Army Veterans Facing murder charges over Bloody Sunday within two weeks

StBob072

LE
Book Reviewer
I too have been following this case with some interest but , being a thicky, please could anyone sum up for me the following:

There may well have a been a "peaceful" civilian protest, but if some broke away from that and started hurling petrol bombs/other potentially harmful missiles, they may be classed as "armed" and posing a physical threat.

Why is only one man being brought to "justice"??? I admit I have no direct experience of something that happened almost 50 years ago, but neither do most of the protagonists in this dreary process.
 
It indicates some seriously tough rioting.

I'm going to assume that despite his worst fears, his troops never actually needed to shoot anybody dead . . . . .
Probably not, but I will try to dig out the Annex letters referred to since I seem to recall these went into more detail about what the issues were with the Yellow Card. A few other PTRs also provide interesting views.
 
No, it confirms that firing was going on. It confirms that an officer believed that his troops were firing unnecessarily. It doesn't confirm that they were under fire.



...in the case of the troops next to the camera. And nearly every other fireteam in the area. But given that Savile reckons that half of all the casualties were caused by a single fireteam, it's reasonable to assume that 99% of 1 PARA was as well-disciplined as you insist. Just... not all of them.

Have you read the Savile report? It changed my mind. Until I read it, I assumed that it was a few soldiers, inappropriately trained for the situation they found themselves in, confused by the echoes of shots fired by other troops, reacting to sudden movements, then convincing themselves afterwards that "they'd definitely been armed". Until then, I had just given them the benefit of the doubt - I've done the ranges at Lydd, and I've seen how inexperienced soldiers could be overwhelmed by a complicated situation.

Dismissing Savile because you don't want to believe it, is foolish.
Thank you for your honest and, I am sure, well-intentioned reply. A consideration of the intentions of particular individuals either in a forum like this or, unlike Lydd, a two-way firing range like the Bogside is important to consider. I agree entirely with your closing statement that it is foolish to dismiss Saville simply because one doesn't wish to believe it. That is why I did not dismiss in my post Saville's findings regarding the deaths concerned: "Nothing I've heard since [regarding the Parachute regiment] has persuaded me to change my view on the above. Unfortunately, and this is the hell of it, none of this excuses in the slightest the actions of individual soldiers responsible for the deaths painstakingly investigated by Lord Saville....' That is what I wrote and please let me know if you disagree with it or find it 'foolish'.

Thank you also for supporting my views regarding the Parachute Regiment in general and 1 Para in particular. You have seen the inexperienced, mistake-prone soldiers of Lydd, and I have seen some of the young men of 1 Para within days of their return from the Bogside. As you say (and thank you very much for saying it) it is reasonable to assume that 99% of 1 Para were well-disciplined. Unlike yourself, I never assumed at any time that they were prone to being 'overwhelmed by a complicated situation' secondary to inexperience. In Belfast, they took control of their TAOR and they made it safe for law abiding citizens to get to their work and for the city to function with a degree of civilised normality in the face of a well organised campaign of terrorism and civil disorder. For that, I and many others who lived there owe them our abiding gratitude. And please note, this mayhem which the Paras faced down and controlled was in progress long before the events of Bloody Sunday!

However, like yourself (although for very different reasons), I too laboured under a false assumption: I believed that the innocents who were shot that day in Derry were combatants. I was wrong about that and I altered my views about it many years before Saville's report confirmed the grim realty.

With regard to whether or not the men were under fire, perhaps we must agree to differ on that. I am bloody sure they were. As regards the footage you refer to, the officer says 'Do not fire back....' That's confirmation enough for me that he and his men believed they were under fire and actually were under fire. They had every reason to believe it I am sure. I am equally sure they did not return that fire with the intention of killing innocent people, But, and let me clear about this, I do not deny that innocent people were killed by individuals who deserve to be brought to account. However, for myself, and for the reasons given at length in my post, I believe it is inappropriate for that calling to account to happen now. You may of course disagree and that is your right.
 
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So when are the ira going to start putting their blokes forward for trial?

It comes to something when a terrorist organisation like pira/sf can look after its personnel better than hm gov.

there's pictures of kids holding dead people's faces on posters with morons stood behind gobbing off about 'healing' and what not.

it's like an episode of black mirror.
 
