‘Sunday’ relative urges PPS: ‘Do the right thing - prosecute soldiers’

John Kelly, whose 17-year-old brother, Michael, was shot dead on Bloody Sunday, pictured at the Bloody Sunday Memorial in the Bogside.
John Kelly, whose 17-year-old brother, Michael, was shot dead on Bloody Sunday, pictured at the Bloody Sunday Memorial in the Bogside.

A man whose brother was shot dead on Bloody Sunday has urged the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) to ‘do the right

thing’ and prosecute those soldiers who pulled the triggers.

John Kelly was speaking ahead of a number of weekend events marking the 45th anniversary of the 1972 massacre.

Mr. Kelly, whose teenage brother Michael was among those killed, said: “This week, we commemorate the 45th anniversary of the murder and attempted murder of 31 innocent Derry people on these streets. To date, no soldier has been prosecuted for this crime and the families and wounded have endured 45 years of waiting for justice.

‘We have listened to English politicians, unionist politicians, the British military, the right-wing British press and others calling for the non-prosecution of these people. What a disgrace. Do they not see Irish lives as important as British lives? By their stance, they belittle human life and support the murder of innocents.

“At this very moment, they are debating whether OAP ex-servicemen should be immune from prosecution because of their age. Once a murderer, always a murderer, no matter what age the perpetrator is.

‘What people fail to realise is that soldiers must be investigated now because they were never investigated in the past. Of the 363 state killings here, only four soldiers were ever convicted of murder – all of whom were released early to re-join their ranks as convicted killers. While literally thousands of republican and loyalist paramilitaries have been arrested and jailed for their role in the past, only a handful of soldiers have ever been questioned or faced court proceedings.

‘We demand justice. We demand that the murderers be prosecuted in a court of law. This responsibility lies with the PPS and we say to them, ‘do the right thing and prosecute. Justice must be seen to be done, so do it now.’”

Meanwhile, a Mass to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the 1972 massacre will take place this Friday night at St Mary’s Chapel in Creggan at 7.30pm.

On Sunday, the annual memorial service will take place at the Bloody Sunday Monument on Rossville Street at 11am. All welcome to attend.

On Monday, bereaved families, wounded and supporters will hold a minute’s silence at the Bloody Sunday Monument at 4pm, marking the moment British paratroopers opened fire on civilians in the Bogside.