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Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 1

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Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 1

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 9:35

Volume I




General Introduction

On 29th January 1998 the House of Commons resolved that it was expedient that a tribunal be established for inquiring into a definite matter of urgent public importance, namely “the events on Sunday, 30 January 1972 which led to loss of life in connection with the procession in Londonderry on that day, taking account of any new information relevant to events on that day”. On 2nd February 1998 the House of Lords also passed this resolution. With the exception of the last 12 words, these terms of reference are virtually identical to those for a previous Inquiry held by Lord Widgery (then the Lord Chief Justice) in 1972. Both inquiries were conducted under the provisions of the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act 1921.

In his statement to the House of Commons on 29th January 1998 the Prime Minister (The Rt Hon Tony Blair MP) said that the timescale within which Lord Widgery produced his report meant that he was not able to consider all the evidence that might have been available. He added that since that report much new material had come to light about the events of the day. In those circumstances, he announced:

“We believe that the weight of material now available is such that the events require re-examination. We believe that the only course that will lead to public confidence in the results of any further investigation is to set up a full-scale judicial inquiry into Bloody Sunday.”

The Prime Minister made clear that the Inquiry should be allowed the time necessary to cover thoroughly and completely all the evidence now available. The collection, analysis, hearing and consideration of this evidence (which is voluminous) have necessarily required a substantial period of time.

The Tribunal originally consisted of The Rt Hon the Lord Saville of Newdigate, a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary, The Hon William Hoyt OC, formerly the Chief Justice of New Brunswick, Canada, and The Rt Hon Sir Edward Somers, formerly a member of the New Zealand Court of Appeal. Before the Tribunal began hearing oral evidence, Sir Edward Somers retired through ill health. The Hon John Toohey AC, formerly a Justice of the High Court of Australia, took his place. Lord Saville acted throughout as the Chairman of the Inquiry.

The footnotes provide, among other matters, references to the evidence and submissions on which we have based our views and findings. In the electronic version of this report, references are hypertext-linked, so that by clicking on a reference the reader can refer directly to the evidence or submission under consideration. Where photographs are reproduced in the report, we have in most instances considered it unnecessary to give the reference. The referencing system is the same as that used during the course of the Inquiry to identify the particular matter in question from the materials that were collected, considered and published, so that the reader can follow the references contained in that material. The Tribunal is of the view that with few exceptions the evidence and submissions relating to Bloody Sunday that were made publicly available during the course of the Inquiry should continue to be available, so that the report can be read in conjunction with those materials, which to that end form part of this report. The electronic version of the report provides direct access to these materials, which are also available through the Inquiry website.1 Cross-references within the report to other parts of the report are also footnoted and hypertext-linked. Cross-references are to chapters or to paragraphs within chapters. Thus, for example, a cross-reference to paragraphs 75–100 in Chapter 9 appears as paragraphs 9.75–100.

The ranks and titles of witnesses

It should be noted that many of the soldiers who gave evidence to this Inquiry had achieved over the years higher rank than that which they had held in January 1972. A number of civilians (for example, Bishop Daly and Sir Edward Heath) were also known at the time of the Inquiry by different titles from those by which they had been known in 1972. During the course of the Inquiry, all witnesses were addressed by the titles that they held at the time at which they gave their evidence. However, in this report we refer to all such witnesses by the rank that they held or the title by which they were known in January 1972.

For the reasons that we give below, many witnesses were given ciphers in order to preserve their anonymity and that of their families. We have preserved that anonymity in this report.

Legal representatives

In the course of the Inquiry, the families of those who were killed, the surviving casualties, and the families of those injured on Bloody Sunday who have since died were represented by various different combinations of counsel and solicitors. Separate teams of counsel instructed by the Treasury Solicitor appeared on behalf of one large group and three smaller groups of former and serving officers and soldiers, while other military witnesses chose not to be represented. In order to avoid undue complication, we have often referred in this report to submissions made by “representatives of the families” or “representatives of soldiers”, without distinguishing between the different groups, although where necessary we have been more specific. Further details of the families, surviving casualties, military witnesses and other parties represented in the Inquiry, and of their counsel and solicitors, are given in Appendix 1.

Anonymity

With the exception of a number of senior officers who gave evidence under their own names, military witnesses who gave evidence to the Widgery Inquiry were granted anonymity in order to protect them and their families. They gave their evidence under ciphers, which were alphabetical for those who said that they had fired live rounds on Bloody Sunday (the “lettered soldiers”), and numerical for the others (the “numbered soldiers”). Some police witnesses were also granted anonymity for the purposes of the Widgery Inquiry.

At the outset of this Inquiry there was controversy over whether military witnesses, other than those whose identities were already in the public domain, should be granted anonymity. Rulings of the Tribunal that in general they should not, save where special reasons applied, were quashed on judicial review. The Court of Appeal in London held that the Tribunal was obliged to grant anonymity to those who had fired live rounds. The Tribunal considered that the Court’s reasoning applied also to other military witnesses, unless their identities were already clearly in the public domain, and ruled accordingly. Where appropriate, the ciphers used in the Widgery Inquiry were retained, with the addition of the soldier’s rank at the time of Bloody Sunday (for example, Corporal A or Sergeant 001). Military witnesses who had been given no cipher in 1972 were identified by a number preceded by their rank and the letters INQ (for example, Sergeant INQ 1). Military witnesses sometimes referred in their statements to another soldier by an incomplete name, a nickname, or a name that otherwise could not be matched to an individual identifiable from official records. In these cases the Inquiry replaced the name with a numerical cipher preceded by the letters UNK (for example, UNK 1).

Some of the military witnesses in 1972 were given more than one cipher. While this had the potential to cause confusion, this Inquiry had access to unredacted copies of the witness statements and was able to ensure that they were all attributed to the correct witness.

No police officers were granted anonymity in this Inquiry, although some were permitted to give their evidence screened from the view of all but the Tribunal and the lawyers participating in the hearings.

Successful applications for anonymity were also made on behalf of a number of other witnesses, including certain Security Service and Army intelligence officers, whose ciphers were alphabetical (for example, Officer A), and certain witnesses who had formerly been members of the Official or Provisional Irish Republican Army (OIRA or PIRA) or otherwise had connections with the republican movement, whose ciphers consisted of numbers preceded by the letters OIRA, PIRA or RM as appropriate (for example, OIRA 1, PIRA 1 or RM 1).

The Tribunal had access in all cases to the names of the witnesses who gave evidence to this Inquiry.


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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 1

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Glossary

In this glossary we provide brief explanations of some of the abbreviations and terminology used in the report, or which appear in some of the documents and other evidence to which we refer. Where necessary, in the report itself we provide further details of, in particular, some of the sources of evidence and the issues to which they gave rise. At the end of the glossary we set out a list showing the hierarchy of Army ranks and the abbreviations sometimes used for them. Cross-references within the glossary to other entries in the glossary appear in italics.

Acid bombs

These were bottles filled with acid or another corrosive substance, used as anti-personnel weapons.

Actuality footage

We have used this expression to refer to film footage taken while the events of Bloody Sunday were in progress. The actuality footage available to the Inquiry includes material filmed by two cameramen from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), two from Independent Television News (ITN), one from the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) and one from Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), as well as a film taken from an Army helicopter. There is also a small quantity of actuality footage taken by amateur cameramen, including William McKinney, who was shot dead on Bloody Sunday. Some of the film footage was edited for broadcasting purposes, with the result that the surviving material is not complete and does not necessarily show events in chronological order.

Aggro Corner

This was a slang name, used mainly by the Army, which referred to the junction of William Street, Rossville Street and Little James Street, where trouble had often occurred in the past.

Anti-riot gun

See Baton gun.

APC

Armoured Personnel Carrier. The Humber armoured car was employed routinely as an APC by the Army in Northern Ireland. Several of these vehicles were used on Bloody Sunday. They were often called “Pigs”, mainly by soldiers, either on account of their appearance or because they were awkward to drive and uncomfortable to sit in. They were also frequently described, usually by civilians, as “Saracens”. However, that term was applied inaccurately, since a Saracen was another type of military vehicle, which was not used on Bloody Sunday.

The following photograph, taken by Robert White on Bloody Sunday, shows a Humber APC.



The following photograph, taken from David Barzilay, The British Army in Ulster (Belfast: Century Books, 1978 reprint), shows a Saracen.



Army units

8 Inf Bde

8th Infantry Brigade.

39 Inf Bde

39th Infantry Brigade.

1 CG

1st Battalion, The Coldstream Guards.

1 PARA

1st Battalion, The Parachute Regiment.

1 R ANGLIAN

1st Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment.

2 RGJ

2nd Battalion, The Royal Green Jackets.

22 Lt AD Regt

22nd Light Air Defence Regiment, Royal Artillery.

Arrest report forms

When a civilian who had been arrested by a soldier came into the custody of the Royal Military Police (RMP), details of the arrest, including the names of the soldier, the arrested civilian and any witnesses, and the nature of the offence alleged to have been committed, were recorded on what was known as an arrest report form. The form also included space in which to record the date, time and place at which the arrested person was handed over to the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), and for the RUC to record, where appropriate, the date and time at which the arrested person was charged and whether he or she was kept in custody or released on bail.

Barry interviews

See Sunday Times interviews.

Baton gun

A baton gun was a weapon used to fire baton rounds, otherwise known as rubber bullets, for riot control purposes. On Bloody Sunday many of the soldiers were equipped with baton guns. The baton gun was also known by a variety of other names, including “anti-riot gun”, “RUC gun”, “rubber bullet gun” and “Greener gun”.

The following photographs show a baton gun.


BID 150

In 1972 the Army in Northern Ireland had access to a secure radio system. Secure communications between a brigade and a battalion under its command could be achieved using an adapted military radio together with a piece of encryption equipment called a BID 150. In this Inquiry the term “BID 150” was often used to refer to the radio and the encryption device together. Whether a BID 150 link was in use between Brigade HQ and the Tactical Headquarters of 1 PARA on Bloody Sunday was a matter of dispute, which we consider in the course of the report.

Blast bombs

Blast bombs were improvised devices that consisted of a detonator and explosive material. They were described by some witnesses as being crude anti-personnel devices and like large fireworks or nail bombs but without the nails. We also heard evidence that they could be made with a larger quantity of explosives in order to be used to damage buildings.

Bloody Sunday Inquiry statements

In the course of this Inquiry, written statements were obtained from a large number of witnesses, including civilians, former and serving soldiers, priests, journalists, civil servants, politicians and former members of the IRA. The vast majority of these statements (sometimes called “BSI statements”) were taken by the solicitors Eversheds, who were retained by this Inquiry for this purpose. For this reason some are also sometimes referred to as “Eversheds statements”. The Solicitor to the Inquiry and his assistants also took a number of written statements, and a few were submitted by witnesses or their solicitors.

Brigade HQ

The headquarters of 8th Infantry Brigade, located at Ebrington Barracks, Londonderry.

Brigade net

This was the radio network used to provide communications between Brigade HQ and the headquarters of the battalions and other units under its command. Separate radio networks were used for communications between the headquarters of each battalion and its constituent companies. See also Ulsternet.

Capper tapes

David Capper was a BBC Radio reporter who covered the march on Bloody Sunday. He carried a reel-to-reel tape recorder on which he recorded his commentary on the march. Other voices and sounds are also audible on the recording. The Inquiry obtained a copy of the recording and arranged for a transcript to be made.

CS gas

This is a type of tear gas, which could be fired in grenades or cartridges as a riot control agent.

DIFS

The Department of Industrial and Forensic Science. This department, which formed part of the Ministry of Commerce of the Government of Northern Ireland, was responsible for the forensic tests carried out shortly after Bloody Sunday on hand swabs and clothing obtained from those who had been killed. It was also responsible for matching two bullets, recovered from the bodies of Gerald Donaghey and Michael Kelly, to rifles fired by soldiers on that day.

Donagh Place

The seventh, eighth and ninth floors of the Rossville Flats were known as Donagh Place.

Embassy Ballroom

The Embassy Ballroom was located on the west side of Strand Road, close to the northern corner of Waterloo Place. In January 1972 the Army occupied the top floor of the building. Two Observation Posts (OPs) were sited on the roof. OP Echo gave views of William Street, Little James Street, Chamberlain Street, the waste ground north of the Rossville Flats, and the Rossville Flats themselves, including the roofs. OP Foxtrot overlooked Strand Road and Waterloo Place. On Bloody Sunday members of 11 Battery 22 Lt AD Regt manned both these OPs.

Eversheds statements

See Bloody Sunday Inquiry statements.

Ferguson and Thomson interviews

Lena Ferguson and Alexander Thomson were ITN journalists who interviewed a number of former soldiers for the purposes of a Channel 4 News investigation of Bloody Sunday, which resulted in a series of broadcasts transmitted in 1997 and 1998.

Ferret scout car

The Ferret was a lightly armoured scout car which had a two-man crew. On Bloody Sunday, Support Company, 1 PARA used one Ferret scout car, on which a Browning machine gun was mounted. This weapon was not used on Bloody Sunday.

