Saville’s ‘unfinished business’

Gerald Donaghey (17) who was murdered on Bloody Sunday.
Gerald Donaghey (17) who was murdered on Bloody Sunday.

The last two men to see Bloody Sunday victim Gerald Donaghey alive say they’re “astounded” that Lord Saville ignored their evidence and concluded

the teenager was ‘probably’ armed with nail-bombs when shot.

Speaking at Friday’s launch of a booklet entitled ‘Gerald Donaghey: The Truth About the Planting of Nailbombs on Bloody Sunday’, Raymond Roganand Leo Young said they stood by their evidence to the Saville Inquiry that the 17-year-old didn’t have nail bombs when he was murdered in the Bogside in January 1972.

The booklet launched by the Bloody Sunday Trust examines all existing evidence and concludes that Saville’s 2010 ruling was “fundamentally flawed”. Mr. Rogan brought the dying teenager into his home before trying to take him to Altnagelvin Hospital accompanied by Mr. Young who, at that time, was unaware his own brother was also among the dead. However, the car was stopped by the British Army and all three were detained with Gerald Donaghey left to die alone. Photographs later emerged showing a sizable nailbomb in his pocket - one of four the British Army claimed to have found on him.

Raymond Rogan told the ‘Sunday Journal’: “I often wonder what I would say to Saville if I met him face to face because, despite all the evidence, he came to the conclusion that I must be some kind of an eejit or fool and that I would carry somebody with bombs in their pockets into my house where my kids were.

“I would love to confront him and ask, ‘am I a fool or devious or what?’ I still can’t believe that he could come to that conclusion, despite all the evidence.”

Mr Rogan welcomed the new Donaghey report and said he was hopeful the public would make up their own minds om whether or not nail-bombs had been planted.

“When the Saville Report was published, my first thought was that there was still unfinished business. It’s important for the wider world to look at the results of Saville’s assessment, examine all the evidence and draw their own conclusions.”

Leo Young says he has never forgotten about Gerald Donaghey. Before cradling the dying teen in the back seat of Rogan’s car, he had frantically searched the boy’s pockets in the hope of identifying him and he says he knows there was nothing in his pockets.

Mr Young still can’t accept Saville’s conclusions on Donaghey.

“They ignored the civilian witnesses ,” he said. “They basically called me a liar because I should have seen something that just wasn’t there. I always had faith in Saville but that particular case really upset me.

“I still find it very hard to accept that he would say Gerald ‘probably’ had bombs on him - it’s ridiculous. I hope his name is cleared for the sake of his niece, Geraldine and the family. I hope the truth will come out.”