So when are the ira going to start putting their blokes forward for trial?
When have they ever done so? Are you unaware of how many of them were convicted and sentenced for terrorist offences during and after the Troubles?
It comes to something when a terrorist organisation like pira/sf can look after its personnel better than hm gov.
So your line is, as I understand it, because the Police cannot arrest and charge everyone who commits a crime, the only fair thing to do is to arrest and charge no-one, even when there is strong evidence to do so?
there's pictures of kids holding dead people's faces on posters with morons stood behind gobbing off about 'healing' and what not.
These would be the relatives of the innocent people who were killed I imagine, they would seem to have a legitimate grievance and if they want to talk about healing then I think they're perfectly entitled to do so. You might try putting yourself in their position for a moment, and consider how you would feel about all this. You not being a moron and all, you should find it easy enough to do?
it's like an episode of black mirror.
Whatever. :rolleyes:
 
Yet my inner voice is muttering, quite distinctly, "more by luck than good judgement"
From my one tour experience it varied between Regts.
The Gordan's (resident battalion) had a drunk Cpl open fire from a sangar on one of 38 Bty's bricks in a pig, and the Black watch who took over from 137 in Seventh Street got a very unfriendly reaction from the locals which the Gnr's hadn't received.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Why is only one man being brought to "justice"???
Because his case is the only one where there is sufficient evidence to give a reasonable chance of prosecution.

There isn't enough evidence to take the cases against the other paras and the OIRA members past the threshold of 'beyond reasonable doubt' so they won't go to trial.
 
From my one tour experience it varied between Regts.
The Gordan's (resident battalion) had a drunk Cpl open fire from a sangar on one of 38 Bty's bricks in a pig, and the Black watch who took over from 137 in Seventh Street got a very unfriendly reaction from the locals which the Gnr's hadn't received.
Gordons man, - Gordons!
Can we also be less accusatory, other Divisions have denuded the Irish populace it's not just the Jock Div!!
 
When have they ever done so? Are you unaware of how many of them were convicted and sentenced for terrorist offences during and after the Troubles?

So your line is, as I understand it, because the Police cannot arrest and charge everyone who commits a crime, the only fair thing to do is to arrest and charge no-one, even when there is strong evidence to do so?
Tony Blair and the IRA comfort letters - the issues

Wouldn't have hurt to put 400 into the photocopier instead of 200... Maybe ring up a few veterans associations for addresses.

e would be the relatives of the innocent people who were killed I imagine, they would seem to have a legitimate grievance and if they want to talk about healing then I think they're perfectly entitled to do so. You might try putting yourself in their position for a moment, and consider how you would feel about all this. You not being a moron and all, you should find it easy enough to do?
Legitimate grievance, yes. But if we're putting the atrocities of terrorists behind us why not the acts of the security forces? To actually heal? Or do you think perpetuating the hurt is better?

It's a sad state of affairs when we're letting those who went out to deliberately kill and maim off, whilst going after those who did not get out of bed that day hoping to kill and maim.

I accept that in both circumstances it still meant people were unfairly killed or maimed.

And I also accept that those who kill or maim should be brought to justice... Including terrorist scum.
 

StBob072

LE
Book Reviewer
Because his case is the only one where there is sufficient evidence to give a reasonable chance of prosecution.

There isn't enough evidence to take the cases against the other paras and the OIRA members past the threshold of 'beyond reasonable doubt' so they won't go to trial.

So I gathered from reports, but what do we infer from this?

That it was known by his peers and officers all along that this man acted unlawfully, but was somehow covered up for 47 years?
 
From my one tour experience it varied between Regts.
The Gordan's (resident battalion) had a drunk Cpl open fire from a sangar on one of 38 Bty's bricks in a pig, and the Black watch who took over from 137 in Seventh Street got a very unfriendly reaction from the locals which the Gnr's hadn't received.
Somebody (@Kinch , I think) referenced upthread or elsewhere, a book called An Army of Tribes which explores that very point in detail.
 
If the IRA get a conviction on this one it won't stop there. They will come after everyone who was present. At the time Soldier F probably didn't realise it was every man for himself. He may have thought he was part of the Army and that it was one for all, and all for one. Well he knows differently now.
Oh, I didn't know it was the IRA who are bringing this prosectution, that's interesting!
 
Tony Blair and the IRA comfort letters - the issues

Wouldn't have hurt to put 400 into the photocopier instead of 200... Maybe ring up a few veterans associations for addresses.
Maybe you should try reading the articles you post for others? You, like a depressing number of others on here and elsewhere, don't seem to understand what those letters actually said and think that they were a blanket amnesty for terrorist suspects, well they weren't:

"Yes. In July, the investigation led by Lady Justice Hallett concluded that the controversial scheme was "unprecedented and flawed" with "significant systemic failures".

She said that victims of the IRA were kept in the dark about the scheme because the government kept it "below the radar".

However, she ruled that the letters were lawful and did not amount to an "amnesty" for those who received them."

Legitimate grievance, yes. But if we're putting the atrocities of terrorists behind us why not the acts of the security forces?
We're not, as the quoted paragraph above makes clear.