The photograph below, taken by Colman Doyle on Bloody Sunday, shows the Ferret scout car used on that day.



Garvan Place

The first, second and third floors of the Rossville Flats were known as Garvan Place.

Gin Palace

The vehicle in which the tactical headquarters of 1 PARA was located was colloquially known as the Gin Palace.

Greener gun

See Baton gun.

Grimaldi tape

See North tape.

HQNI

Headquarters of the Army in Northern Ireland, located in Lisburn, County Antrim.

Humber armoured car

See APC.

IRA

Irish Republican Army. By 1972 this had split into two separate organisations, the Official IRA and the Provisional IRA. In many cases witnesses and documents referred simply to the IRA, without differentiating between these two organisations.

Jacobson interviews

See Sunday Times interviews.

Keville interviews

Kathleen Keville was in Londonderry in January 1972 as a researcher for a film crew making a documentary about Northern Ireland. She had met members of the local civil rights organisation on a previous visit to the city. She took part in the march on 30th January 1972. On the evening of that day and into the next, she recorded the accounts of a number of civilian witnesses on audio tape. Many of these recordings were used to prepare typed statements, which were not always verbatim transcripts of the recordings and were not generally signed by the witnesses. The Inquiry received all the original tape recordings from Kathleen Keville and arranged for them to be fully transcribed. In this report, when referring to what a witness said as recorded by Kathleen Keville, we usually describe this as the witness’s “Keville interview”.

Keville tapes

See Keville interviews.

Knights of Malta

The Order of Malta Ambulance Corps is an ambulance and first aid organisation administered by the Irish Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Several members of the Derry Unit of the Ambulance Corps were on duty at the march on 30th January 1972 and provided first aid services. They were readily identifiable in that they wore either the dress uniform of the Ambulance Corps (a grey coat and trousers with cap) or its medical uniform (a white coat). They were often, although inaccurately, described by witnesses as Knights of Malta.



This was the technical designation for the 7.62mm self-loading rifle. See SLR.



This was the technical designation for the bolt-action .303in rifle converted to take 7.62mm ammunition. See Sniper rifle.



This was the technical designation for standard issue 7.62mm NATO ball ammunition, which was used in the L1A1 SLR and the L42A1 sniper rifle.



The M1 carbine is a semi-automatic or self-loading weapon that, in its standard form, comes with a fixed wooden stock. It was calibrated for a .30in cartridge. The weapon is sometimes described as being of medium velocity although some witnesses to the Inquiry referred to it as a high velocity weapon. There is evidence before the Inquiry to suggest that in Londonderry on 30th January 1972 the Official IRA possessed at least one M1 carbine and the Provisional IRA at least two. The weapon was not issued to any soldiers.

The following photographs show an M1 carbine.



Mahon interviews

Paul Mahon is a former member of Liverpool City Council who completed an academic dissertation on the events of Bloody Sunday in 1997. Thereafter he undertook further substantial research into the subject with the benefit of funding from an English businessman. In the course of this research he conducted a large number of recorded interviews of witnesses. He also co-operated with some of the solicitors acting for the families of the deceased and for the wounded, and for a time was employed by those acting for two of the wounded, Michael Bradley and Michael Bridge. The great majority of those interviewed by Paul Mahon were civilian witnesses.

Paul Mahon provided the Inquiry with both audiotapes and video recordings. The Inquiry arranged for the transcription of these recorded interviews.

McGovern interviews

Jimmy (James) McGovern was the scriptwriter of Sunday, a dramatisation of some of the events of Bloody Sunday. The programme was co-produced by Gaslight Productions Ltd and Box TV Ltd.
It was broadcast on Channel 4 on 28th January 2002 to mark the 30th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. In preparing for the programme, Jimmy McGovern and Stephen Gargan of Gaslight Productions Ltd conducted a series of interviews with civilian witnesses to the events of Bloody Sunday. These interviews were recorded on audio tape. We were supplied with transcripts of these interviews together with the recordings. In addition, members of the production team conducted a number of interviews with civilians and former soldiers, which were not recorded. The notes of these interviews, where available, were also provided to the Inquiry.

Mura Place

The fourth, fifth and sixth floors of the Rossville Flats were known as Mura Place.

Nail bombs

These were improvised explosive devices containing nails as shrapnel. In Northern Ireland in the early 1970s, the use of nail bombs was associated particularly with the Provisional IRA. The typical nail bomb used at that time was a small cylindrical anti-personnel device, designed to be thrown by hand, which contained a fuse, a high explosive charge and a quantity of nails. These were sometimes inserted into an empty food or drink can, but by 1972 it had become more common for the components to be bound together with adhesive tape than for a can to be used.

The photograph below, which was obtained from the Regimental Headquarters of the Parachute Regiment, shows an unexploded nail bomb recovered during or after a riot in 1971.



NCCL

National Council for Civil Liberties. NCCL, now known as Liberty, is a civil rights organisation based in London, to which NICRA was affiliated.

NICRA

Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association. NICRA was founded in 1967. The organisation campaigned for civil rights and social justice.

NICRA statements

Over a period that began on the evening of Bloody Sunday and continued for several days thereafter, statements were taken from a large number of civilian witnesses in a process co-ordinated by NCCL and NICRA. The statement takers were volunteers. They interviewed witnesses and prepared handwritten statements, which were usually signed by both the witness and the statement taker. Typed versions of these statements were then produced. The statements gathered by NICRA and NCCL also included unsigned typed statements prepared from the recordings made by Kathleen Keville (see Keville interviews). We have referred to the statements collected by NICRA and NCCL either as “NICRA statements”, the term by which they were generally known during the Inquiry, or, where appropriate, as “Keville interviews”.

North tape

Susan North was the assistant of Fulvio Grimaldi, an Italian photographer and journalist. She and Fulvio Grimaldi both took part in the civil rights march on Bloody Sunday. Susan North carried a tape recorder, which she used to record some of the events that occurred on that day. The Inquiry obtained a copy of her recording and arranged for it to be transcribed. The tape is sometimes referred to as the “Grimaldi tape”.

Observer galley proofs

The Observer newspaper had intended to publish a substantial article about Bloody Sunday in its edition of 6th February 1972, but did not proceed because of a concern that publication might be regarded as contempt of the Widgery Inquiry. However, the article existed in draft form and the galley proofs have survived.

OIRA

Official Irish Republican Army. See IRA.

OP

Observation Post.

Petrol bombs

These were improvised devices consisting of a bottle filled with petrol (gasoline), with a fuse of cloth or similar material, which was lit before the bottle was thrown.

Pig

See APC.

PIRA

Provisional Irish Republican Army. See IRA.

Porter tapes

James Porter was an electrical engineer and radio enthusiast who had been recording Army and Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) radio communications in Londonderry since 1969. He provided the Inquiry with copies of a number of his tapes, including his recordings of transmissions on the Brigade net and on the RUC radio network on Bloody Sunday. The Inquiry made transcripts of these recordings.

Praxis interviews

Praxis Films Ltd, a film and television production company, made a documentary entitled Bloody Sunday which was broadcast as part of Channel 4’s Secret History series on 5th December 1991, a few weeks before the 20th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. In the course of researching and making the programme, the producer John Goddard, the director and scriptwriter Tony Stark and the researcher Neil Davies interviewed a large number of civilian and military witnesses. Neil Davies is a former member of Support Company, 1 PARA, although he left the Army in 1969 and never served in Northern Ireland. It appears that not all of the research material for the programme survived, but the Inquiry obtained notes and transcripts of many of the interviews.

Pringle interviews

See Sunday Times interviews.

RMP

Royal Military Police. The RMP are the Army’s specialists in investigations and policing and are responsible for policing the United Kingdom military community worldwide.

RMP maps

The RMP statements taken from each of the soldiers who fired live ammunition on Bloody Sunday were accompanied by a map marked in typescript to show the position of that soldier at the time he fired and the location of his target or targets. In some cases the RMP statements of soldiers who did not fire live ammunition were also accompanied by maps marked to show relevant locations. It appears that the RMP maps were prepared after the statements were taken, from the information given in the statements. It also appears that the RMP maps were neither checked nor signed by the soldiers making the statements.

RMP statements

It was normal procedure in 1972 for the RMP to conduct an investigation following an incident in which a soldier had fired live ammunition. Beginning on the evening of Bloody Sunday, statements were taken from those soldiers who admitted firing shots. In addition a number of statements were taken from other soldiers. These statements were taken predominantly by members of the Special Investigation Branch (SIB) of the RMP. The statements were handwritten on standard statement forms from which typed versions were then made.

Rodgers film

Michael Rodgers, an amateur cameraman, took part in the march on 30th January 1972 and used a cine camera to film some of the events that occurred on that day. His film footage was later transferred to a video recording, a copy of which was provided to the Inquiry.

Rubber bullet gun

See Baton gun.

RUC

Royal Ulster Constabulary. This was the civilian police force in Northern Ireland. The present police force is called the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

RUC gun

See Baton gun.

RUC statements

On and after Bloody Sunday, RUC officers took statements from a number of witnesses, including several of those who had been wounded. RUC officers who had been on duty in Londonderry also submitted reports to their superiors of what they had themselves seen and heard.

Saracen

See APC.

Sayle Report

Harold Evans was editor of the Sunday Times newspaper in January 1972. He informed this Inquiry that immediately after the events of Bloody Sunday he sent general reporters Murray Sayle and Derek Humphry, along with Peter Pringle of the Sunday Times Insight Team, to Londonderry. At some stage that week Murray Sayle, Derek Humphry and (he thought) Peter Pringle telephoned in their findings. Harold Evans told us that these findings ran into two difficulties. In the first place, those in charge of the Insight Team were concerned as to whether the sources had been exposed to close enough scrutiny. They were strongly against publishing what came to be known as the Sayle Report as it stood. The second consideration in Harold Evans’ mind regarding the Sayle Report was that Lord Widgery, the Lord Chief Justice, had made it clear that he would regard publication during his inquiry as a serious handicap, so much so that he would regard such publication as a contempt of court. These two considerations Ied Harold Evans to decide not to publish the article, but to conduct another investigation, using the Sunday Times Insight Team, led by John Barry. The Sunday Times provided this Inquiry with a copy of the Sayle Report. See also Sunday Times interviews.

SLR

The L1A1 self-loading rifle (SLR) was the standard issue high velocity rifle in general infantry service in the Army in 1972. It was used with 7.62mm L2A2 ammunition. On Bloody Sunday the majority of soldiers carried SLRs.

The following photographs show an SLR.






Sub-machine gun. See Sterling sub-machine gun and Thompson sub-machine gun.

Sniper rifle

The L42A1 sniper rifle was a bolt action .303in rifle converted to take 7.62mm L2A2 ammunition. On Bloody Sunday a small number of soldiers carried sniper rifles.

The photographs below show a sniper rifle.





Sterling sub-machine gun

The Sterling was a low velocity 9mm SMG. A small number of soldiers carried Sterling SMGs on Bloody Sunday. The Derry Brigade of the Official IRA may also have possessed a Sterling SMG.

The following photographs show a Sterling SMG.





Sunday Times interviews

In the week following Bloody Sunday, journalists from the Insight Team of the Sunday Times newspaper began a major investigation of the events of that day. The investigation continued while the Widgery Inquiry was sitting, and culminated in the publication of a substantial article in the Sunday Times on 23rd April 1972, four days after the report of the Widgery Inquiry had been presented to Parliament. The Insight editor, John Barry, led the investigation. He and two other Insight journalists, Philip Jacobson and Peter Pringle, interviewed a large number of witnesses in Londonderry, including members of the Official IRA and Provisional IRA. The Sunday Times provided this Inquiry with such material from the Insight investigation, including notes and transcripts of the interviews conducted by John Barry and his colleagues, as has survived in the newspaper’s archive.

Taylor interviews

Peter Taylor is a broadcaster and author who has made many documentaries and written several books about the conflict in Northern Ireland since his first visit there on Bloody Sunday. He conducted on-the-record filmed interviews of a number of civilian and military witnesses in the course of making a documentary entitled Remember Bloody Sunday, which was broadcast by the BBC on 28th January 1992 to mark the 20th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. Transcripts of these interviews were supplied to the Inquiry.

Thompson sub-machine gun

The Thompson SMG is a low velocity automatic weapon also capable of firing single shots. There is evidence before the Inquiry to suggest that on 30th January 1972 the Official IRA in Londonderry possessed at least one Thompson SMG and the Provisional IRA at least two. The weapon was not issued to any soldiers.

The photograph below shows a Thompson SMG.



Trajectory photographs

At the request of the Widgery Inquiry, a series of aerial photographs of the relevant area of Londonderry was created in February 1972 to illustrate the trajectories of the shots that soldiers claimed to have fired on Bloody Sunday. Each photograph was marked to show the positions of the soldier and of his target, as the soldier had described them; the line of fire between those positions; and in some cases the number of shots that the soldier claimed to have fired. One or more of these photographs was created for each soldier of 1 PARA who acknowledged that he had fired his rifle on Bloody Sunday.

