesses. For witnesses from mainly Catholic Derry, many of whom were nationalists, Coleraine was a hostile venue. As it was, the majority of soldiers who gave evidence, whose stay in Northern Ireland was in any case temporary, did so anonymously, while civilians, who live there permanently, were afforded no such protection.

Much detailed criticism has been levelled at Lord Widgery's report. Two examples are appended to this submission: Justice Denied, produced by the International League for the Rights of Man [Annex C], and The Impaired Asset, by Bryan McMahon of University College, Cork, reproduced in Vol. VI No.3 of Le Domain Humain, Autumn 1974 [Annex D]. In addition to the comments made above, we wish to draw attention to a number of major flaws in the report:
a. the limitations Lord Widgery placed on his terms of reference;
b. internal inconsistencies contained in the report;
c. the failure to resolve the conflict of evidence and to give the evidence its due and proper weight;
d. the unreliability of the forensic evidence;
e. the incorrect application of the law on lethal force; and
f. the failure to reach conclusions which were justified by the facts.

Lord Widgery voluntarily and quite unnecessarily limited his own terms of reference. On 1 st February 1972, parliament adopted a resolution
'That it is expedient that a Tribunal be established for inquiring into a definite matter of urgent public importance, namely the events on Sunday 30th January which led to loss of life in connection with the procession in Londonderry on that day."
This appeared to give Lord Widgery carte blanche to investigate anything which seemed relevant. However, at the preliminary hearing on 14th February 1972, he announced that the tribunal would be "essentially a fact-finding exercise" which would avoid making moral judgements "so that those who were concerned to form judgments would have a firm basis on which to reach their conclusions [reported by Widgery himself at paragraph 2]. Stressing his desire for expedition which the report so graphically reflects, he said at paragraph 3:
"I emphasised the narrowness of the confines of the Inquiry, the value of which would largely depend on its being conducted and concluded expeditiously. If considerations not directly relevant to the matters under review were allowed to take up time, the production of the Tribunal's Report would be delayed. The limits of the Inquiry in space were the streets of Londonderry in which the disturbances and the shooting took place; in time, the period beginning with the moment when the march first became involved in violence and ending with the deaths of the deceased and the conclusion of the affair."
At the first substantive hearing of the inquiry, Lord Widgery clarified his remarks to confirm that his inquiry would cover the orders given to the army before the march. It is apparent from Lord Widgery's failure to give anything more than cursory attention to the evidence of the thirteen people wounded on Bloody Sunday that he further interpreted his brief to be concentrated on the "loss of life" part of his terms of reference rather than on the events which led to it.

8.6.1 The Tribunal of Inquiry was established on 1st February 1972, two days after Bloody Sunday. Such a prompt response to the widespread call for an inquiry was commendable, but the announcement of the inquiry had the immediate effect of rendering reporting about the events sub judice - for example, the Insight team were unable to publish their very detailed account until after the report of the Tribunal was published. Lord Widgery also reported very promptly. His report was published on 18th April 1972, less than three months after the event. However, twenty two years later the report reads as if it was put together hastily and without proper consideration.
8.6.2 At paragraph 45 of his report, Lord Widgery said that the operations of Support Company in three areas of the city - the Rossville Flats, Rossville Street, and Glenfada Park - required separate examination, but the report included no such examination of the events in Glenfada Park.
8.6.3 At paragraph 3 of the report, Widgery said that he would limit his consideration to the period of time beginning with the moment when violence first erupted and ending with the deaths of the deceased, but went on to devote paragraphs 10 to 15 to an analysis of events in Derry during the previous six months. This analysis has been heavily criticised by commentators for giving a one-sided version of events from the point of view of the security forces, without including any consideration to the reasons for holding the march or making any mention of internment without trial.
8.6.4 At paragraph 2, Lord Widgery asserted that he was not concerned to make moral judgements about the events, yet in his conclusions he makes a number of very substantial moral judgements. These inconsistencies and inadequacies all suggest that the urge to put the report together quickly overrode other considerations. Despite the large body of evidence available, the report is only 39 pages in length.

