The campaign to clear the name of Gerald Donaghey, the only victim of Bloody Sunday not fully exonerated by the Saville Report, has taken another step forward in Brussels.
Following a meeting of MEPs, hosted by Sinn Féin MEP, Martina Anderson, it was decided to refer Gerald’s case to the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee.
Speaking from Brussels, Martina Anderson MEP said: “This development follows on from a recent delegation which I was privileged to host for the family and friends of Gerald Donaghey, which involved discussion with fellow MEPs on how best to have the campaign to clear Gerald’s name raised in Europe.
“At the initial meeting I distributed Chapter 145 of the Saville Inquiry report which deals primarily with Gerald Donaghey’s case and drew attention to Saville’s comments which highlight the continued injustice perpetrated against Gerald’s good name by the findings of the report.
“Gerald Donaghy’s niece Geraldine Doherty addressed the MEPs when the campaign group visited Brussels recently. Others who addressed the meeting were Bloody Sunday campaigner, John Kelly – brother of victim Michael Kelly and Leo Young (whose 17 year-old brother John was also murdered on Bloody Sunday) and Raymond Rogan both of whom attempted to ferry the wounded teenager to Altnagelvin Hospital before they were stopped and detained by British soldiers. Both men have always maintained that at no time while they accompanied Gerald was there any nail bombs on his person.”
Ms Anderson concluded: “The representatives of the Bloody Sunday Families who travelled as part of a delegation to raise awareness of the unjustifiable stain left on the reputation of Gerald Donaghey by the Saville findings have gained support from MEP colleagues representing the different groupings in the EU Parliament.
Besides the MEPs pictured here, Gerald’s case is strongly supported in Brussels by Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher MEP (Fianna Fáil), Michael Cashman MEP (British Labour Party), Claude Moraes MEP, (Deputy Leader, Socialists & Democrats Group) and Phil Prendergast MEP (Irish Labour Party).
“On reading the copy of the report ‘Gerald Donaghey: The Truth About the Planting of Nail Bombs on Bloody Sunday’ given to each MEP, I have no doubt they have identified with the feelings of the families. Further support has been built for the campaign in Europe,” Ms Anderson said.
“While the Saville Report was an important building block in Irish/British relations, the Inquiry’s findings left a ‘shadow’ over the Donaghey and Doherty families. We will continue our support for the families in whatever course of action they believe is necessary.”
The European decision has been welcomed by Geraldine Doherty, the niece of Gerald Donaghey who has campaigned since the Saville Report delivered its findings in 2010.
“Hopefully this will be the turning point to finally get Gerald’s name cleared properly, both for Gerald and for my Mother,” she said.
“I’m glad we made the trip to Brussels, it has been very worthwhile.”