Ulsternet

The Ulsternet was a radio network used by the Army throughout Northern Ireland at the time of Bloody Sunday. It provided the main radio link between the headquarters of each brigade and the units under its command. Transmissions on the Ulsternet could be monitored at HQNI but the system was not used as the primary means of communication between HQNI and 8th Infantry Brigade headquarters. The Ulsternet was in use on Bloody Sunday as the Brigade net, providing communications between 8th Infantry Brigade Headquarters at Ebrington Barracks and the units under its command, including 1 PARA.

Virtual reality model

This was a computer simulation of the Bogside as it was in 1972, which was developed for use by this Inquiry in order to assist witnesses in giving their accounts of what they had heard and seen on Bloody Sunday. This was of particular assistance because the area has changed since 1972.

Widgery Inquiry

Following resolutions passed on 1st February 1972 in both Houses of Parliament at Westminster and in both Houses of the Parliament of Northern Ireland, the Lord Chief Justice of England, Lord Widgery, was appointed to conduct an Inquiry under the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act 1921 into “the events on Sunday, 30th January which led to loss of life in connection with the procession in Londonderry on that day”. Lord Widgery was the sole member of the Tribunal. He sat at the County Hall, Coleraine, for a preliminary hearing on 14th February 1972 and for the main hearings from 21st February 1972 to 14th March 1972. He heard closing speeches on 16th, 17th and 20th March 1972 at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. The Report of the Widgery Inquiry was presented to Parliament on 19th April 1972.

Widgery statements

The Deputy Treasury Solicitor, Basil Hall (later Sir Basil Hall), was appointed as the Solicitor to the Widgery Inquiry. For the purposes of that Inquiry, he and his assistants interviewed a large number of witnesses and prepared written statements from the interviews. A smaller number of witnesses submitted their own statements to the Widgery Inquiry, either directly or through solicitors. This Inquiry obtained copies of all the Widgery Inquiry statements.

Widgery transcripts

Transcripts are available of all the oral hearings of the Widgery Inquiry. During those hearings, witnesses were often asked to illustrate their evidence by reference to a model of the Bogside area which had been made for that purpose. It is occasionally not possible to follow the explanation recorded in the transcripts without knowing to which part of the model the witness was pointing.

This Inquiry tried unsuccessfully to locate the model used at the Widgery Inquiry. Although the original model appears not to have survived, it can be seen in the following photograph.



Widgery Tribunal

See Widgery Inquiry.

Yellow Card

Every soldier serving in Northern Ireland was issued with a copy of a card, entitled “Instructions by the Director of Operations for Opening Fire in Northern Ireland”, which defined the circumstances in which he was permitted to open fire. This card was known as the Yellow Card. All soldiers were expected to be familiar with, and to obey, the rules contained in it. The Yellow Card was first issued in September 1969 and was revised periodically thereafter. The fourth edition of the Yellow Card, issued in November 1971, was current on 30th January 1972.

List of Army ranks

The list below shows, in order of seniority, the Army ranks to which we refer in this report, together with the abbreviations sometimes used for them. Lieutenant Generals and Major Generals are both commonly referred to and addressed simply as General, and similarly Lieutenant Colonels as Colonel.

Officers

Field Marshal
FM

General
Gen

Lieutenant General
Lt Gen

Major General
Maj Gen

Brigadier
Brig

Colonel
Col

Lieutenant Colonel
Lt Col

Major
Maj

Captain
Capt

Lieutenant
Lt

Second Lieutenant
2 Lt

Warrant Officers

Warrant Officer Class I
WOI

Warrant Officer Class II
WOII

Senior non-commissioned officers
Equivalent ranks

Colour Sergeant
C/Sgt
Staff Sergeant
S/Sgt

Sergeant
Sgt

Junior non-commissioned officers
Equivalent ranks

Corporal
Cpl
Lance Sergeant
L/Sgt

Bombardier
Bdr

Lance Corporal
L/Cpl
Lance Bombardier
L/Bdr

Soldiers
Equivalent ranks

Private
Pte
Guardsman
Gdsm

Gunner
Gnr

Rifleman
Rfn


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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 1

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 9:59

- Volume I - Chapter 1

Principal Conclusions and Overall Assessment


Chapter 1: Introduction

The object of the Inquiry was to examine the circumstances that led to loss of life in connection with the civil rights march in Londonderry on 30th January 1972. Thirteen civilians were killed by Army gunfire on the day. The day has become generally known as Bloody Sunday, which is why at the outset we called this Inquiry the Bloody Sunday Inquiry. In 1972 Lord Widgery, then the Lord Chief Justice of England, held an inquiry into these same events.

In these opening chapters of the report we provide an outline of events before and during 30th January 1972; and collect together for convenience the principal conclusions that we have reached on the events of that day. We also provide our overall assessment of what happened on Bloody Sunday. This outline, our principal conclusions and our overall assessment are based on a detailed examination and evaluation of the evidence, which can be found elsewhere in this report. These chapters should be read in conjunction with that detailed examination and evaluation, since there are many important details, including our reasons for the conclusions that we have reached, which we do not include here, in order to avoid undue repetition.

The Inquiry involved an examination of a complex set of events. In relation to the day itself, most of these events were fast moving and many occurred more or less simultaneously. In order to carry out a thorough investigation into events that have given rise to great controversy over many years, our examination necessarily involved the close consideration and analysis of a very large amount of evidence.

In addition to those killed, people were also injured by Army gunfire on Bloody Sunday. We took the view at the outset that it would be artificial in the extreme to ignore the injured, since those shooting incidents in the main took place in the same circumstances, at the same times and in the same places as those causing fatal injuries.

We found it necessary not to confine our investigations only to what happened on the day. Without examining what led up to Bloody Sunday, it would be impossible to reach a properly informed view of what happened, let alone of why it happened. An examination of what preceded Bloody Sunday was particularly important because there had been allegations that members of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland Governments, as well as the security forces, had so conducted themselves in the period up to Bloody Sunday that they bore a heavy responsibility for what happened on that day.

Many of the soldiers (including all those whose shots killed and injured people on Bloody Sunday) were granted anonymity at the Inquiry, after rulings by the Court of Appeal in London. We also granted other individuals anonymity, on the basis of the principles laid down by the Court of Appeal. Those granted anonymity were given ciphers in place of their names. We have preserved their anonymity in this report.

Londonderry is the second largest city in Northern Ireland. It lies in the north-west, close to the border with the country of Ireland. The River Foyle flows through the city. The area of the city with which this report is principally concerned lies on the western side of this river, as does the old walled part of the city. We show the western part of the city and certain important features as they were in 1972 in the following photograph and map.






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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 1

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 10:00

Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry
- Volume I - Chapter 2


Outline of events before the day


Londonderry in January 1972 was a troubled city with a divided society, in a troubled and divided country. Throughout much of Northern Ireland there were deep and seemingly irreconcilable divisions between nationalists (predominantly Roman Catholic and a majority in the city) and unionists (generally Protestant and a majority in Northern Ireland as a whole). In general terms the former wanted Northern Ireland to leave the United Kingdom and unite with the rest of Ireland, while the latter wanted it to remain part of the United Kingdom.

This sectarian divide, as it was called, had existed for a long time. Among other things, it had led in the years preceding Bloody Sunday to many violent clashes between the two communities and with the police, then the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). The police had become regarded by many in the nationalist community not as impartial keepers of the peace and upholders of the law, but rather as agents of the unionist Northern Ireland Government, employed in their view to keep the nationalist community subjugated, often by the use of unjustifiable and brutal force.

On 14th August 1969, after there had been particularly violent clashes between civilians and the police in Londonderry, the authorities brought into the city units of the British Army as an aid to the civil power, in other words to restore law and order. The British Army was in the city in this role on Bloody Sunday.

There was a further dimension in the form of paramilitary organisations. By the beginning of the 1970s the Irish Republican Army (IRA) had split into two organisations known respectively as the Provisional IRA and the Official IRA. These paramilitary organisations (often referred to simply as the IRA, though they were distinct organisations) had restarted a campaign of armed violence, in the belief that only by such means could Northern Ireland be freed from what they regarded as the yoke of British colonial domination and become part of a united Ireland. There were also those on the unionist side of the sectarian divide who organised and used armed violence in the belief that this was required to maintain the union with the United Kingdom.

This further dimension meant that the security forces, in addition to their other responsibilities, had to deal with those using armed violence.

The situation in Londonderry in January 1972 was serious. By this stage the nationalist community had largely turned against the soldiers, many believing that the Army, as well as the RUC, were agents of an oppressive regime. Parts of the city to the west of the Foyle lay in ruins, as the result of the activities of the IRA and of rioting young men (some members of the IRA or its junior wing, the Fianna) known to soldiers and some others as the “Derry Young Hooligans”. A large part of the nationalist area of the city was a “no go” area, which was dominated by the IRA, where ordinary policing could not be conducted and where even the Army ventured only by using large numbers of soldiers.

The armed violence had led to many casualties. There had been numerous clashes between the security forces and the IRA in which firearms had been used on both sides and in which the IRA had thrown nail and petrol bombs. Over the months and years before Bloody Sunday civilians, soldiers, policemen and IRA gunmen and bombers had been killed and wounded; and at least in Londonderry, in January 1972 the violence showed few signs of abating.

In August 1971 the Northern Ireland Government (with the agreement of the United Kingdom Government) had introduced internment without trial of suspected terrorists; and at the same time had imposed a ban on marches and processions, giving as the reason that the former would assist in dealing with armed violence and that the latter would reduce the opportunity for violent confrontations between nationalists and unionists.

The nationalist community in particular regarded internment without trial with abhorrence, considering it yet another illegitimate means employed by the unionist Government. Both nationalists and unionists expressed opposition to the ban on marches and processions.


Many people were interned without trial, almost without exception Catholics from the nationalist community. Over the following months there were allegations that those held had been mistreated, allegations that in significant respects were eventually found to have substance.

By January 1972 the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association had decided to defy the ban on marches. In particular they organised a march in Londonderry to protest against internment without trial. This was the march that took place on Bloody Sunday.

The authorities knew of the proposed march and that the organisers had planned a route to Guildhall Square (also known as Shipquay Place), outside the city Guildhall, where prominent people would address the marchers. The authorities took the view that the security forces should prevent the march from proceeding as planned, fearing that this flouting of the ban would undermine law and order and would be likely to lead to a violent reaction from unionists. This view prevailed, notwithstanding a contrary view expressed by Chief Superintendent Frank Lagan, the senior police officer in charge of the Londonderry area, who advised that the march should be allowed to proceed. The march was expected to be too large for the police to be able to control it themselves, so the Army shouldered the main burden of dealing with it. The plan that emerged was to allow the march to proceed in the nationalist areas of the city, but to stop it from reaching Guildhall Square by erecting barriers on the roads leading to Guildhall Square, manned by soldiers who were stationed in the area. In the circumstances that obtained at the time, and despite the view expressed by Chief Superintendent Lagan, it was not unreasonable of the authorities to seek to deal with the march in this way.

At the beginning of January 1972, Major General Robert Ford, then Commander of Land Forces in Northern Ireland, had visited Londonderry. He wrote a confidential memorandum to Lieutenant General Sir Harry Tuzo, his senior and the General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland, in which he expressed himself disturbed by the attitude of the officers commanding the resident troops and that of Chief Superintendent Lagan. He recorded that they had told him that the area of damage in the city was extending and that even the major shopping centre would be destroyed in the coming months. He referred in particular to the “Derry Young Hooligans” as a factor in the continued destruction of the city, and expressed the view that the Army was “virtually incapable” of dealing with them. He also expressed the view that he was coming to the conclusion that the minimum force required to deal with the “Derry Young Hooligans” was, after clear warnings, to shoot selected ringleaders.

The suggestion that selected ringleaders should be shot was not put forward as a means of dealing with the forthcoming civil rights march or any rioting that might accompany it.

As part of the plan for dealing with the march, what General Ford did do was to order that an additional Army battalion be sent to the city to be used to arrest rioters if, which was expected to happen, the march was followed by rioting. Initially he expressed the view that such a force might be able to arrest a large number of rioters and by that means significantly decrease the activities of the “Derry Young Hooligans”.
To that end General Ford ordered that 1st Battalion, The Parachute Regiment (1 PARA), which was stationed near Belfast, should travel to Londonderry and be used as the arrest force.

The detailed plan for controlling the march was the responsibility of Brigadier Patrick MacLellan, the Commander of 8th Infantry Brigade, which was the Army brigade in charge of the Londonderry area. The Operation Order (for what was called Operation Forecast) set out the plan that Brigadier MacLellan and his staff had prepared. The Operation Order provided for the use of 1 PARA as the arrest force, but also made clear in express terms that any arrest operation was to be mounted only on the orders of the Brigadier.


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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 1

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 10:25

Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry
- Volume I - Chapter 3


Chapter 3: The events of the day


PARA arrived in Londonderry on the morning of Sunday 30th January 1972. During the morning and early afternoon Lieutenant Colonel Derek Wilford, the Commanding Officer of 1 PARA, organised the disposition of his soldiers in the city. In addition, the soldiers stationed in the area erected barricades on the streets leading to Guildhall Square and manned those barriers.

