Derry & Strabane Council have formally rejected Lord Saville’s findings that Gerald Donaghey ‘probably’ was carrying nail bombs on Bloody Sunday.
The move was proposed by Sinn Fein Councillor Mickey Cooper at this week’s monthly Full Council meeting.
The motion, which faced opposition from unionist quarters, stated that ‘this council affirms the innocence of Gerald Donaghey, murdered Bloody Sunday, and rejects the findings of the Saville Report in relation to him.”
Colr. Cooper pointed out that a stream of eye witnesses, including companions on the march, those who tended the teenager after he was shot and those who tried to get him to hospital, along with a key soldier, all testified that he was not carrying any bombs on January 30th 1972.
“He was allowed to die in the vehicle with the added insult of nail bombs being planted in his pockets,” Colr. Cooper said, adding that the “ridiculous” conclusion reached by Lord Saville had left a shadow hanging over Gerald Donaghey.
SDLP Concillor Brian Tierney concurred that Gerald was “a totally innocent victim of Bloody Sunday”, that the nail bombs were planted, and that the British Army used the 17-year-old as a scapegoat.
Independent Councillor Gary Donnelly branded the Bloody Sunday report findings “perverse” and proposed an amendment “that this council affirms the innocence of Gerald Donaghey and rejects the findings of the Bloody Sunday report.”
The amendment was rejected ,with Sinn Fein and the Unionist parties opposing it and the SDLP Councillors abstaining, leading to cries from some in the public gallery of ‘shameful’ and ‘call yourselves Irish Republicans’.
The original motion however was carried after being backed by majority of councillors.