British soldier to be charged with murder over Bloody Sunday
A FORMER British soldier is set to be prosecuted over the Bloody Sunday shooting in Northern Ireland.
The man – known as Soldier F – will be charged with two counts of murder and four attempted murder, Northern Ireland's Public Prosecution Service (PPS) has announced.
Sixteen other veterans and two ex-members of the Official IRA, all of whom were investigated, will not face prosecution over the Bloody Sunday shooting.
Twenty-eight unarmed civilian protesters were shot by British soldiers during the incident in the Bogside area of Londonderry in 1972 during the height of the Northern Ireland troubles.
Thirteen died on the day while another one died four and a half months later.
The soldiers involved were members of the 1st Battalion, Parachute Regiment, also known as ‘1 Para’.
Soldier F will face prosecution for the murders of James Wray and William McKinney and the attempted murders of Joseph Friel, Michael Quinn, Joe Mahon and Patrick O'Donnell.
John Kelly, whose brother Michael was shot dead on Bloody Sunday in 1972 at the age of 17, said: ‘We're all very anxious, nervous, but at the same time we're sort of fairly confident that we are going to get what we want.’
Standing in the city's Bogside on a wet but bright morning, he added: ‘I'm standing here, where Michael was shot dead, hoping he's looking down on me and saying 'Fair play to you, I'm very proud of you'.
‘And all the families probably feel the same way, that what we're trying to achieve is for them (the victims).’
The families of the victims of the Bloody Sunday shooting marched to a Londonderry hotel for the Public Prosecution Service decision this morning.
Applause broke out as the families set off on their march at 9.15am, holding pictures of their loved ones.
Sinn Fein's leader in Northern Ireland, Michelle O'Neill, and SDLP leader Colum Eastwood joined the families on the march.
Ms O'Neill, who hugged and shook hands with some of the relatives, said: ‘It's a huge day for the families and I think there is a lot of expectation. I think today is their day and I hope they have some closure today.’
Mr Eastwood said: ‘It just shows you what a group of families and a city can do. They've held the British Government to account and hopefully today they will have some good news.’