We set out below a map showing some significant buildings, the position of the three most important of the barriers and the numbers that were given to them.


Colonel Wilford placed Support Company, one of the companies of 1 PARA, near the Presbyterian church in Great James Street. His initial plan was to send soldiers from there directly south into William Street if rioting broke out in the area and Brigadier MacLellan ordered an arrest operation. However, Colonel Wilford then realised that there were walls that made it difficult for soldiers to move at any speed from Great James Street into William Street, so in order to reduce this drawback he ordered the Commander of Support Company (Major Edward Loden) to be ready to locate one of his platoons in a derelict building (often called “Abbey Taxis” after a taxi firm that once operated from there) on the William Street side of the Presbyterian church. Major Loden selected Machine Gun Platoon for this task and sent this platoon forward. We show below a photograph in which we have identified William Street, the Presbyterian church and the derelict building.



Meanwhile the civil rights march, many thousands strong, had started in the Creggan area of the city and made its way by a circuitous route through the nationalist part of the city and into William Street. The organisers had planned for and advertised the march to go to Guildhall Square, but at the last moment, knowing that the security forces were going to prevent the march from reaching this destination, they decided instead on a different route; so that when the march reached the junction of William Street and Rossville Street, it would turn right and go along Rossville Street to Free Derry Corner in the Bogside, where there would be speeches. We set out below a map that indicates the original and changed routes of the march and a photograph showing the march proceeding down William Street.





When the march reached the junction of William Street, and Rossville Street, many people, including those who were eager for a confrontation with the security forces, instead of turning right into Rossville Street to go to Free Derry Corner, continued along William Street to the Army barrier there, Barrier 14.



Shortly after the arrival of people at Barrier 14, rioting broke out there, in the form of members of the crowd throwing stones and similar missiles at the soldiers. In addition, further back, similar rioting broke out at the barriers closing Little James Street and Sackville Street, Barriers 12 and 13. As can be seen from the map shown at paragraph 3.2 above, Little James Street led north from the junction of William Street and Rossville Street, a junction known to soldiers and some others at the time as “Aggro Corner”, because it had frequently been an area for riots. Sackville Street led east from Little James Street. There was also rioting of a similar kind further west along William Street, in the area where Machine Gun Platoon was located.

The soldiers at the barriers responded to the rioting by firing baton rounds (often called rubber bullets) and at Barrier 12 (and perhaps Barrier 13) by firing CS gas. At Barrier 14, rioters themselves threw a canister of CS gas at the soldiers, while the soldiers there, in addition to firing baton rounds, deployed a water cannon and sprayed the rioters (and others who were there) in an attempt to disperse them. The soldiers at Barrier 14 (who were from 2nd Battalion, The Royal Green Jackets) acted with restraint in the face of the rioting at this barrier and deployed no more than properly proportionate force in seeking to deal with it.
While this rioting was taking place and at just after 1555 hours, Colonel Wilford, who had taken up a position close to the Presbyterian church, sent a radio message to Brigade Headquarters (stationed at Ebrington Barracks on the other side of the River Foyle) in which he suggested sending one of his companies through Barrier 14 (the barrier on William Street) into the area of William Street and Little James Street (ie the area of and to the north of Aggro Corner) on the grounds that by doing so he might be able to arrest a number of rioters. We set out below a map on which we show this area.



Brigadier MacLellan, who was at Brigade Headquarters, did not give an order for an arrest operation until some minutes later.

At about the same time as Colonel Wilford sent this message, two soldiers of Machine Gun Platoon fired between them five shots from the derelict building on William Street, shown on the map below. Their target was Damien Donaghey (aged 15), who was on the other side of William Street and who was wounded in the thigh. Unknown to the soldiers John Johnston (aged 55), who was a little distance behind Damien Donaghey, was also hit and injured by fragments from this gunfire.

Shortly after this incident a member of the Official IRA (given the cipher OIRA 1) fired a rifle at soldiers who were on a wall on the side of the Presbyterian church. The shot was fired from a position across William Street. We set out below a map showing the area in which these casualties occurred and the position from which OIRA 1 fired.



The shot fired by OIRA 1 missed soldiers and hit a drainpipe running down the side of the Presbyterian church. OIRA 1 and another Official IRA man with him (OIRA 2) insisted that this shot had been fired as a reprisal for the shooting of Damien Donaghey and John Johnston. We were not convinced of this, although we considered on balance that the IRA shot was fired after the wounding of Damien Donaghey and John Johnston. In our view these two Official IRA members had gone to a pre-arranged sniping position in order to fire at the soldiers; and probably did so when an opportunity presented itself rather than because two civilians had been injured.
At around the time of these incidents Colonel Wilford abandoned his initial plan to send Support Company soldiers from Great James Street directly south into William Street if he got the order to mount an arrest operation; and instead told Support Company to be prepared to go in vehicles through Barrier 12, the barrier in Little James Street.

The arrest operation

At 1607 hours Brigadier MacLellan gave 1 PARA orders by radio to mount an arrest operation by sending one company of 1 PARA through Barrier 14 in William Street, but not to conduct a running battle down Rossville Street. In its context, the prohibition on conducting a running battle down Rossville Street meant that the soldiers were not to chase people down that street.

Brigadier MacLellan had delayed giving an order for an arrest operation because he was correctly concerned that there should be separation between rioters and peaceful marchers before launching an operation to arrest the former. He gave the order when he had reasonable grounds for believing that there was such separation in the area for arrests that Colonel Wilford had previously identified.
This order was responsive to the request made by Colonel Wilford some 12 minutes earlier. In other words, Brigadier MacLellan authorised the arrest operation suggested by Colonel Wilford. The second part of this order reflected Brigadier MacLellan’s anxiety that the soldiers should not become mixed up with the peaceful marchers further along Rossville Street.

The arrest operation ordered by the Brigadier was accordingly limited to sending one company through Barrier 14 in William Street, in an attempt to arrest rioters in the area of and to the north of Aggro Corner.

Colonel Wilford did not comply with Brigadier MacLellan’s order. He deployed one company through Barrier 14 as he was authorised to do, but in addition and without authority he deployed Support Company in vehicles through Barrier 12 in Little James Street. As we describe below, the vehicles travelled along Rossville Street and into the Bogside, where the soldiers disembarked. The effect was that soldiers of Support Company did chase people down Rossville Street. Some of those people had been rioting but many were peaceful marchers. There was thus no separation between peaceful marchers and those who had been rioting and no means whereby soldiers could identify and arrest only the latter.

Colonel Wilford either deliberately disobeyed Brigadier MacLellan’s order or failed for no good reason to appreciate the clear limits on what he had been authorised to do. He was disturbed by the delay in responding to his request to mount an arrest operation and had concluded that, by reason of the delay, the only way to effect a significant number of arrests was to deploy Support Company in vehicles into the Bogside. He did not inform Brigade of this conclusion. Had he done so, Brigadier MacLellan might well have called off the arrest operation altogether, on the grounds that this deployment would not have provided sufficient separation between rioters and civil rights marchers.

Colonel Wilford did not pass on to Major Loden (the Commander of Support Company) the Brigadier’s injunction on chasing people down Rossville Street, nor did he impose any limits on how far the soldiers of Support Company should go. Colonel Wilford’s evidence was that it was not necessary to do either of these things, as he understood the injunction as prohibiting his soldiers from chasing rioters down to Free Derry Corner or beyond and because his soldiers already knew that they should not go further than about 200 or 250 yards from their starting point. Colonel Wilford should have understood that he was being ordered not to chase rioters any distance down Rossville Street.
The vehicles of Support Company went through Barrier 12. The two leading vehicles, which were Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), held soldiers of Mortar Platoon. The first of these vehicles (which carried the Commander of Mortar Platoon, Lieutenant N, and other soldiers) went along Rossville Street and then turned left onto an area of waste ground called the Eden Place waste ground, where the soldiers disembarked. Beyond the waste ground were three high blocks of flats known as the Rossville Flats. In the area partly surrounded by these blocks there was a car park. The second vehicle (under the command of Sergeant O, the Platoon Sergeant of Mortar Platoon) went further along Rossville Street than the first vehicle, stopped briefly on that street where some of the soldiers disembarked, and then turned left and stopped in the entrance to the car park of the Rossville Flats, where the remaining soldiers disembarked. This was about 230 yards from Barrier 12. We set out below a map showing the route these vehicles took and photographs showing the positions they reached, which were in that part of the “no go” area of the city called the Bogside.







Many civilians were in the area of the Eden Place waste ground and the car park of the Rossville Flats when the vehicles of Support Company drove into the Bogside. On seeing the Army vehicles these people started to run away. Shortly before it stopped in the car park of the Rossville Flats the vehicle under the command of Sergeant O struck two people, Alana Burke and Thomas Harkin. This was not done deliberately.

On disembarking soldiers fired baton rounds and some sought to make arrests. Only six arrests were made in this area as the people there when the vehicles arrived rapidly dispersed.

After disembarking Lieutenant N went towards an alleyway that led from the Eden Place waste ground into Chamberlain Street, which was a street to the east of the Eden Place waste ground that ran parallel to Rossville Street. The alleyway is shown in the following photograph.



Shortly after arriving at the entrance to the alleyway, Lieutenant N fired two rounds from his rifle over the heads of people who were in the alleyway or in Chamberlain Street at the end of the alleyway and soon afterwards fired a third round in the same direction. These people had come from the area around Barrier 14 in William Street. Some of them had been attempting to rescue a man who had been arrested by one of the soldiers with Lieutenant N and some were throwing stones and similar missiles at the soldiers.
The shots fired by Lieutenant N hit buildings, but injured no-one. These were the first rifle shots fired in the area after soldiers had gone into the Bogside. Lieutenant N’s evidence was that he believed that his shots were the only way of preventing the crowd from attacking him and the soldiers with him. We do not accept that evidence. In our view Lieutenant N probably fired these shots because he decided that this would be an effective way of frightening the people and moving them on, and not because he considered that they posed such a threat to him or the other soldiers that firing his rifle was the only option open to him. In our view this use of his weapon cannot be justified.

The casualties in the Bogside

Soon after Lieutenant N had fired his shots up the alleyway, soldiers of Mortar Platoon opened fire with their rifles in the area of the car park of the Rossville Flats. In that car park Jackie Duddy (aged 17) was shot and mortally wounded, while Margaret Deery (aged 38), Michael Bridge (aged 25) and Michael Bradley (aged 22) were wounded, all by Army rifle fire. In addition Pius McCarron (aged about 30) and Patrick McDaid (aged 24) suffered injuries from flying debris caused by Army rifle fire. Patrick Brolly (aged 40) was in one of the Rossville Flats and was probably injured by or as the result of Army rifle fire.

We set out below a diagram showing where these casualties occurred.


Vehicles carrying the Commander of Support Company, Major Loden, and two platoons, Anti-Tank Platoon and Composite Platoon, had followed Mortar Platoon of Support Company into the Bogside. Anti-Tank Platoon was one of the regular platoons of Support Company and was commanded by Lieutenant 119. Composite Platoon was a platoon that was on the day attached to Support Company and was under the command of Captain 200.

These soldiers disembarked in Rossville Street. Most of the soldiers of Machine Gun Platoon remained at this stage in the derelict building on William Street.
A short time after disembarking, and while events were unfolding in the car park of the Rossville Flats, soldiers of Anti-Tank Platoon reached the low walls of a ramp at the southern end of a block of flats named Kells Walk, on the western side of Rossville Street. Soldiers at that ramp then opened fire with their rifles. One of these shots hit and mortally wounded Michael Kelly (aged 17) who was some 80 yards further south behind a rubble barricade that had been erected by civilians across Rossville Street before Bloody Sunday. We set out below a map showing these positions.


Soon after civilians had carried Michael Kelly away from the rubble barricade, soldiers in Rossville Street fired at and mortally wounded five more people at or in the vicinity of that barricade. They were Hugh Gilmour (aged 17), William Nash (aged 19), John Young (aged 17), Michael McDaid (aged 20) and Kevin McElhinney (aged 17). In addition Alexander Nash (aged 52) was hit and injured by Army gunfire after he had gone to the rubble barricade to tend his son William Nash. We set out below a map showing the positions where it appears that these casualties occurred. The map also shows where Michael Kelly had been shot earlier.



After this firing had begun, soldiers of Anti-Tank Platoon moved forward from the low walls of the Kells Walk ramp and four of them went into Glenfada Park North, a residential building complex that lay to the west of Rossville Street, which is also shown on this map.
In Glenfada Park North were a number of civilians, many fleeing and seeking refuge from the soldiers.

Within a few seconds after arriving, the four soldiers who had gone into Glenfada Park North between them shot and mortally wounded William McKinney (aged 26) and Jim Wray (aged 22); and shot and injured Joe Friel (aged 20), Michael Quinn (aged 17), Joe Mahon (aged 16) and Patrick O’Donnell (aged 41). Jim Wray was shot twice, the second time probably as he lay mortally wounded on the ground. We set out below two diagrams showing the area of Glenfada Park North where these casualties occurred. A civilian, Daniel Gillespie (aged 32), may also have been slightly injured by or as the result of Army rifle fire in Glenfada Park North, but this is far from certain.





