Northern Ireland news

PPS will reveal Bloody Sunday murder ruling on March 14

The Public Prosecution Service will reveal its decision on March 14 next on whether or not any former soldiers will face trial over Bloody Sunday.
Seamus McKinney

THE Bloody Sunday families have been told a decision on whether or not soldiers responsible for the 1972 killings will be prosecuted will be revealed on March 14.

The Public Prosecution Service this week wrote to all relatives of those killed to update them on progress on its investigation.

A murder investigation was opened following the 2010 publication of the Saville Inquiry's report. It found there was no justification for any of the killings at the January 30 1972 anti-interment protest.

While Lord Saville's inquiry – one of the longest in British legal history – uncovered a lot of new evidence and was highly critical of some of the soldiers' actions, the PSNI investigation had to gather its own information. This was because of an undertaking given by the British Attorney General that witnesses would be immune from prosecution on any grounds of self-incrimination.

Last month it was revealed that one of the former soldiers being investigated over Bloody Sunday had died. Soldier N, a former lieutenant in the Parachute Regiment, was being investigated in connection with the shooting and wounding of Derry man, Michael Bridge.

Mr Bridge was shot and badly injured when he remonstrated with soldiers after they had fatally wounded teenager, Jackie Duddy.

Soldier N's conduct as an officer was criticised by Lord Saville who said there had been a “serious and widespread loss of fire discipline” among soldiers because of shots fired by him. The Inquiry criticised the former soldier, not only for opening fire, but for failing to realise the impact his shooting would have on other members of his regiment.

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