Liam Wray: ‘My overall feeling was one of sadness’

The brother of one Derry man ‘Solider F’ is to be charged with murdering, has said he was “sickened and sad” when it became clear other families would not get the same result.

Liam Wray, whose brother James (Jim) was shot and wounded in Glenfada Park before being shot in the back while on the ground, commented: “I was very hurt when I looked at the faces of people I consider extended family, whose news was all very disappointing.

Liam Wray, whose brother Jim Wray was one of those killed on Bloody Sunday, speaking outside the Guildhall.

Liam Wray, whose brother Jim Wray was one of those killed on Bloody Sunday, speaking outside the Guildhall.

“Even when I got the news on Jim, which I was relieved obviously about, still my overall feeling was one of sadness and sickness. The feeling in the room was oppressive and depressive,” he added.

Mr Wray said that he now hoped the case announced yesterday would proceed as expediently as possible. “I had heard previously from the PPS and they had indicated to us months ago that if prosecutions were to take place, they could take two years to go to trial. I don’t think that is appropriate. I think we should be putting all efforts in to get into court sooner.

Mr Wray said the decision yesterday came 47 years and 43 days after Bloody Sunday.

Describing the impact of his brother’s killing over those years, he said: “The toll, when you have a relative that has been shot dead by the British Army and you have been told for years that he could have possibly been a gunman, that he got what he deserved, the feeling that leaves in a family and the problems it created afterwards were too enormous to mention. We were harassed during those years, it affected you when you went for jobs or anything else.

John Kelly comforts Alana Burke at the Guildhall (Niall Carson/ PA Wire)

John Kelly comforts Alana Burke at the Guildhall (Niall Carson/ PA Wire)

“Thankfully we had the people in this town who were very supportive of the families. That helped us along all those years and I could never express my gratitude enough to the people of Derry. I’m very proud to be a Derry man.”

Tony Doherty, the chairperson of the Bloody Sunday Trust, whose father Patrick was shot dead on Bloody Sunday, said there was “quite a lot of personal disappointment” as the announcement was made at the City Hotel yesterday, but that the families stood in solidarity with each other.

He said: “On a personal level within each family there was a high degree of disappointment but, at the same time, all the disappointed families were very keen to associate their best wishes with the McKinneys and the Wrays. They didn’t ask to be put in this position but that is the position they are in. In that sense we are all acting out of a position of solidarity with one another. Mr Doherty added that Trust would continue to assist families to seek justice for themselves.