One of these soldiers then went from Glenfada Park North to Abbey Park, another residential area which lies to the west of Glenfada Park North, as shown in the following photograph.



In Abbey Park this soldier shot and mortally wounded Gerard McKinney (aged 35). His shot passed through this casualty and also mortally wounded Gerald Donaghey (aged 17). We set out below a map showing the area of Abbey Park where these casualties occurred.



Soon after the shootings in Rossville Street, Glenfada Park North and Abbey Park, some of the soldiers who had been in Glenfada Park North went to its south-east corner, where there was a road entrance to Rossville Street, as shown in the following photograph.



From this position and again over a very short period of time there was Army gunfire across Rossville Street. This gunfire hit Bernard McGuigan (aged 41) and Patrick Doherty (aged 32), instantly killing the former and mortally wounding the latter. In addition Patrick Campbell (aged 53) and Daniel McGowan (aged 37) were wounded. All these casualties occurred in a pedestrianised area between the Joseph Place flats and the front (southern) side of Block 2 of the Rossville Flats, as shown on the following map.



Although there was later firing by soldiers in Rossville Street, the people shot on the front (southern) side of the Rossville Flats were the last civilians to be shot by the soldiers who had gone into the Bogside.

Only some ten minutes elapsed between the time soldiers moved in vehicles into the Bogside and the time the last of the civilians was shot.

There was other firing by the soldiers of Support Company (including soldiers of Composite Platoon) after they had gone into the Bogside, which did not result in death or injury; but which formed an important part of the events of the day and which we consider in this report. In all, soldiers of Support Company fired over 100 rounds after they had gone into the Bogside.

The soldiers who shot the casualties
We have no doubt that soldiers of Support Company were responsible for all the gunfire casualties that we have described above, using their high velocity self-loading 7.62mm Army rifles, known as SLRs. As will be seen, in some cases we are sure of the identity of the soldier or soldiers concerned, while in other cases our identifications are less certain.

The first gunfire casualty of the day was Damien Donaghey, who was on a patch of waste ground immediately south of William Street. He was hit in the thigh, either by one of two shots fired by Corporal A or one of three shots fired by Private B, both soldiers of Machine Gun Platoon. The two soldiers fired their shots from the derelict building more or less simultaneously in a single burst of fire. All these shots were aimed and fired at Damien Donaghey.

Unknown to Corporal A or Private B, fragments from one or more of these shots hit and injured John Johnston, who was on the same patch of waste ground.

The first casualty of gunfire after soldiers had gone into the Bogside was Jackie Duddy, who was shot and mortally wounded on the western side of the Rossville Flats car park.

In our view Private R of Mortar Platoon was probably the soldier who aimed at and shot Jackie Duddy. This soldier had disembarked from Sergeant O’s APC in Rossville Street, but then ran after this vehicle as it continued into the entrance to the car park of the Rossville Flats, before he fired at Jackie Duddy.
Soon after Jackie Duddy was shot Lance Corporal V of Mortar Platoon, who had moved towards the car park of the Rossville Flats after disembarking from Lieutenant N’s APC, fired his rifle. This shot was probably the one that hit Margaret Deery in the thigh. At the time this casualty was near the southern end of the wall at the back of the gardens of the houses on the western side of Chamberlain Street.
Michael Bridge was injured after Margaret Deery. He was shot in the thigh when he was a short distance from Sergeant O’s vehicle in the car park of the Rossville Flats.
It is probable that it was Lieutenant N, the Commander of Mortar Platoon, who aimed at and shot Michael Bridge. This officer had moved towards the car park of the Rossville Flats from his APC in the Eden Place waste ground before he fired.

Michael Bradley was shot when he was on the southern side of the Rossville Flats car park. It is probable that it was Private Q of Mortar Patrick McDaid and Pius McCarron were injured by debris sent flying by shots fired as they were attempting to run away from the south-eastern area of the Rossville Flats car park.

We cannot determine precisely which soldier or soldiers fired these shots beyond saying that it was one or more of Sergeant O, Private R and Private S, all of Mortar Platoon.

Although he did not aim at Patrick Brolly, Private T of Mortar Platoon was probably responsible for the shot that directly or indirectly injured this casualty, who was in Block 1 of the Rossville Flats. However, we cannot eliminate the possibility that Private S rather than Private T was responsible. Patrick Brolly was injured after Jackie Duddy was shot but before the latter had been carried from the car park.
We are sure that shortly after he disembarked from his vehicle and while events were unfolding in the car park of the Rossville Flats, Lance Corporal F of Anti-Tank Platoon fired from the low walls of the Kells Walk ramp and mortally injured Michael Kelly, who was behind the rubble barricade in Rossville Street.

After Michael Kelly had been shot, William Nash, John Young and Michael McDaid were shot and killed at the rubble barricade. We are sure that Corporal P of Mortar Platoon, who had disembarked from Sergeant O’s APC in Rossville Street, shot at least one of these casualties and may have been responsible for all three, though Lance Corporal J of Anti-Tank Platoon may have shot one of them and we cannot eliminate the possibility that Corporal E was responsible for another. Corporal P fired from a position in Rossville Street north of the rubble barricade and south of the low walls of the Kells Walk ramp; while Lance Corporal J and Corporal E fired from a position at that ramp.
We are sure that Private U, a member of Mortar Platoon who had taken up a position at the northern end of Block 1 of the Rossville Flats, fired at and mortally wounded Hugh Gilmour as the latter was running south (ie away from the soldiers) along the Rossville Street side of Block 1 of the Rossville Flats.

We are sure that either Private L or Private M, members of Composite Platoon who had taken up positions at the low walls of the Kells Walk ramp, shot Kevin McElhinney as he was crawling south from the rubble barricade away from the soldiers. Both probably fired at him on the orders of one or perhaps two nearby non-commissioned officers, Colour Sergeant 002 and Corporal 039.

It is possible that either Corporal P or Lance Corporal J was responsible for firing at and injuring Alexander Nash. These soldiers were in positions somewhere north of the rubble barricade and south of the low walls of the Kells Walk ramp. However, there is insufficient evidence to make any finding against either of these soldiers on this matter.

The four soldiers who moved from the low walls of the Kells Walk ramp into Glenfada Park North were Corporal E, Lance Corporal F, Private G and Private H. All were members of Anti-Tank Platoon and all fired their rifles in Glenfada Park North.
We are sure that these four soldiers were between them responsible for the casualties in Glenfada Park North. It is probable that Corporal E was responsible for the shot that injured Patrick O’Donnell. It is not possible to identify which particular soldiers shot the other casualties. However, we consider it more likely than not that either Lance Corporal F or Private H fired the shot that mortally wounded William McKinney; that one or other of these soldiers was responsible for the shot that wounded Joe Mahon; that either Private G or Private H fired the shot that wounded Michael Quinn; that either Lance Corporal F or Private G fired the shot that wounded Joe Friel; and that either Private G or Private H fired the first shot to hit Jim Wray. Joe Mahon was probably wounded by a shot that had first hit William McKinney. It is not clear whether Joe Friel and Michael Quinn were specifically targeted, or were hit by shots fired indiscriminately at the people who were in the south-west corner of Glenfada Park North. All these shots were fired from the northern side of Glenfada Park North within a very short time of each other. All the casualties were on the southern side of Glenfada Park North, about 40 yards from the soldiers.

The circumstances in which Daniel Gillespie was injured are so confused that it is not possible to identify the soldier or soldiers who might have been responsible for his injury, which was slight.

As we have said, Jim Wray was shot twice, the second time probably when he was lying mortally wounded on the ground. It is probable that either Private G or Private H fired this second shot.

There is no doubt that Private G was the soldier who at a range of only a few yards fired at and mortally wounded Gerard McKinney in Abbey Park. His shot passed through Gerard McKinney’s body and also mortally wounded Gerald Donaghey.

The last gunfire casualties were Bernard McGuigan, Patrick Doherty, Patrick Campbell and Daniel McGowan, all shot in the area to the south of Block 2 of the Rossville Flats within a very short time of each other. We are sure that Lance Corporal F fired at and shot Bernard McGuigan and Patrick Doherty and it is highly probable that he was also responsible for shooting the other two casualties. This soldier fired across Rossville Street from the Rossville Street entranceway into Glenfada Park North.

We should note at this point that we have considered the possibility that one or more of the casualties might have occurred from soldiers firing by accident, in the sense of discharging their rifles by mistake and without intending to do so. We have found no evidence that suggests to us that this was or might have been the case.

Why the soldiers shot the casualties

Every soldier serving in Northern Ireland was issued with a card entitled Instructions by the Director of Operations for Opening Fire in Northern Ireland. This was known as the Yellow Card, and contained instructions as to when a soldier could open fire.

The Yellow Card in force on Bloody Sunday contained instructions to the soldiers that they should never use more force than the minimum necessary to enable them to carry out their duties, and should always first try to handle the situation by means other than opening fire. The Yellow Card provided that the soldier should only fire aimed shots and that save in two cases, if a soldier had to open fire, a warning was to be given before doing so. The warning to be given had to include a statement that fire would be opened if the soldier’s order was not obeyed.

The first of the two cases in which a soldier could open fire without warning was when hostile firing was taking place in his area and a warning was impracticable, or when any delay could lead to death or serious injury to people whom it was the soldier’s duty to protect or to the soldier himself; and in either of these situations the soldier was only permitted to open fire against a person using a firearm against members of the security forces or people whom it was the soldier’s duty to protect; or against a person carrying a firearm if the soldier had reason to think that that person was about to use the firearm for offensive purposes. The Yellow Card defined “firearm” as including a grenade, nail bomb or gelignite-type bomb. The second case in which a soldier could open fire without warning concerned firing at vehicles and has no relevance to the firing on Bloody Sunday.

None of the casualties shot by soldiers of Support Company was armed with a firearm or (with the probable exception of Gerald Donaghey) a bomb of any description. None was posing any threat of causing death or serious injury. In no case was any warning given before soldiers opened fire.

It was submitted on behalf of many of the represented soldiers that it was possible that some of the casualties were accidental, in the sense that the soldier concerned fired at someone posing a threat of causing death or serious injury, but missed and hit a bystander instead. It was also submitted that soldiers fired at and killed or injured other people who were posing such a threat, but that the existence of these casualties had been kept secret by those civilians who knew that this had happened, in order to deprive the soldiers of evidence that their firing was justified.

Apart from the firing by Private T, we have found no substance in either of these submissions.

As to the first, although John Johnston was hit accidentally from fragments of the shots fired at Damien Donaghey in William Street, Damien Donaghey was not posing a threat of causing death or serious injury. Margaret Deery, who was shot and seriously wounded in the Rossville Flats car park, was probably not the intended target and was hit by accident, but again the soldier concerned was not firing at someone posing a threat of causing death or serious injury. The same is true of the shots that indirectly caused injury to Pius McCarron and Patrick McDaid. In Glenfada Park North, Joe Mahon was hit and wounded by a bullet that was aimed at and probably initially hit William McKinney. In Abbey Park, Gerald Donaghey was hit and mortally wounded by the bullet that had first mortally wounded Gerard McKinney, but neither William McKinney nor Gerard McKinney was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury. Apart from these and Patrick Brolly, all the casualties were either the intended targets of the soldiers or the result of shots fired indiscriminately at people. None of the soldiers admitted missing his target and hitting someone else by mistake.

As to Patrick Brolly, if Private T was responsible for the shot that injured this casualty, this was one of the two shots that Private T fired at a man who had been throwing down bottles containing acid or a similar corrosive substance from the Rossville Flats. Such conduct probably did pose a threat of causing serious injury. Private T (if he was responsible) neither intended to hit Patrick Brolly nor fired his rifle indiscriminately at people. If it was Private S who fired and injured Patrick Brolly, he did not aim at this casualty but fired indiscriminately at the Rossville Flats.

As to the second submission, we are sure that no-one other than the casualties that we have described above was killed or seriously injured by firing by Support Company soldiers. Had there been such casualties, we have no doubt that this would have come to light many years ago. We have found no evidence that suggests to us that there were other less serious casualties of Support Company gunfire.
Despite the contrary evidence given by soldiers, we have concluded that none of them fired in response to attacks or threatened attacks by nail or petrol bombers. No-one threw or threatened to throw a nail or petrol bomb at the soldiers on Bloody Sunday. There was some firing by republican paramilitaries (though nothing approaching that claimed by some soldiers) which we discuss in detail in this report, but in our view none of this firing provided any justification for the shooting of the civilian casualties. No soldier of Support Company was injured by gunfire on Bloody Sunday. Two suffered slight injuries from acid or a similar corrosive substance thrown down on them in bottles from the Rossville Flats.

