‘Sunday’ victim’s brother ‘no sympathy’ for slain ex-army man

Colonel Ted Loden.
Colonel Ted Loden.

The brother of a teenager gunned down on Bloody Sunday says he has “no sympathy” for the commander of the paratroopers responsible for the Derry killings after he was shot dead during a robbery in Africa at the weekend.

Colonel Edward ‘Ted’ Loden - a company major in 1 Para on January 30, 1972 - was killed on Saturday night at his son’s home in Nairobi, Kenya.

Colonel Loden gave evidence to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry in London in 2003.

During his testimony, he told the Saville tribunal that he was “appalled” when he learned how many people had been killed.

However, John Kelly, whose brother Michael (17) was among those killed by Loden’s troops in the Bogside, said the former army commander had consistently “lied through his teeth”.

“He lied to Widgery in 1972 and, when he gave evidence to Saville more than thirty years later, he continued to tell blatant lies,” said Mr. Kelly.

He said Colonel Loden’s death had “deprived” police of the opportunity to question him as part of a new investigation into the 1972 deaths.

“People may say he was exonerated by Saville but he’s never been exonerated by the families of those who were murdered by his men,” said Mr. Kelly. “It should also be remembered that, during his evidence, he was afforded, but declined, the opportunity to personally apologise to the family of one of those murdered. So, from my point of view, he never showed any remorse for what happened.

“It sounds cruel but I’ve no sympathy for him. He died a violent death - so did my brother at the hands of his men.”

Colonel Loden, who commanded 1 Para’s Support Company when they stormed into the Bogside, told the Saville hearings that his men did the best they could under the circumstances - but acknowledged that some things could have been done better.

He also rejected suggestions that he was not in control of his men on Bloody Sunday and insisted his men were shot at and returned fire in an aimed and measured way.

In his subsequent report, Lord Saville largely exonerated Colonel Loden, pointing out that events on the ground were moving so quickly “after the soldiers disembarked in the Bogside that Major Loden had no idea what was actually going on, he assumed that his soldiers had come under attack from republican paramilitaries and were responding.”

He added: “At the time the casualties were being sustained, Major Loden neither realised nor should have realised that his soldiers were or might be firing at people not posing or about to pose a threat.”