‘Sunday’ insult soldier should be kicked out of Army: MLA

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A Derry MLA says a serving British soldier has “desecrated” the memory of those who died on Bloody Sunday by posting an “offensive” slogan on the internet.

The Royal Irish Regiment (RIR) soldier’s Facebook page - which has since been removed - included a Parachute Regiment emblem with the words: “F*** Bloody Sunday’ above it.

SDLP victims spokesperson Colum Eastwood says the serving soldier - who he named - should be dismissed from the British Army “without delay.”

The Foyle MLA, who is a member of the Bloody Sunday Trust, said: “I have seen photographs of this man’s Facebook page and the disgusting banner he has put across the top as a ‘cover image’.

“Prime Minister David Cameron has described the actions of forces on Bloody Sunday as ‘unjustified and unjustifiable’ and I regard this image in the same vein.

“To trample on the memory of those who were shot dead while trying to protect civil rights for all, and to do so in such an offensive and craven manner is, frankly, abhorrent, and makes me sick to my stomach.

“This cannot even be called thoughtlessness as posting anything on your Facebook page requires a conscious decision.

“The families of Bloody Sunday at the very least deserve a full and unequivocal apology and I hope that will be forthcoming immediately.

“However, if the Ministry of Defence want to prove that they agree with David Cameron’s assessment of the forces’ actions on Bloody Sunday, they should dismiss this man from the army without delay.”

In a statement, a Ministry of Defence spokesman said:

“Those who fall short of the Army’s high standards or who are found to have committed an offence are dealt with robustly - up to and including discharge.The views expressed by this individual are categorically not those of the Army nor the Ministry of Defence.”