The last people to see teenager Gerald Donaghey alive on Bloody Sunday recalled the teenager’s last moments and spoke of his innocence during a trip to the European Parliament in Brussels this week.
Leo Young and Raymond Rogan formed part of a delegation, headed by Gerald Donaghey’s niece, Geraldine Doherty, who were invited to Brussels as guests of Derry MEP Martina Anderson. The group are campaigning to clear Gerald Donaghey’s name and remove the slur that he had nail-bombs on his person when murdered.
Both Mr Rogan and Mr Young testified at the Bloody Sunday Inquiry in relation to the Donaghey case.
Despite both their and military evidence to the contrary, Lord Saville ruled that the murdered teen “probably” had nail-bombs in all four of his pockets when gunned down in the Bogside 41 years ago this week.
Local man Raymond Rogan, who is now a pensioner and rarely speaks publicly about his experiences on Bloody Sunday, gave an impassioned account of events to MEPs which, alongside that of Leo Young, highlighted the teenager’s innocence and the many inconsistencies in the British Army’s nail-bomb claims.
Raymond Rogan owned the house that the wounded Donaghey was carried into on Bloody Sunday and later drove the wounded teen to hospital in his car alongside Leo Young. “He looked like a child and my late wife, being a mother, searched him for ID when they brought him into our house,” Mr Rogan said, “She found nothing whatsoever apart from a holy medal around his neck.”
Leo Young - unaware that his own brother was lying mortally wounded on the streets outside - also helped carry the young Donaghey into Raymond Rogan’s house in the Bogside. His testimony in Brussels was both thought-provoking and emotional.
“I didn’t know who he was, he was just a boy. I searched his pockets and there was nothing in them. Nothing whatsoever.”
Gerald Donaghey’s niece is happy at the response the case received in Brussels.
“I thought the trip went very well and the feedback was really positive,” Geraldine Doherty told the ‘SUNDAY’.
“I’m so glad we made the trip. If it takes me going as far as Brussels and explain my personal experience to propel the case forward, then it’s been worthwhile. Everyone we spoke to was so sincere and genuinely interested in Gerald’s case. Raymond [Rogan] and Leo [Young] also spoke and their testimonies alone were brilliant and made a big impression on everyone there. It all helps.”
While in Brussels, Geraldine stated her case to an audience of MEPs who may be potentially influential in helping move the campaign on.
“All the evidence we have on Gerald shows that the nail-bombs were not on him when he was carried away from the shooting... but there were a crucial ten minutes unaccounted for that he was left lying in the car - and the next thing they found four nail-bombs?”
“It’s appropriate that we’re here today,” Sinn Fein MEP Martina Anderson stated during the meeting in Brussels.
“There is a stain left upon the character of Gerald Donaghey and the case remains unfinished business.”
The families and wounded are determined to keep campaigning alongside Geraldine until Gerald Donaghey’s name is cleared completely.