Or do you think perpetuating the hurt is better?
It's not for me or you or anyone else to tell people who have suffered bereavement how or for how long they should grieve, and I can't think of anything that would prolong their grief more than knowing that the person responsible for it is well known to the Police and is not being brought to Justice

It's a sad state of affairs when we're letting those who went out to deliberately kill and maim off, whilst going after those who did not get out of bed that day hoping to kill and maim.
Once again, we're not letting terrorists off and where sufficient evidence exists to bring them to trial then that is what is happening. As for what was in the minds of the soldiers directly involved in the killing on that day, there seems to be credible evidence to suggest that "getting kills" was exactly what was on their minds, and that they took the very first opportunity to do so
I accept that in both circumstances it still meant people were unfairly killed or maimed.
And I also accept that those who kill or maim should be brought to justice... Including terrorist scum.
Then you obviously have nothing to complain about, and just by way of perspective, I suggest you read this:

The case for prosecuting Bloody Sunday ‘Soldier F’ | The Spectator
 
Maybe you should try reading the articles you post for others? You, like a depressing number of others on here and elsewhere, don't seem to understand what those letters actually said and think that they were a blanket amnesty for terrorist suspects, well they weren't:

"Yes. In July, the investigation led by Lady Justice Hallett concluded that the controversial scheme was "unprecedented and flawed" with "significant systemic failures".

She said that victims of the IRA were kept in the dark about the scheme because the government kept it "below the radar".

However, she ruled that the letters were lawful and did not amount to an "amnesty" for those who received them."



We're not, as the quoted paragraph above makes clear.



It's not for me or you or anyone else to tell people who have suffered bereavement how or for how long they should grieve, and I can't think of anything that would prolong their grief more than knowing that the person responsible for it is well known to the Police and is not being brought to Justice



Once again, we're not letting terrorists off and where sufficient evidence exists to bring them to trial then that is what is happening. As for what was in the minds of the soldiers directly involved in the killing on that day, there seems to be credible evidence to suggest that "getting kills" was exactly what was on their minds, and that they took the very first opportunity to do so


Then you obviously have nothing to complain about, and just by way of perspective, I suggest you read this:

The case for prosecuting Bloody Sunday ‘Soldier F’ | The Spectator
Hyde Park bomb suspect has moved assets into wife's name and refuses to reveal where he lives, court hears
 
Maybe you should try reading the articles you post for others? You, like a depressing number of others on here and elsewhere, don't seem to understand what those letters actually said and think that they were a blanket amnesty for terrorist suspects, well they weren't:

"Yes. In July, the investigation led by Lady Justice Hallett concluded that the controversial scheme was "unprecedented and flawed" with "significant systemic failures".

She said that victims of the IRA were kept in the dark about the scheme because the government kept it "below the radar".

However, she ruled that the letters were lawful and did not amount to an "amnesty" for those who received them."



We're not, as the quoted paragraph above makes clear.



It's not for me or you or anyone else to tell people who have suffered bereavement how or for how long they should grieve, and I can't think of anything that would prolong their grief more than knowing that the person responsible for it is well known to the Police and is not being brought to Justice



Once again, we're not letting terrorists off and where sufficient evidence exists to bring them to trial then that is what is happening. As for what was in the minds of the soldiers directly involved in the killing on that day, there seems to be credible evidence to suggest that "getting kills" was exactly what was on their minds, and that they took the very first opportunity to do so


Then you obviously have nothing to complain about, and just by way of perspective, I suggest you read this:

The case for prosecuting Bloody Sunday ‘Soldier F’ | The Spectator

"seems to be credible evidence to suggest that "getting kills"

There wasn't " credible evidence" only "seemed" to be, if there wasn't "credible evidence"
how can it suggest anything.
There is a lot of doubtful statements in the inquiry,
Another

"In the end we were left in some doubt as to his movements on the day. Before the soldiers of Support Company went into the Bogside he was probably armed with a Thompson sub-machine gun, and though it is possible that he fired this weapon, there is insufficient evidence to make any finding on this, save that we are sure that he did not engage in any activity that provided any of the soldiers with any justification for opening fire."

" though it is possible that he fired this weapon, there is insufficient evidence to make any finding on this"
Then says
" save that we are sure that he did not engage in any activity that provided any of the soldiers with any justification for opening fire."
How can he be so sure with no evidence in either case
 
So I gathered from reports, but what do we infer from this?

That it was known by his peers and officers all along that this man acted unlawfully, but was somehow covered up for 47 years?
In my opinion yes.
I have said before, this should have been dealt with properly at the time. There was even talk of disbanding the Paras at the time.
The point some of us disagree with is whether prosecuting an old man 47 years later is worth it.
 

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