8.7.1 Lord Widgery complained that the large volume of witness statements put together by NICRA reached him "at an advanced stage in the Inquiry" [paragraph 8], although he claimed to have made use of them "in so far as they contained new material". In fact, he made only one reference to this material in his report, when he preferred the statement of Sean McDermott, whom he did not call to testify, over that of Geraldine Richmond, who did give evidence in person and was cross-examined at length, concerning the location of Hugh Gilmore at the time of his death. The Insight team accused Widgery of failing to consider properly all the photographic evidence available and claimed to have interviewed a number of crucial eyewitnesses whom Widgery did not call.
8.7.2 Be that as it may, Lord Widgery was faced with completely conflicting evidence emanating from two camps: that of the soldiers and that of what Widgery called the civilians. The soldiers quite clearly had a common interest in the outcome of the inquiry, which was that their firing upon the crowd in Derry should be vindicated. According to the soldiers, they were fired upon first, they were more fired upon than firing, they were stoned and abused, and they were attacked with nail-, petrol- and acid-bombs. Everyone they shot at, they insisted, was in the act of attacking a soldier. The "civilians", on the other hand, were a less heterogeneous group. Although Derry is a predominantly Catholic city, many of the inhabitants of which are nationalists, not all of those who proffered evidence to Widgery could be described in those terms. Among the literally hundreds of eyewitnesses whose statements were available to Widgery, very few of whom he called to give evidence, were English people, people who had served in the British armed forces, at least one ex-policeman, journalists from outside Northern Ireland and doctors. Despite the fact that not all the civilians were likely to have a common cause, they nonetheless told remarkably similar stories. The dead and wounded had not been attacking soldiers, and the violence from within the crowd had been limited to hurling stones and abuse at the soldiers in what was described by many witnesses, in a phrase which speaks volumes for the situation pertaining in Derry at the time, as a "normal riot". Furthermore, they maintained, it was, as riots went, a small riot at the end of what had been a peaceful demonstration. Their overwhelming impression was that the soldiers had fired on an unarmed crowd without provocation or justification.
8.7.3 Remarkably, Lord Widgery made no attempt in his report to resolve this serious collective conflict of evidence, and did not even mention it. He failed altogether to consider the background to or the reasons for the demonstration, while devoting several paragraphs to the difficulties facing the security forces in the six months prior to Bloody Sunday. At paragraph 13 he gives detailed information about the number of shots tired and bombs thrown at them between 1st August 1971 and 9 February 1972 - a curious timespan; it is not clear whether these figures include the hail of missiles claimed by the soldiers to have been aimed at them on Bloody Sunday itself. Between July 1971 and Bloody Sunday, the security forces had killed four people in Derry, and utilised an unknown number of rubber bullets and an unknown quantity of CS gas, and had a week before Bloody Sunday put down a peaceful anti-internment demonstration with extreme violence, but Widgery makes no mention of that. He approached the conflict of evidence by asking who had fired first. Having concluded that "civilians" had first opened fire upon the soldiers, he then went on to consider whether the soldiers had been justified in returning fire. Although he found that none of the deceased had been proved to have been shot while handling a firearm or a bomb, he accepted the soldiers' evidence that they thought that they were being fired upon or bombed at the time. He dismisses any suggestion that the soldiers may have been lying, despite the obvious possibility in view of the weight of the eyewitness evidence that none of the deceased was engaged in attacking a soldier, in one sentence [paragraph 54]:
