Legal team to meet with Sunday families

Gerry Duddy, Ciaran Shiels, solicitor, and Michael McKinney pictured outside the Museum of Free Derry yesterday.  DER1119GS-024
Gerry Duddy, Ciaran Shiels, solicitor, and Michael McKinney pictured outside the Museum of Free Derry yesterday. DER1119GS-024

A legal firm representing the relatives of some of those killed and wounded on Bloody Sunday ’fully intend to challenge decisions not to prosecute other soldiers.’

Madden and Finucane represent the families of Jackie Duddy, Michael Kelly, Michael McDaid, Hugh Gilmour, John Young, Kevin McElhinney, Gerard McKinney, Gerald Donaghey, Paddy Doherty, Bernard McGuigan and William McKinney, who were all killed on January 30, 1972.

The legal firm will meet with relatives this weekend to decide how they are going to proceed.

Prior to the meeting, solicitor Ciaran Shiels made a number of submissions to the Public Prosecution Service following their decision to prosecute just one soldier over Bloody Sunday.

The PPS announced to families last week that ‘Soldier F’ was to be prosecuted for the murders of William McKinney and Liam Wray and the attempted murders of Joe Mahon, Joe Friel, Patsy O’Donnell and Michael Quinn.

In a letter to the PPS, Mr Shiels said this decision caused ‘profound disappointment and shock, not just to those directly affected, but also to much of the wider community in Derry’.

Mr. Shiels has asked the prosecution to confirm the date when ‘Soldier F’ is due to appear in court.

In his submissions, Mr Shiels added: “We assume that this first appearance shall be at Derry Magistrate’s Court given that the offences with which the defendant is charged happened within 250 yards of Derry Courthouse. If we are incorrect to assume so, please set out the full and precise reasons for your decision requiring the defendant to appear at an alternative court.”

The solicitor also asked the PPS to confirm that ‘Soldier F’ will not have anonymity when he appears in court ‘to ensure that this prosecution is conducted in a fair, open, transparent - and most importantly - public manner’.

He added that he hopes the PPS decision about this ‘shall not be affected by political interference.’

The solicitor informed the prosecution that his firm is continuing to scrutinise the decisions not to prosecute other soldiers for murder and attempted murder and reiterated their intention to challenge these decisions by way of judicial review in the High Court.