It was her mother’s dying wish that Bloody Sunday victim Gerald Donaghey’s reputation be restored and the slur of nail-bombs removed forever – and today Geraldine Doherty took her campaign to the very heart of the European Parliament.
Geraldine, niece of Gerald Donaghey, headed a delegation of relatives, wounded and fellow campaigners who were invited to the EU Parliament in Brussels to state their case as guests of Derry’s Sinn Fein MEP Martina Anderson.
In an emotional address, Geraldine spoke of the personal anguish still felt over her uncle’s case and her late mother’s dying wish to see him fully exonerated. “I will not rest until he is cleared,” she said. “We were left with half-a-declaration of innocence while my mother was dealing with her own fight with cancer. She died a few months later having given up her fight.”
While declared innocent alongside the 27 others murdered and wounded by British paratroopers on January 30, 1972, Gerald Donaghey had, in fact, suffered a double injustice. He was the only victim of Bloody Sunday left with a stain upon his reputation as Lord Saville declared that the teen “probably” had nail-bombs on his person throughout. It is a claim refuted for decades by both civilian and military eyewitnesses.
Several influential MEPs attended the presentation and gladly accepted copies of the recent report ‘Gerald Donaghey: The Truth about the Planting of Nail-Bombs on Bloody Sunday’ for further perusal.
Supporting Geraldine in parliament were local woman Alana Burke, who was seriously wounded on Bloody Sunday, campaigner John Kelly, brother of victim Michael Kelly, and Margaret Nash, sister-in-law of victim William Nash. Also making the trip were Leo Young, brother of victim John Young and Raymond Rogan – the two last people to see young Donaghey alive. Their emotional contributions not only illuminated the reality of Gerald’s harrowing last moments, but highlighted the disturbing inconsistencies in the British Army’s nail-bomb theory.
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.
“It’s important to know that when Gerald Donaghey was carried onto my house, the house was full of people trying to hide from the shooting and my children were in the house too. Do you really think I would bring someone with nail-bombs in their pockets into my home where my children were?”