"If the soldiers are wrong they were parties to a lying conspiracy which must have come to light in the rigorous cross-examination to which they were subject."
For all his long experience as a judge, the Lord Chief Justice did not examine the self-evident question, which went to the heart of the soldiers' credibility, of whether they had any incentive to represent themselves as being under direct attack, in view of the guidance issued to them [reproduced and discussed by Widgery at length in paragraphs 89 to 104], and the necessity for them to claim to have been acting in self-defence if they were to avoid prosecution.
8.7.4 By accepting the possibility that individual soldiers may have been mistaken in firing on unarmed civilians, Widgery sidestepped the need to deal with the glaring conflict of evidence. As a result, he came to the utterly contradictory conclusion that both camps were telling the truth. Of the eyewitnesses who maintained that it was the soldiers who opened fire first, Lord Widgery declared that they were "doing their best to be truthful" [paragraph 54], and said that he was "much impressed by the care with which many of them, particularly the newspaper reporters, television men and photographers, gave evidence." Equally, Widgery's last word in the body of the report is that "in general the accounts given by the soldiers of the circumstances in which they fired and the reasons why they did so were, in my opinion, truthful" [paragraph 104]. He also said of the soldiers [paragraph 96]:
"Those accustomed to listening to witnesses could not fail to be impressed by the demeanour of the soldiers of 1 Para. They gave their evidence with confidence and without hesitation or prevarication and withstood a rigorous cross-examination without contradicting themselves or each other."
A less experienced judge than Lord Widgery might have found such unshakeable consistency a mite suspicious.
8.7.5 This failure to resolve the conflicting evidence is partly the result of another failing, which was that Lord Widgery apparently did not have any regard to the weight of the evidence. The choice of whom to call as a witness was for Lord Widgery alone to make. As we have already commented, he discounted the evidence of six of the wounded, whose testimony ought to have been considered vital. The media found at the time and are still finding eyewitnesses whom Widgery did not call despite the fact that their testimony shed light on events which Widgery found opaque - see, for example, the Insight team's account of the deaths of Gerald McKinney, James Wray and William McKinney, when Widgery had declared the evidence "too confused and too contradictory to make separate consideration possible" [paragraph 83]. Two doctors, Kevin Swords and Ray McClean, attended the wounded, dying and dead on Bloody Sunday. Kevin Swords tended to Gerald Donaghy, and was called by Widgery, but only to discuss whether or not Donaghy's pockets were full of nail bombs. Ray McClean, previously employed as a doctor by the British airforce, administered to the first casualties of the day, Damien Donaghy and John Johnston, and examined four of the deceased, Jim Wray, Gerald McKinney, Gerald Donaghy and William McKinney. He also attended the post mortems on all the victims as an observer at the request of Cardinal Conway, yet was not called to give evidence even though he volunteered to do so. Amazingly, Widgery's report contains no clear account of the post mortem findings on the deceased. This very selective approach to the available evidence meant that Widgery was able to give equal weight to the soldiers' testimony with that of a very significant number of eyewitnesses whose evidence contradicted theirs. Numbers are not, of course, everything, but Widgery gave no indication at all in his report that he had made any attempt at the judicial balancing of conflicting evidence that might have been expected.

