‘Sunday’ relative’s outrage at Edward Heath memorial plan

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The brother of a teenager murdered on Bloody Sunday has condemned plans to erect a memorial stone to Sir Edward Heath - the British prime minister at the time of the Bogside massacre.

The tribute to the late Conservative PM will be mounted at London’s Westminster Abbey.

It’s expected to be unveiled later this year.

The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, described the move as “fitting”.

Mr. Heath, who died in 2005 at the age of 89, served as prime minister between 1970 and 1974.

John Kelly, whose brother, Michael, was among those gunned down on January 30, 1972, described the memorial move as “sickening”.

“I, personally, hold Ted Heath - the political master of the British armed forces in 1972 - among those ultimately responsible for the murder of my brother on Bloody Sunday.

“To memorialise him in any way is both sickening and contemptible.”

It was in 2003 that Mr. Heath gave evidence to the Saville Inquiry hearings in London.

Throughout his testimony, the ex-PM rejected suggestions that the British government had planned the events of Bloody Sunday.

In his written evidence to the inquiry, he said: “The tragic deaths outraged the Catholic community, increased support for the IRA and destroyed the prospect of a political initiative.

“It is, therefore, absurd to suggest that Her Majesty’s Government intended or was prepared to risk the events which occurred.”

As prime minister in 1972, Heath ordered the original Widgery Inquiry into Bloody Sunday.

During his evidence to Saville, he also denied pressuring Lord Widgery into producing a report that was favourable to the security forces and said the conclusions reached were achieved “without fear and favour”.

Meanwhile, a memorial stone to another former British prime minister with links to Derry is to be erected at Westminster Abbey.

Labour’s James Callaghan, who was PM from 1976 to 1979, visited Derry in 1969 during his stint as Home Secretary.