Apart from Private T (who claimed to have fired at someone throwing down acid bombs from the Rossville Flats), all the soldiers who in our view were responsible for the casualties on Bloody Sunday sought to justify their shooting on the grounds that they were sure when they fired that they had targeted and hit someone who was armed with a firearm or a nail or petrol bomb and who was posing or about to pose a threat of causing death or serious injury.
In other words, all the soldiers (apart from Private T) who were in our view responsible for the casualties insisted that they had shot at gunmen or bombers, which they had not, and (with the possible exception of Lance Corporal F’s belated admission with regard to Michael Kelly) did not accept that they had shot the known casualties, which they had. To our minds it inevitably followed that this materially undermined the credibility of the accounts given by the soldiers who fired.

As we have said, none of the casualties was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury, or indeed was doing anything else that could on any view justify their shooting. However, the question remains as to whether when they fired, the soldiers nevertheless mistakenly believed that they were justified in doing so.

We appreciate that soldiers on internal security duties, facing a situation in which they or their colleagues may at any moment come under lethal attack, have little time to decide whether they have identified a person posing a threat of causing death or serious injury; and may have to make that decision in a state of tension or fear. It is a well-known phenomenon that, particularly when under stress or when events are moving fast, people often erroneously come to believe that they are or might be hearing or seeing what they were expecting to hear or see. We have borne this in mind when assessing the state of mind of the soldiers responsible for the casualties.

It is also possible that in the sort of circumstances outlined in the previous paragraph, a soldier might fire in fear or panic, without giving proper thought to whether his target was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury.
In the course of the report we have considered in detail the accounts of the soldiers whose firing caused the casualties, in the light of much other evidence. We have concluded, for the reasons we give, that apart from Private T many of these soldiers have knowingly put forward false accounts in order to seek to justify their firing. However, we have also borne in mind that the fact that a soldier afterwards lied about what had happened does not necessarily entail that he fired without believing that he had identified a person posing a threat of causing death or serious injury, since it is possible that he was at the time convinced that he was justified in firing, but later invented details in an attempt to bolster his account and make it more credible to others. We have borne this possibility in mind when seeking to decide whether or not each of the soldiers of Support Company who fired and whose shots killed or injured civilians believed, when he did so, that he was justified in firing.

With these considerations in mind, we turn to consider the individual soldiers concerned. In accordance with our ruling of 11th October 2004,1 we express where appropriate the degree of confidence or certainty with which we reach our conclusions.


As noted above, the first casualties of Army gunfire on the day were in William Street, some minutes before soldiers went into the Bogside.

The soldiers concerned in this incident, Corporal A and Private B, unlike those who later went into the Bogside, were not in an open area, but in a derelict building on William Street. At the same time, they were members of a platoon that had been sent to a position isolated from other soldiers, close to the rioting in William Street and adjacent to the Bogside, the latter being part of the “no go” area of the city and known to be dangerous for the security forces. They accordingly perceived themselves to be in a dangerous situation in which at any time they might be targeted by republican paramilitaries with lethal weapons. If not frightened, they would have been highly apprehensive.

The evidence of Corporal A and Private B was that the person they shot was about to throw a nail bomb in their direction. This was not the case, though Damien Donaghey had previously been throwing stones at the soldiers and might have been about to do so again. It was submitted on behalf of Damien Donaghey that these soldiers fired without any belief that they had identified someone posing a threat of causing death or serious injury. We concluded that this was not the case and that it was probable that each soldier either mistakenly believed that Damien Donaghey was about to throw a nail bomb or suspected (albeit incorrectly) that he might be about to do so. It is possible that one or both of these soldiers fired in panic or fear, without giving proper thought as to whether his target was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury.
The next firing by soldiers that resulted in casualties occurred after soldiers had gone into the Bogside. Soldiers of Support Company had been told by officers and believed that this was a particularly dangerous area for the security forces, with any incursion running the risk of meeting attacks by paramilitaries using bombs and firearms. In the minds of some soldiers that belief was reinforced by the shot fired by a member of the Official IRA (OIRA 1) some minutes earlier at soldiers by the Presbyterian church in Great James Street. When they disembarked in the Bogside the soldiers were in an open area where they had never previously been and which was overlooked by the large and high blocks of the Rossville Flats, believed by them to be a place from which republican paramilitaries operated. They were in these circumstances highly alert to the risk of coming under lethal attack from republican paramilitaries either in or near to those flats. Most of the soldiers were armed with rifles to guard against any such attacks and in many cases (in breach of the Yellow Card) had cocked their weapons in order to fire without delay should occasion arise.

In short, soldiers of Support Company went into what they perceived to be a dangerous area in which they ran the risk of coming under lethal attack at any time. Again, if these soldiers were not frightened, they must at least have been highly apprehensive.

Since the Eden Place waste ground was an open area, many of the soldiers of Mortar Platoon, and soldiers of the other platoons that had followed Mortar Platoon into the Bogside, must have heard the shots fired by Lieutenant N up the Eden Place alleyway and over the heads of the people there. The effect was to lead at least a number of soldiers to believe either that republican paramilitaries had opened fire or thrown bombs or that a soldier or soldiers were responding to the imminent use of firearms or bombs by paramilitaries; and thus not only to reinforce what they had been told and believed about the likely presence of republican paramilitaries in the area, but also to make them even more ready to respond. If, as we consider was the case, Lieutenant N decided to fire these shots over the heads of the people otherwise than as a last resort to protect himself or other soldiers, he can in our view fairly be criticised, not only for firing, but also for failing to realise the effect that his firing would be likely to have on the other soldiers who had come into the Bogside.

When shooting breaks out in an urban area, as it then did, it is often difficult or impossible to establish who is firing, from where the firing has come, in what direction it is going, and the type of weapon being used. The same applies to explosions and we have little doubt that the sound of the firing of baton rounds could in some circumstances have been mistaken for the explosion of bombs. In Londonderry these factors were magnified by what was known as “the Derry sound”, which was the echoing effect created by the City Walls and adjacent buildings (including the high Rossville Flats) and which could multiply the sound of gunfire and explosions and create false impressions of the direction from which these sounds were coming.
In circumstances such as we have described, there is a risk that soldiers, mistakenly believing themselves or their colleagues to be under lethal attack, lose their self-control, forget or ignore their training and fire without being satisfied that they have identified a person posing a threat of causing death or serious injury.

As to the soldiers who went into the Bogside, we have reached the following conclusions.

As we have said, the first casualty to be shot after the soldiers entered the Bogside was Jackie Duddy, who in our view was probably shot by Private R. According to this soldier’s accounts, as he approached Sergeant O’s APC he saw and shot a man who was about to throw a nail bomb.
Jackie Duddy was running away from the soldiers when he was shot. He probably had a stone in his hand at the time. Private R may have thought that Jackie Duddy might have been about to throw a bomb and shot him for this reason, but we are sure that he could not have been sufficiently confident about this to conclude that he was justified in firing. It is possible that Private R fired in a state of fear or panic, giving no proper thought to whether his target was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury.

The second casualty was Margaret Deery, shot (probably by Lance Corporal V) as she stood with a group of people at or near the southern end of the wall of the gardens of the houses on the western side of Chamberlain Street. Lance Corporal V had approached the car park of the Rossville Flats from Lieutenant N’s APC. Lance Corporal V’s evidence was that he fired at and hit someone who had thrown or was in the course of throwing a petrol bomb, evidence that we rejected. Margaret Deery was probably not his intended target. Lance Corporal V probably fired in the knowledge that he had not identified someone who was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury. It is possible that he fired in a state of fear or panic, without giving proper thought to whether his target was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury.
Michael Bridge was shot as he walked towards the soldiers near Sergeant O’s vehicle in the car park of the Rossville Flats, shouting at them in protest against the shooting of Jackie Duddy and in his anger inviting the soldiers to shoot him.
It was probably Lieutenant N who shot Michael Bridge. After firing his rifle up the alleyway leading to Chamberlain Street, Lieutenant N had returned to his vehicle and then moved across the Eden Place waste ground towards the car park of the Rossville Flats. It was at this stage that he fired at and wounded Michael Bridge. His evidence was that he fired at a man he was sure, at the time, was about to throw a nail bomb at his soldiers. In our view Lieutenant N fired, probably either in the mistaken belief that his target was about to throw a nail bomb, but without any adequate grounds for that belief; or in the mistaken belief that his target might have been about to throw a nail bomb, but without being confident that that was so. It is possible that Lieutenant N fired in a state of fear or panic, without giving proper thought to whether his target was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury.
It was probably Private Q who shot Michael Bradley. This casualty was on the southern side of the Rossville Flats car park and was probably about to throw a stone at the soldiers when he was shot. Private Q falsely maintained that shortly before he fired his shot a nail bomb had been thrown and had exploded in the car park and that he was sure that the person he shot was about to throw another nail bomb, but we are sure that Private Q did not believe when he fired that he had identified a nail bomber. It is possible that he mistakenly thought that Michael Bradley might have been about to throw a bomb, but in our view, even if this was so, he could not have been sufficiently confident about this to conclude that he was justified in firing. It is possible that Private Q fired in a state of fear or panic, giving no proper thought to whether his target was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury.

One or more of Sergeant O, Private R and Private S fired the shots that indirectly injured Patrick McDaid and Pius McCarron. All these soldiers claimed to have fired at gunmen at ground level, a claim we do not accept. While they did not aim at either Patrick McDaid or Pius McCarron, we are sure that the soldier or soldiers whose shots resulted in these casualties fired without justification and without any or any proper regard to the risk to people in the area.

Private T was probably responsible for the shot that directly or indirectly injured Patrick Brolly, who was in Block 1 of the Rossville Flats, though it is possible that Private S was responsible. The soldier concerned did not aim at Patrick Brolly. If it was a shot by Private S (who fired 12 shots in the area of the Rossville Flats car park) we are sure that it was fired for no good reason and without any regard to the risk to people in the flats. If it was Private T, it was one of two shots that this soldier fired at a man on a balcony of Block 1 of the Rossville Flats, who had thrown down at the soldiers below a bottle or bottles containing acid or a similar corrosive substance, which had caused minor injuries to Private T and Private R. These shots were fired without a previous warning and thus in our view contravened the instructions given to the soldiers as to when they could open fire, contained in the Yellow Card. Sergeant O had told Private T to shoot if the man sought to throw another bottle. Both he and Private T believed that the person concerned was posing a threat of causing serious injury. The second shot was fired after the man had thrown a further bottle and thus at a time when he was posing no threat to the soldiers. Both shots missed the intended target.

In Rossville Street, Lance Corporal F fired from the low walls of the Kells Walk ramp and killed Michael Kelly who was behind the rubble barricade on Rossville Street, some 80 yards away. Initially Lance Corporal F said nothing about this shot but later he admitted that he had fired, falsely claiming that this was at a nail bomber. In our view Lance Corporal F did not fire in panic or fear, without giving proper thought to whether he had identified a person posing a threat of causing death or serious injury. We are sure that instead he fired either in the belief that no-one at the rubble barricade was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury, or not caring whether or not anyone at the rubble barricade was posing such a threat.

As to the further shooting in Rossville Street, which caused the deaths of William Nash, John Young and Michael McDaid, Corporal P claimed that he fired at a man with a pistol; Lance Corporal J claimed that he fired at a nail bomber; and Corporal E claimed that he fired at a man with a pistol in the Rossville Flats. We reject each of these claims as knowingly untrue. We are sure that these soldiers fired either in the belief that no-one in the areas towards which they respectively fired was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury, or not caring whether or not anyone there was posing such a threat. In their cases we consider that they did not fire in a state of fear or panic.

We take the same view of the shot that we are sure Private U fired at Hugh Gilmour, mortally wounding this casualty as he was running away from the soldiers. We reject as knowingly untrue Private U’s account of firing at a man with a handgun.

As we have explained, either Private L or Private M shot and mortally wounded Kevin McElhinney as he was crawling away from the soldiers. They probably did so on the orders of Colour Sergeant 002 or Corporal 039 or perhaps both these non-commissioned officers.

These soldiers and officers gave evidence that they had seen two people, one or both with rifles, crawling away from the rubble barricade. They probably believed that they might have identified a gunman or gunmen, but none of them could have been satisfied that they had done so. Their targets were crawling away and not posing an immediate threat of causing death or serious injury. The soldiers’ evidence was that they fired, not because the crawling men were posing at that moment an immediate threat of causing death or serious injury, but because they believed that the crawling men would or might use their weapons once they had reached cover, although Private L expressed the view that he was entitled to fire at someone with a weapon, whatever that individual was doing. These shots were not fired in fear or panic. We are of the view that the soldiers concerned probably believed that the crawling men might pose a threat of causing death or serious injury once they had reached cover, though it is possible that Private L did not care whether or not they would pose such a threat.

We are sure that the soldier who shot and injured Alexander Nash while he was tending his dead or dying son William at the rubble barricade could not have believed that he had or might have identified someone posing a threat of causing death or serious injury.