Lord Widgery's handling of the forensic evidence presented to the tribunal was surprisingly inept. He referred throughout his report to the "paraffin test" for detecting lead particles, even though this test, which had long been discredited, was not in fact the test applied by Dr John Martin, who gave the principal forensic testimony. Dr Martin laboured under a number of disadvantages in preparing his report. He did not see the bodies of the deceased, or have any information concerning the manner of their deaths. All he had to work on were swabs taken from the hands of the deceased by a police Scene of Crime officer while the bodies lay in the mortuary, and samples taken from their clothing. No special precautions were taken to ensure that the bodies were not contaminated between the time of their death and the taking of the swabs, a period of around 24 hours, during which time they had lain in army vehicles and been handled by soldiers who were themselves heavily covered in lead residue. The test that Dr Martin applied was a relatively crude test for lead alone. Such a test cannot conclusively detect firearms residue; the preferred test for which is one that looks for the presence of lead, barium and antimony by means of atomic absorption spectrometry or neutron activation analysis, rather than the wet chemical technique used by Dr Martin. Widgery made no mention of any of these shortcomings, yet relied on the forensic evidence to find that a number of the deceased had fired guns or been in close proximity to someone who had done so.

8.9.1 Lord Widgery's approach to the law on the use of lethal force was also surprisingly lacking in rigour. Paragraphs 89 to 104 of his report were subtitled "Were the Soldiers Justified in Firing?", in which Widgery purported to examine the legality of the soldiers' actions in opening fire. The law governing the use of lethal force at the time was (and still is) to be found in s.3 (1) of the Criminal Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1967, which states that "such force as is reasonable in the circumstances" can be used to effect an arrest. The Special Rapporteur will note immediately that this standard falls short of that set by international norms, which insist that only such force as is absolutely necessary is permissible
8.9.2 Not only did Lord Widgery not comment on this discrepancy, he did not even mention the domestic legislation, but concentrated the whole of his consideration on the terms of the Yellow Card, which is an officially secret set of instructions issued to serving soldiers called Instructions for Opening Fire in Northern Ireland. Under the terms of the Yellow Card, soldiers are permitted to fire without warning upon someone who is using a firearm or carrying one which a soldier has reason to think he or she is about to use. The only discretion contained in the rule [Rule 13, reproduced at paragraph 90 of Widgery's report] concerns the soldiers belief as to the intentions of someone who is carrying a gun. The rule does not authorise firing without warning upon someone whom a soldier thinks is firing or carrying a gun, but only against someone who actually is firing or carrying a gun. Thus, if a soldier fires without warning on someone who it subsequently transpires was neither firing nor carrying a weapon, that soldier has fired without any authority to do so. The test of whether the soldier has authority to fire is therefore an objective one.
8.9.3Furthermore, the use of lethal force by anyone in the United Kingdom, whether a soldier or a civilian, is governed by the law, and where a dispute arises it is for the courts, not the individual, to determine whether lethal force has been used legally. Remarkably, Lord Widgery appears to have had no regard to the law on these matters. Instead, he concentrated solely on the question of whether, in firing without having received any order to do so, the soldiers had committed a breach of discipline (rather than of the law). He concluded that they had not done so because it was not practicable for officers to control the firing of individual soldiers "in the prevailing noise and confusion" and because "the soldiers' training required them to act individually" [paragraph 95]. He then went on to examine whether they had been individually justified in opening fire, and found that, in most cases and despite some breaches of the Yellow Card, they had been. Never once did Widgery apply anything other than a subjective test, concerning what the individual soldier thought his victim was doing, rather than the objective test, which would have compared what was known about the victims actions, i.e. whether they were armed or not, with the soldiers' firing in order to establish whether the soldiers were legally justified in opening fire. Such an omission amounts to a dereliction of duty on the part of one of the most senior judges in the land.
8.9.4It was the combination of this wholly inadequate application of the law with his failure to take proper account of the evidence available from the surviving wounded which resulted in Widgery's failing to give proper consideration to two crucial issues which would have clarified whether or not the use of lethal force fell even within the inadequate domestic standard of being "reasonable in the circumstances", let alone within the international norm of absolute necessity. The first of these issues was the decision to deploy 1 Para in the first place. The reason given by the British army, and accepted totally at face value by Widgery, was that "it was the only experienced uncommitted battalion in Northern Ireland" [paragraph 22]. Despite his own graphic description of 1 Para's training to "shoot to kill" [paragraph 94], Widgery never examined whether it was appropriate to use a crack operational battalion trained for combat, who "show no particular concern for the safety of others in the vicinity of the target", in an operation to arrest civilians during a large demonstration in a confined area. Secondly, he did not question whether the use of lethal force employed by 1 Para was proportionate to the situation. By Widgery's own account, the demonstration was all but over when the "arrest operation" began; the soldiers were not out of control - most fired few shots, all of them carefully aimed; most of the deceased and injured were hit by a single shot; none of the deceased or injured was proved to have been armed at the time of their deaths; not a single soldier was injured or killed. Yet, 13 people died at the hands of 1 Para and 13 more were injured, many of them seriously.

