Bloody Sunday: ‘General Ford should have been charged with war crimes’

Gneral Robert Ford who was Commander of the Land Forces in Northern Ireland during Bloody Sunday.
Gneral Robert Ford who was Commander of the Land Forces in Northern Ireland during Bloody Sunday.
  • General Ford was Commander Land Forces Northern Ireland
  • He had overall responsibility for send in the Para’s
  • 14 people died as the result of Brtish Army actions on January, 30, 1972

A woman whose brother was shot dead and whose father was wounded on Bloody Sunday has said the British Armey General who spearhead the incursion into the Bogside on January 30, 1972 should have been charged with war crimes.

Kate Nash was speaking following the announcement of the death General Sir Robert Ford. The former Commander of Land Forces Northern Ireland died on Tuesday, November 24. Her brother, William Nash was shot dead by members of the Parachute Regiment at Rossville Street almost 44 ago. Her father Alexander Nash was seriously wounded whilst attempting to come to the aid of his son.

“General Ford died last Tuesday aged 91. He managed very well to escape justice in this world for the crime of Bloody Sunday.

“He should have been arrested and prosecuted long ago. However, history will now be his judge and that judgement could be a lot harsher. Imagine living your life to be remembered for ordering soldiers into a small area to massacre people who had nowhere to run to.

“General Ford should have been charged with war crimes at The Hague, but instead you have left your family with a legacy of disgrace,” Kate told the ‘Journal’.

Ford gave evidence to the Bloody Sunday inquiry and the findings concluded that there was no evidence to suggest he had thought about using lethal force against unarmed rioters who were not posing a threat of causing death or serious injury.

Kate Nash has described the fact that the MoD are to foot the legal bill for soldiers who may be arrested in connection to Bloody Sunday as an "insult."

Kate Nash has described the fact that the MoD are to foot the legal bill for soldiers who may be arrested in connection to Bloody Sunday as an "insult."

However, in a confidential memo to his superior Lieutenant-General Harry Tuzo three weeks before Bloody Sunday, Ford stated he was coming to the conclusuion that the minimum force required to restore law and order in Derry was to shoot selected ringleaders amongst the ‘Derry Young Hooligans.’ He also suggested that the standard ammunition in the British Army’s rifles was too powerful and that they should be converted to .22 bullets to allow soldiers to engage ringleaders. When cross-examined at the Inquiry, he said he’d envisaged the weapon being used to incapacitate and cause fewer casualties.

Yet, the Report failed to hold Ford to accountable as the commander who bore the overall responsibility that had ordered in the Parachute Regiment-an elite battle regiment unsuited to civilian policing operations.

Marchers on January 30th, 1972, the day that would become known as Bloody Sunday.

Marchers on January 30th, 1972, the day that would become known as Bloody Sunday.