We have above identified Corporal E, Lance Corporal F, Private G and Private H as the soldiers who went into Glenfada Park North, between them killing William McKinney and Jim Wray, injuring Joe Mahon, Joe Friel, Michael Quinn and Patrick O’Donnell, and possibly injuring Daniel Gillespie. All claimed that they had identified and shot at people in possession of or seeking to use bombs or firearms.
In our view none of these soldiers fired in the belief that he had or might have identified a person in possession of or using or about to use bombs or firearms. William McKinney and Jim Wray were both shot in the back and none of the other casualties (with the possible exception of Daniel Gillespie) appears to have been facing the soldiers when shot. We are sure that these soldiers fired either in the belief that no-one in the areas towards which they respectively fired was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury, or not caring whether or not anyone there was posing such a threat. In their cases (with the possible exception of Private H), it is unlikely that they fired in a state of fear or panic.

All four soldiers denied shooting anyone on the ground. However, Jim Wray was shot for a second time in the back, probably as he lay mortally wounded in the south-western corner of Glenfada Park North. Whichever soldier was responsible for firing the second shot, we are sure that he must have known that there was no possible justification for shooting Jim Wray as he lay on the ground.

Private G shot Gerard McKinney in Abbey Park. As we have already noted, his shot passed through this casualty and mortally wounded Gerald Donaghey. Private G may not have been aware that his shot had had this additional effect. Private G falsely denied that he had fired in Abbey Park. He did not fire in fear or panic and we are sure that he must have fired knowing that Gerard McKinney was not posing a threat of causing death or serious injury.

Gerald Donaghey was taken by car to the Regimental Aid Post of 1st Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment, which was at the western end of Craigavon Bridge, which spans the River Foyle. There four nail bombs were found in his pockets. The question arose as to whether the nail bombs were in his pockets when he was shot, or had been planted on him later by the security forces. We have considered the substantial amount of evidence relating to this question and have concluded, for reasons that we give, that the nail bombs were probably on Gerald Donaghey when he was shot. However, we are sure that Gerald Donaghey was not preparing or attempting to throw a nail bomb when he was shot; and we are equally sure that he was not shot because of his possession of nail bombs. He was shot while trying to escape from the soldiers.

As we have said, the last gunfire casualties were Bernard McGuigan, Patrick Doherty, Patrick Campbell and Daniel McGowan, all shot in the area to the south of Block 2 of the Rossville Flats within a very short time of each other. Bernard McGuigan was shot in the head and killed instantly as he was waving a piece of cloth and moving out from the cover afforded by the southern end wall of Block 1 of the Rossville Flats. Further to the east Patrick Doherty was shot in the buttock and mortally wounded as he was attempting to crawl to safety across the area that lay on the southern side of Block 2 of the Rossville Flats. Patrick Campbell was shot in the back and injured as he ran away from the southern end of Block 1 of the Rossville Flats along the southern side of Block 2. Daniel McGowan was shot and injured in the leg when he was in about the same area as where Patrick Doherty was shot.

We have no doubt that Lance Corporal F shot Patrick Doherty and Bernard McGuigan, and it is highly probable that he also shot Patrick Campbell and Daniel McGowan. In 1972 Lance Corporal F initially said nothing about firing along the pedestrianised area on the southern side of Block 2 of the Rossville Flats, but later admitted that he had done so. No other soldier claimed or admitted to firing into this area. Lance Corporal F’s claim that he had fired at a man who had (or, in one account, was firing) a pistol was to his knowledge false. Lance Corporal F did not fire in a state of fear or panic. We are sure that he fired either in the belief that no-one in the area into which he fired was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury, or not caring whether or not anyone there was posing such a threat.

Other firing by soldiers on Bloody Sunday
Soldiers of Support Company fired in all over 100 rifle rounds on Bloody Sunday after they had gone into the Bogside. In this report we describe in detail not only the circumstances in which soldiers fired and killed or injured civilians, but also the circumstances in which the other shooting occurred. As to the latter, with the probable exception of shots fired by Sergeant O at what he described as a gunman on a balcony of Block 3 of the Rossville Flats, we found no instances where it appeared to us that soldiers either were or might have been justified in firing. In many cases the soldiers concerned fired either in the belief that no-one in the areas into which they fired was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury, or not caring whether or not anyone there was posing such a threat; while in other cases we consider that when the soldiers fired they may have mistakenly suspected, without being satisfied, that they might have identified someone posing a threat of causing death or serious injury.

Apart from the firing by soldiers of Support Company, there was no other firing by members of 1 PARA on Bloody Sunday. In particular, there was no firing by members of C Company, who had also gone into the Bogside (on foot through Barrier 14) soon after Support Company had gone through Barrier 12.
There were other incidents of Army firing on Bloody Sunday, by members of other Army units. This firing was in response to republican paramilitary firing that was directed at soldiers, but not at those who had gone into the Bogside. We consider these incidents in detail in this report. In one of these incidents (some 600 yards from the area where the civilians were killed and injured by soldiers of Support Company) a soldier (in our view justifiably) shot at and injured an armed member of the Official IRA, “Red” Mickey Doherty, who had immediately before fired at soldiers.

At one stage it was suggested that a soldier or soldiers stationed on the City Walls above the area into which Support Company of 1 PARA deployed might have been responsible for some of the civilian casualties at the rubble barricade in Rossville Street. We considered this possibility but are sure, for the reasons we give in the report, that this was not the case; and by the end of the Inquiry no-one taking part in the Inquiry suggested otherwise.

As will be seen from this report, as part of our investigation we examined in detail the organisation of the Provisional and Official IRA and the activities of members of those organisations on the day, since it was submitted on behalf of soldiers that, in effect, these activities justified the soldiers opening fire. With the exception of Gerald Donaghey, who was a member of the Provisional IRA’s youth wing, the Fianna, none of those killed or wounded by soldiers of Support Company belonged to either the Provisional or the Official IRA.

In the course of investigating the activities of the Provisional and Official IRA on the day, we considered at some length allegations that Martin McGuinness, at that time the Adjutant of the Derry Brigade or Command of the Provisional IRA, had engaged in paramilitary activity during the day. In the end we were left in some doubt as to his movements on the day. Before the soldiers of Support Company went into the Bogside he was probably armed with a Thompson sub-machine gun, and though it is possible that he fired this weapon, there is insufficient evidence to make any finding on this, save that we are sure that he did not engage in any activity that provided any of the soldiers with any justification for opening fire.

The arrest of civilians

Soldiers of Support Company, 1 PARA arrested a number of civilians on Bloody Sunday. Only six were arrested in the area of Rossville Street or in the Eden Place waste ground where the soldiers had initially deployed, most of the others being arrested either in a house in Chamberlain Street or where they had taken shelter behind a wall at the south-eastern corner of Glenfada Park North. In this report, we have examined the circumstances of these arrests and what happened to those who were arrested, not only because they formed an important part of the events of the day, but because the way in which some were treated provided an indication of the attitude that some soldiers of 1 PARA adopted towards the people they encountered on Bloody Sunday. There were a number of incidents in which soldiers gave knowingly false accounts of the circumstances in which arrests were made. In the end no proceedings were pursued against any of those who had been arrested


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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 1

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 10:29

Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry
- Volume I - Chapter 4

The question of responsibility for the deaths and injuries on Bloody Sunday


The immediate responsibility for the deaths and injuries on Bloody Sunday lies with those members of Support Company whose unjustifiable firing was the cause of those deaths and injuries. The question remains, however, as to whether others also bear direct or indirect responsibility for what happened.

The United Kingdom and Northern Ireland Governments and the Army
During the course of the Inquiry, allegations were made by some of those representing the families of those who died on Bloody Sunday and those wounded, that the politicians in both the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland Governments, as well as the military authorities, had planned not simply to stop the civil rights march and to mount an arrest operation against rioters as set out in the orders for Operation Forecast (the operation to contain the march and deal with any rioting), but rather to use 1 PARA for the purpose of carrying out some action, which they knew would involve the deliberate use of unwarranted lethal force or which they sanctioned with reckless disregard as to whether such force was used. On this basis it was submitted that the civil and military authorities bore responsibility for the deaths and injuries on Bloody Sunday.

These allegations were based on one of two propositions, either that what happened on Bloody Sunday was intended and planned by the authorities, or that it was foreseen by the authorities as likely to happen. We are of the view that neither of these propositions can be sustained.

In order to consider these allegations we looked in detail at what the authorities were planning and doing in the weeks and months preceding Bloody Sunday; as well as what happened on Bloody Sunday before soldiers were sent into the Bogside. We found no evidence to substantiate these allegations. So far as the United Kingdom Government was concerned, what the evidence did establish was that in the months before Bloody Sunday, genuine and serious attempts were being made at the highest level to work towards a peaceful political settlement in Northern Ireland. Any action involving the use or likely use of unwarranted lethal force against nationalists on the occasion of the march (or otherwise) would have been entirely counterproductive to the plans for a peaceful settlement; and was neither contemplated nor foreseen by the United Kingdom Government. So far as the Northern Ireland Government was concerned, although it had been pressing the United Kingdom Government and the Army to step up their efforts to counter republican paramilitaries and to deal with banned marches, we found no evidence that suggested to us that it advocated the use of unwarranted lethal force or was indifferent to its use on the occasion of the march.

It was also submitted that in dealing with the security situation in Northern Ireland generally, the authorities (the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland Governments and the Army) tolerated if not encouraged the use of unjustified lethal force; and that this was the cause or a contributory cause of what happened on Bloody Sunday. We found no evidence of such toleration or encouragement.

There was a further submission to the effect that it was critical to an understanding of why lethal force was used by the Army against unarmed civilians on Bloody Sunday, to appreciate that by this time the role of the police in security matters had been eroded and that the Army had illegally taken control over the policing of security situations from the police. Though by the period in question the situation was such that the RUC had neither the manpower nor the resources to deal effectively with all security issues and was in many cases dependent upon the military, we do not accept that the Army had illegally taken over control of security from the police. The Army and the police worked together in deciding how to deal with matters of security.

As to the actions of the soldiers themselves, it was submitted that those who fired did so because of a “culture” that had grown up among soldiers at the time in Northern Ireland, to the effect that they could fire with impunity, secure in the knowledge that the arrangements then in force (arrangements later criticised by the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland) meant that their actions would not be investigated by the RUC, but by the Royal Military Police (the Army’s own police force), who would be sympathetic to the soldiers and who would not conduct a proper investigation. In support of this submission it was alleged that before Bloody Sunday there were many previous unjustified shooting incidents by soldiers in Northern Ireland. As we pointed out in the course of the Inquiry, it was simply not possible to take this submission of an established “culture” forward, for this could only be done by examining in the same detail as Bloody Sunday the circumstances of each of those incidents, in order to decide, among other things, whether or not they involved unjustified firing by soldiers. In our view this would have been a wholly impracticable course for us to take, adding immeasurably to what was already a very long and complex inquiry. In these circumstances, we are not in a position to express a view either as to whether or not such a culture existed among soldiers before Bloody Sunday or, if it did, whether it had any influence on those who fired unjustifiably on that day.

Major General Ford

In the light of the situation that obtained in Londonderry in early 1972 (which we discuss in detail in this report), we do not criticise General Ford for deciding to deploy soldiers to arrest rioters, though in our view his decision to use 1 PARA as the arrest force is open to criticism, on the ground that 1 PARA was a force with a reputation for using excessive physical violence, which thus ran the risk of exacerbating the tensions between the Army and nationalists in Londonderry. However, there is to our minds a significant difference between the risk of soldiers using excessive physical violence when dispersing crowds or trying to arrest rioters and the risk that they would use lethal weapons without justification. We have concluded that General Ford had no reason to believe and did not believe that the risk of soldiers of 1 PARA firing unjustifiably during the course of an arrest operation was such that it was inappropriate for that reason for him to use them for such an operation.

General Ford denied, both to the Widgery Inquiry and to the present Inquiry, that the Army plan for 30th January 1972 was to cause a confrontation with the IRA, Official, Provisional or both. We accept his denial. We are sure that there was no such plan.

As to General Ford’s memorandum, where he suggested shooting selected ringleaders of rioters after warning, we are surprised that an officer of his seniority should seriously consider that this was something that could be done, notwithstanding that he acknowledged that to take this course would require authorisation from above. We are sure, for the reasons given in the report, that this idea was not adopted and that the shootings on Bloody Sunday were not the result of any plan to shoot selected ringleaders. In the event General Ford decided to use an additional battalion (1 PARA) as the means of seeking to deal with rioters. We found no evidence to suggest that the use of lethal force against unarmed rioters, who were not posing a threat of causing death or serious injury, was contemplated by General Ford or those senior to him as a possible means of dealing with any rioting that might accompany the then forthcoming civil rights march.

General Ford did not himself play any role in ordering the arrest operation to be launched or in determining the form either in which Brigade ordered it or which it actually took. He did not seek to interfere with or to influence what happened to any significant extent and was right not to do so, since the decision whether to launch an arrest operation and the form that it was to take were matters for Brigadier MacLellan.

General Ford was responsible for deciding that in the likely event of rioting, Brigade should employ 1 PARA as an arrest force on 30th January 1972. But he neither knew nor had reason to know at any stage that his decision would or was likely to result in soldiers firing unjustifiably on that day.

