Stain on Gerald Donaghey’s innocence ‘could have been removed’

Gerry Duddy, Michael McKinney, John Kelly, Alana Burke and Geraldine Doherty stand for a minutes silence in the Guildhall.  DER1119GS-031
Gerry Duddy, Michael McKinney, John Kelly, Alana Burke and Geraldine Doherty stand for a minutes silence in the Guildhall. DER1119GS-031

The niece of Bloody Sunday victim, Gerald Donaghey, has branded repeated failures to investigate the planting of nail bombs on his body after he was shot “unacceptable.”

Geraldine Doherty was speaking as she addressed those gathered at a Press conference following the Public Prosecution Service’s decision to proceeds with charging one soldiers with two counts of murder and four of attempted murder.

Speaking in the Guildhall, Ms. Doherty criticised the scope of the investigation.

Gerald Donaghey (17) was shot as he was trying to run to safety between Glenfada Park and Abbey Park. Two local men tried to get him to Altnagelvin Hospital but were stopped at a military checkpoint and ordered out of the car. A soldier drove it to a Regimental Aid Post where a Medical Officer pronounced Gerald Donaghey dead. Despite being searched by a soldier, none of those who were in contact with Donaghey after his shooting noticed anything in his pockets. However, a police photograph later showed a nailbomb in one of the teenager’s pockets.

The Saville Inquiry concluded that the nail bombs were “probably” on him when he was shot, but that he posed no threat and was trying to run away.

Commenting on the decision to prosecute ‘Soldier F,’ Ms. Doherty said: “Today’s decision, although 47 years overdue, was necessary if we are to uphold the rule of law and hold perpetrators accountable for their crimes.

“However,” she added, “we also say that the scope of the new police investigation was not wide enough and we assert that the repeated failure to properly investigate the actions of those who planted nail bombs on the body of my uncle, 17-years-old Gerald Donaghey is unacceptable.

“The Saville Report left a stain on Gerald’s innocence that this investigation could have removed, but it did not do so. We repeat our call for this injustice to be addressed.

“And while we as a group of families and individuals may have differing views on whether or not the soldiers who carried out the shootings should face jail, or how long they should spend in jail, we are all agreed that they should face the due process of the law.”

To applause, she added that they should not have anonymity and that senior figures with questions to answer should also face scrutiny. “The very few British soldiers that were charged during the conflict here were named, and the same should apply to those being charged now. We maintain that key individuals in the army, in politics and beyond, should also be held to account for their actions on that day and afterwards. This affront must also be rectified if justice is to be truly done and seen to be done.”