8.10.1 Another wholly unsatisfactory aspect of Lord Widgery's report is his failure to draw obvious conclusions from his own findings of fact, while coming to other conclusions that are not supported by the evidence. According to Widgery's own findings:
- if the army had maintained a "low key" approach and not attempted a large scale arrest operation, the day might have passed off without serious incident [Conclusion 3];
- the hazard in the army's operation to civilians may have been underestimated [Conclusion 5];
- the soldiers fired without receiving any order to do so [paragraph 95] and had to decide individually whether to open fire [Conclusion 8];
- the soldiers were trained to shoot to kill [paragraph 95] and their training made them aggressive and decisive [Conclusion 8];
- some of the firing by soldiers, especially in Glenfada Park, bordered on the reckless [Conclusion 8];
- none of the deceased or wounded was proved to have been shot while handling a firearm or bomb [Conclusion 10];
- none of the soldiers was injured [paragraph 95].
Such a list of findings ought to have led, at the very least, to searching investigation of whether the use of lethal force was justified at all, and, if it was, whether its use was proportionate to the situation.
8.10.2 In our submission, the reason that Lord Widgery did not draw the obvious inferences from his own findings was that he made another set of findings which were not justified by the evidence available to him and which coloured his judgement. These included the following.
8.10.3 Lord Widgery's first conclusion was that no-one would have died if the march had not been held [Conclusion 1]. This put the blame for the deaths squarely on the shoulders of the organisers of the march, and suggested that everything that happened on Bloody Sunday stemmed from their decision to defy the ban on demonstrations and express their opposition to internment without trial. However, the organisers had in fact attempted to ensure that the march would pass off peacefully, to the extent that they had secured the agreement of republican para militaries to stay away. It would appear that this agreement was not fully adhered to, but that was not the fault of the organisers. Moreover, it would seem that they made more attempt to avoid violence that the security forces, who ignored the advice of Chief Superintendent Lagan, deployed a crack combat battalion against unarmed civilians, and took no reported precautions whatsoever to avoid bloodshed. It looks very much as if Lord Widgery here departed from his self-imposed embargo on making moral judgements.
8.10.4 Lord Widgery's second, and in some ways most extraordinary conclusion, was that the decision to contain the march within the Bogside and Creggan, despite Lagan's opposition, was "fully justified" and "successfully carried out". In the absence of any explanation of his criteria for reaching these conclusions, his route to defining a death toll of 13 and a similar tally of injured - a casualty list unprecedented in the history of British troops' actions against British citizens - as justified and successful defies the imagination.
8.10.5 Lord Widgery further concluded that 1 Para was deployed sincerely and only to act as an arrest team [Conclusion 4], and he roundly rejected any suggestion that there might have been any other reason for doing so, claiming that there was "not a shred of evidence" to support any other theory [paragraph 22]. Such a finding is somewhat disingenuous: the only evidence available of the security force's motivations came from the security forces themselves; the planning of military operations are officially secret and it is not possible to prove their content without official disclosure. Of course, Lord Widgery was himself as unable to delve beyond what the security forces chose to tell him as those who alleged an ulterior motive in deploying 1 Para, and he cannot necessarily be criticised for failing to investigate conjectures which were not amenable to his enquiries. However, he can and should be criticised for failing to enquire into whether or not the deployment of 1 Para was appropriate, whatever the motivation. In the event, he came to conclusions about their deployment which, certainly so far as the question of sincerity was concerned, had no basis either way in terms of the evidence and once again smacked on the moral judgement Widgery had pledged himself to eschew.
8.10.6 Lord Widgery's conclusion that there was no need for detailed orders in relation to the operation, and particularly for a specific order to open fire [Conclusion 6 and paragraph 95], is completely at odds with his finding [Conclusion 11] that
'The individual soldier ought not to have to bear the burden of deciding whether to open fire in confusion such as prevailed on 30 January."
This contradictory set of findings stems from Lord Widgery's failure correctly to apply the relevant law on the use of lethal force, as has been discussed above. However, it also reflects a fundamental flaw in his findings. The evidence regarding who gave the order, if any, to commence the so-called arrest operation, let alone to start firing, is confused and contradictory. It would appear that no clear order was in fact given, and that individual soldiers, bereft of coherent orders, over-reacted, albeit in a disciplined manner, to a threat which they had been briefed to expect but which was in reality imaginary. This should not have been allowed to happen, and Lord Widgery's finding that detailed orders and, by implication, a disciplined chain of command, were unnecessary, fly in the face of the tragic end result.
8.10.7 Lord Widgery found that the soldiers were fired upon first [Conclusion 7] and that they were at least as fired upon as they gave fire [paragraph 95]. The finding that the soldiers were fired upon first is not justified by the evidence, which was so conflicting as to be inconclusive. The finding that the soldiers sustained as much fire as they gave is not borne out by the evidence. Not a single weapon or bomb was found in the area. Not one of the deceased or wounded, except Gerald Donaghy who was obviously planted, was in possession of a weapon of any description. The only evidence to link any of them with firearms was the presence of lead particles on some of them which, as has been shown above, is more likely to have been produced by secondary contamination, yet Widgery found [Conclusion 10] that there was a "strong suspicion" that some of them had been handling guns or weapons. The source of this suspicion seems to be more Widgery's a priori assumptions that the soldiers were fired upon first, and that therefore some of the victims must have been firing upon them, than anything supported by the forensic evidence.
8.10.8 Lord Widgery held that [Conclusion 9]:
"The standing orders in the Yellow Card are satisfactory."
He does not explain his basis for coming to this conclusion, and, here again, it is difficult to understand what his criteria are in view of the large number of casualties.

