Bloody Sunday investigation a “farce” and “political stunt” - Tim Collins

Colonel Tim Collins.
Colonel Tim Collins.
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A British soldier has described the current criminal investigation into Bloody Sunday as a “farce”.

Tim Collins added his voice to a chorus of dissent over a probe into the actions of soldiers in Iraq, and after a clampdown was announced last week on legal firms which pursue claims against veterans.

Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday suggested action would be taken against firms which had pursued “fabricated” claims, adding “there is now an industry trying to profit from spurious claims lodged against our brave servicemen and women who fought in Iraq”.

Mr Collins (who now runs a consultancy firm called New Century) said: “The Bloody Sunday farce is less about justice for those killed and wounded and more of a political stunt and cannot be taken seriously.”

He was also commenting against the backdrop of the arrest of an ex-Paratrooper on November 10, over the events of Bloody Sunday, January 30, 1972 in Derry, which cost the lives of 14 people.

The man, now in his 60s, was subsequently bailed.

Collins – a former colonel with the Royal Irish Regiment, who spoke out in 2013 against action in Syria – gained international recognition for his ‘eve of battle’ address to his troops ahead of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Part of the speech centred on the need for soldiers to show restraint and respect.

“If you harm the regiment or its history by over enthusiasm in killing or in cowardice, know it is your family who will suffer, “ he said.

“You will be shunned unless your conduct is of the highest for your deeds will follow you down through history.“