Karen Bradley ‘has to go’ says victim’s brother

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 17-years-old brother was killed on Bloody Sunday has called for the Northern Ireland’s Secretary of State to resign.

John Kelly said that Karen Bradley ‘has to go’ following the statement she made about security force killings, which he described as ‘outrageous.’

During Northern Ireland question time on Wednesday, Ms Bradley said: “90% of the killings during the troubles were at the hands of terrorists. Every single one of those was a crime. The under 10% that were at the hands of the military and police were not crimes; they were people acting under orders and instructions, fulfilling their duties in a dignified and appropriate way.”

Ms Bradley later moved to clarify her statement and yesterday issued an apology.

Mr Kelly said the Secretary of State’s comments were ‘insulting’ to the memory of his teenage brother, adding that an ‘apology was not enough, she has to go’.

“If you look at what happened on Bloody Sunday - Jim Wray was executed on the ground, Kevin McElhinney was crawling on his hands and knees when he was shot and Paddy Doherty was exactly the same. Was that dignified and appropriate? Good God almighty!”

Thirteen people died on January 30, 1972 when paratroopers opened fired on civil rights marchers. A 14th person died later.

A decision from the Public Prosecution Service about potential prosecutions of soldiers is to be made public next week.

Mr Kelly claimed the timing of Ms Bradley’s comments was ‘no coincidence.’

“I believe it is political interference on her part ahead of the decision of the PPS next Thursday. I can’t look at it any other way. She is trying to interfere in due process and undermine the work of the PPS and force that office to let these soldiers off the hook.”

Mr Kelly dismissed suggestions that Ms Bradley made the comments ‘off the top of her head.’

“Karen Bradley is a politician and she was well briefed about the questions she was going to face. She knew exactly what she was going to say.

“She is an apologist for British Army killers. I am calling for her to resign because she is damaged goods. She can’t represent the people of the North any longer as she is supposed to be impartial.”