9.1 The Royal Ulster Constabulary conducted what they termed "a searching investigation" into the deaths that occurred on Bloody Sunday, and on 4.7.1972 they forwarded their file to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for Northern Ireland.

9.2 The DPP acts under the superintendence of the Attorney General. On 1.8.1972, the Attorney General published the following answer to a Parliamentary Question in Hansard:
"After consideration of the evidence, the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland and I have decided that there is no evidence sufficient to warrant the prosecution of any member of the Security Forces who took part in those events. I have also decided that it would not be in the public interest to proceed further with charges of riotous behaviour which have been brought against certain civilians in respect of their participation in the events of that day; and accordingly directions will be given that no evidence be offered in support of charges already preferred and that the necessary steps be taken to apply to the court to withdraw such summonses as have been issued."

9.3 The inquest into the thirteen deaths was not held until August 1973. The Coroner expressed the opinion that all thirteen victims were murdered (please see paragraph 10.5 below). There is no record that he made any recommendations for avoiding similar deaths in the future.

9.4 There has been no other official inquiry into the events of Bloody Sunday.

10.1 In our submission, the events which took place on Bloody Sunday amounted to the summary and arbitrary execution of unarmed civilians who were the victims of soldiers acting under the military and political command of the United Kingdom government.

10.2 In support of that submission, we cite the following points:
a.the decision to use the Paras was made well in advance of the demonstration and the plan for policing the demonstration, which was opposed by the local police chief, always encompassed the possibility of risk to the life of the demonstrators and others in the vicinity;
b.the choice of the Paras to conduct the arrest operation was both deliberate and reckless. The training of the Paras was completely inappropriate for such a task and their deployment made the risk of casualties inevitable;
c. the overwhelming evidence of eyewitnesses and from press photographs, supported by Lord Widgery's own findings, is that none of the deceased or injured was armed with any weapon;
d.although individual soldiers may have genuinely believed themselves to be under fire, there is no evidence that they came under the sustained firing or hail of nail-, petrol- and acid-bombs which they claimed to have endured. No soldier was injured on Bloody Sunday, and no weapons other than the nail bombs which were obviously planted on the body of Gerald Donaghy were recovered;
e. the United Kingdom government disseminated disinformation about the deceased after the event:
f.Lord Widgery's inquiry into the event was seriously flawed and did not establish the full truth.

10.3 Lord Widgery himself encapsulated the United Kingdom government's policy towards the demonstration on Bloody Sunday [paragraph 16]:
"To allow such a well publicised march to take place without opposition however would bring the law into disrepute and make control of future marches impossible."
Speaking on Remember Bloody Sunday, transmitted on 28 January 1992, twenty years later, Colonel Derek Wilford said of the situation immediately after the shootings:
"Quite honestly I owned the Bogside in military terms. I occupied it."
That was, from the point of view of the security forces and the government, a marked improvement on the previous situation, when the Bogside and Creggan had been no-go areas.

10.4 In archive footage of a press conference held by seven Catholic priests who were present at Bloody Sunday, Secret History showed one of them saying:
"We accuse the colonel of the Parachute Regiment of wilful murder. We accuse the soldiers of shooting indiscriminately into a fleeing crowd, of gloating over casualties, of preventing medical and spiritual aid reaching some of the dying. It is untrue that shots were fired at the troops in Rossville Street before they were attacked. It is untrue that any of the dead or wounded that we attended were armed."
Speaking contemporaneously in the same programme, Bishop Daly said:
"What really made Bloody Sunday so obscene was the fact that people afterwards at the highest level of British justice justified it and I think that is the real obscenity."

10.5 Major Hubert O'Neill, the Coroner who held the much-delayed inquest on those who died on Bloody Sunday issued a statement on 21 August 1973 in which he said:
'This Sunday became known as Bloody Sunday and bloody it was. It was quite unnecessary. It strikes me that the Army ran amok that day and shot without thinking what they were doing. They were shooting innocent people. These people may have been taking part in a march that was banned but that does not justify the troops coming in and firing live rounds indiscriminately. I would say without hesitation that it was sheer, unadulterated murder. It was murder."
[Irish Times, 22 August 1972]
10.6 The relatives of those who died on Bloody Sunday are seeking a new inquiry into their deaths and the prosecution of those responsible. We request the Special Rapporteur to include Bloody Sunday in his next report to the United Nations and to support the relatives' call.

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