Brigadier MacLellan
As we have noted above, the power to order an arrest operation did not rest with General Ford, but with Brigadier MacLellan. We do not criticise Brigadier MacLellan for giving such an order. As we have pointed out, he did not do so until he was reasonably satisfied that there was sufficient separation between rioters and peaceful marchers to sanction the limited arrest operation that had been initially suggested by Colonel Wilford. Had Colonel Wilford informed him that the situation had changed and that as the commander of the arrest force he now considered that it was necessary to order an additional company to go in vehicles along Rossville Street in order to arrest rioters, Brigadier MacLellan might well have abandoned the arrest operation altogether, on the ground that such an operation would not allow sufficient separation between marchers and rioters. Brigadier MacLellan had no reason to believe and did not believe that the limited arrest operation he ordered ran the risk of deaths or injuries from unjustifiable firing by soldiers.

We should add at this point that in our view Brigadier MacLellan cannot fairly be criticised either for not imposing additional restrictions on when soldiers could open fire, over and above those in the Yellow Card; or for failing to order soldiers engaged in an arrest operation to disengage rather than respond if they were or believed that they were under attack from republican paramilitaries, so as to minimise the risk that innocent civilians would be killed or injured. In his case suggestions to the contrary incorrectly assume that he bears responsibility for sending soldiers into the Bogside. The arrest operation Brigadier MacLellan ordered was limited in scope and would not have involved soldiers going into the Bogside to any or any significant extent; and in our view the risk to civilians from such an operation did not call for any such special restrictions or special orders. We have concluded that Brigadier MacLellan does not bear any responsibility for the deaths and injuries from the unjustifiable firing by soldiers on Bloody Sunday.

Lieutenant Colonel Wilford

What did happen was not what Colonel Wilford had initially suggested and Brigadier MacLellan had then ordered. Colonel Wilford should have ordered his soldiers to stay in and around William Street and the northern end of Rossville Street. Instead, he sent them into the Bogside, where they chased people down Rossville Street, into the car park of the Rossville Flats, into Glenfada Park North and as far as Abbey Park.

In our view Colonel Wilford decided to send Support Company into the Bogside because at the time he gave the order he had concluded (without informing Brigadier MacLellan) that there was now no prospect of making any or any significant arrests in the area he had originally suggested, as the rioting was dying down and people were moving away. In addition it appears to us that he wanted to demonstrate that the way to deal with rioters in Londonderry was not for soldiers to shelter behind barricades like (as he put it) “Aunt Sallies” while being stoned, as he perceived the local troops had been doing, but instead to go aggressively after rioters, as he and his soldiers had been doing in Belfast.
What Colonel Wilford failed to appreciate, or regarded as of little consequence, was that his soldiers, who had not been in a position to observe the rioting that had been going on at the Army barriers, would almost certainly be unable to identify anyone as a rioter, save where, when they arrived, they were met by people who were rioting at that time.

Colonel Wilford failed to inform Brigade that in his view the situation had changed and that the only prospect of making any arrests was to send his soldiers in vehicles into the Bogside. He then failed to obey the order that Brigadier MacLellan gave, which prohibited any such movement. He thus created a situation in which soldiers chased people down Rossville Street and beyond, in circumstances where it was not possible to distinguish between those who had merely been marching and those who had been rioting. His failure to comply with his orders, instead setting in train the very thing his Brigadier had prohibited him from doing, cannot be justified.
In our view Colonel Wilford can also be criticised on another ground. He sent his soldiers into an area which he regarded as dangerous and which he had told his soldiers was dangerous; an area which his soldiers did not know and where they might come under lethal attack from republican paramilitaries, who dominated that part of the city. He knew that his soldiers would accordingly be very much on their guard, ready to respond instantly with gunfire at identified targets, as they were trained to respond, if they did come under such attack. He knew that his soldiers would not withdraw if they came under lethal attack but were trained not just to take cover, but instead to move forward and, as he himself put it, seek out the “enemy ”.

In these circumstances, on his own estimation of the danger of lethal attacks by republican paramilitaries, Colonel Wilford must have appreciated that there was a significant risk that sending his soldiers into the Bogside on an arrest operation could lead to an armed engagement with republican paramilitaries. He should have appreciated that if this did happen, then there was also, in view of the numbers of people around, a significant risk that people other than soldiers’ justifiable targets would be killed or injured, albeit by accident, from Army gunfire. To our minds this was another reason why Colonel Wilford should not have launched an incursion into the Bogside.

The fact that what in the event happened on Bloody Sunday when the soldiers entered the Bogside was not a justifiable response to a lethal attack by republican paramilitaries, but instead soldiers opening fire unjustifiably, cannot provide an answer to this criticism, which is based not on what happened, but what at the time Colonel Wilford thought might happen.
We have found nothing that suggests to us that Colonel Wilford can be blamed for the incident in which soldiers fired from the derelict building in William Street and injured Damien Donaghey and John Johnston. However, the question remains as to whether he realised, or should have realised, that the risk of unjustifiable firing by soldiers if he sent them into the Bogside was such that for this reason he should not have ordered them to go in.

As one of the officers (given the cipher Captain 128), who was a member of 2nd Battalion, The Royal Green Jackets and was present on the day, told us, when a soldier hears shots and believes that he is under fire, his automatic reaction is to fire himself, which is a difficult reaction to stop; and when firing breaks out in a tense situation it can spread very quickly and is very difficult to control. It could thus be said that Colonel Wilford should have appreciated that by sending soldiers into an unfamiliar area, which they had been told was and which they perceived to be a dangerous area, there was a risk that they might mistakenly believe that they had come under attack from republican paramilitaries and in that belief open fire without being satisfied that they had identified people who were posing a threat of causing death or serious injury; and that because of that risk, he should not have sent soldiers into the Bogside. In the end, however, we consider that on this specific ground Colonel Wilford cannot fairly be criticised for giving the orders he did. We take the view that Colonel Wilford cannot be blamed for failing to foresee that the risk of his soldiers firing unjustifiably was such that he should not have given the orders he did.

In summary, therefore, in our view Colonel Wilford should not have sent soldiers of Support Company into the Bogside for the following reasons:

•because in doing so he disobeyed the orders given by Brigadier MacLellan;
•because his soldiers, whose job was to arrest rioters, would have no or virtually no means of identifying those who had been rioting from those who had simply been taking part in the civil rights march; and
•because he should not have sent his soldiers into an unfamiliar area which he and they regarded as a dangerous area, where the soldiers might come under attack from republican paramilitaries, in circumstances where the soldiers’ response would run a significant risk that people other than those engaging the soldiers with lethal force would be killed or injured by Army gunfire.
There remains the suggestion that Colonel Wilford’s soldiers should have been instructed that in order to minimise the risk to innocent people, if on going into the Bogside they came under attack from paramilitaries, or believed that this had happened, they should disengage and withdraw rather than return fire. In our view this is a hypothetical question, since for the first two of the reasons we have given above Colonel Wilford should not have sent soldiers into the Bogside, with or without special instructions.

Major Loden

Those representing the families of the deceased and the wounded criticised Major Loden, the Commander of Support Company, on the ground that he failed to exercise any proper control over his soldiers or their firing.
In our view, events moved so fast after the soldiers had disembarked in the Bogside that Major Loden had no idea what was actually going on; he assumed that his soldiers had come under attack from republican paramilitaries and were responding. It could be said that another officer in Major Loden’s position might have appreciated earlier that, in view of the amount of Army gunfire, something seemed to be going seriously wrong; republican paramilitaries were not known to take on troops in force, but usually sniped at individuals from positions of cover. In consequence such an officer might have made greater efforts to control the situation.

Major Loden was surprised by the amount of firing. However, he did not initially appreciate that something was wrong and did not order a ceasefire or give any other instructions to his soldiers until after all the casualties had been sustained. We consider that it was not unreasonable for him initially to believe, as he did, that his soldiers, by going into an area dominated by paramilitaries, had for once encountered paramilitary resistance in strength, to which they were responding. We accept his evidence that in this belief, it was not for him to control or stop his soldiers’ firing, but to leave this to the platoon and section commanders. We also accept, for the reasons he gave, that he could not see the targets that his soldiers were engaging and thus could not tell whether or not the firing was unjustified.
In our view, at the time the casualties were being sustained, Major Loden neither realised nor should have realised that his soldiers were or might be firing at people who were not posing or about to pose a threat of causing death or serious injury. However, we consider that at the time when he did tell his soldiers not to fire back unless they had identified positive targets, he probably did realise that the firing that was taking place then was, or might be, unjustified. By this stage all the casualties had been sustained and there had been a pause in the firing.

Lieutenant N
Lieutenant N, the Commander of Mortar Platoon, failed to appreciate, as he should have done, that firing unjustified shots over the heads of people in the alleyway leading into Chamberlain Street was likely to lead other soldiers mistakenly to believe, as some probably did, that Support Company was at that time coming under attack or the threat of attack from republican paramilitaries. As we have said, he was probably responsible for shooting Michael Bridge. However, we take the view that there was in the circumstances (and bearing particularly in mind the speed of events) nothing (apart from refraining from firing his unjustified shots over the heads of people) that he could or should have done to avert the shooting by other members of his platoon. We are not persuaded that he should have realised at the time that his soldiers were firing unjustifiably.

Lieutenant 119
Lieutenant 119 was the Commander of Anti-Tank Platoon. We criticise this officer for allowing four members of his platoon to go into Glenfada Park North, out of his sight and control. Before this happened he appears to have been labouring under the mistaken belief that his soldiers at the low walls of the Kells Walk ramp were responding to paramilitary attacks. We are not persuaded that he should have realised that these soldiers were firing unjustifiably.

Captain 200 and Sergeant INQ 441

Captain 200 was the Commander of Composite Platoon. There is nothing to suggest that he, or Sergeant INQ 441, the Commander of Machine Gun Platoon, was responsible for any of the unjustifiable firing by his soldiers.

The Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association

In our view the organisers of the civil rights march bear no responsibility for the deaths and injuries on Bloody Sunday. Although those who organised the march must have realised that there was probably going to be trouble from rioters, they had no reason to believe and did not believe that this was likely to result in death or injury from unjustified firing by soldiers.


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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 1

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 10:30

Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry
- Volume I - Chapter 5

The overall assessment

The early firing in William Street resulted in two wounded casualties, neither of whom was doing anything that justified either of them being shot. It is possible that the soldiers concerned mistakenly believed that they had identified someone posing a threat of causing death or serious injury. Equally, each of those soldiers may have fired, not believing that his target was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury, but only suspecting that this might have been the case.

The soldiers of Support Company who went into the Bogside did so as the result of an order by Colonel Wilford, which should not have been given and which was contrary to the orders that he had received from Brigadier MacLellan.

With the exception of Private T and with the probable exception of shots Sergeant O said that he fired at someone on a balcony of Block 3 of the Rossville Flats and which, (despite his assertion to the contrary) did not hit anyone, none of the firing by the soldiers of Support Company was aimed at people posing a threat of causing death or serious injury.

We have concluded that the explanation for such firing by Support Company soldiers after they had gone into the Bogside was in most cases probably the mistaken belief among them that republican paramilitaries were responding in force to their arrival in the Bogside. This belief was initiated by the first shots fired by Lieutenant N and reinforced by the further shots that followed soon after. In this belief soldiers reacted by losing their self-control and firing themselves, forgetting or ignoring their instructions and training and failing to satisfy themselves that they had identified targets posing a threat of causing death or serious injury. In the case of those soldiers who fired in either the knowledge or belief that no-one in the areas into which they fired was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury, or not caring whether or not anyone there was posing such a threat, it is at least possible that they did so in the indefensible belief that all the civilians they fired at were probably either members of the Provisional or Official IRA or were supporters of one or other of these paramilitary organisations; and so deserved to be shot notwithstanding that they were not armed or posing any threat of causing death or serious injury. Our overall conclusion is that there was a serious and widespread loss of fire discipline among the soldiers of Support Company.

The firing by soldiers of 1 PARA on Bloody Sunday caused the deaths of 13 people and injury to a similar number, none of whom was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury. What happened on Bloody Sunday strengthened the Provisional IRA, increased nationalist resentment and hostility towards the Army and exacerbated the violent conflict of the years that followed. Bloody Sunday was a tragedy for the bereaved and the wounded, and a catastrophe for the people of Northern Ireland.


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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 1

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 10:32

Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry
- Volume I - Chapter 6

The Background to Bloody Sunday

Although this Inquiry is concerned with the events of a single day, which has become generally known as “Bloody Sunday”, those events cannot be properly considered in isolation. Thus it has been necessary for us to consider the course of events in Northern Ireland leading up to that day.
The account we give is not intended as a comprehensive history of Northern Ireland. Such a work would be highly complex and in our view is not within our terms of reference. Instead, we have sought to provide the reader with a general background, taking as our starting point the Government of Ireland Act 1920. We deal with the period up to July 1971 in relatively broad terms, before looking in greater detail at the relevant events of the last six months of that year and in greater detail still at what was happening in the weeks immediately preceding During the course of this Inquiry a number of allegations were made to the effect that members of the British and Northern Ireland Governments, as well as the security forces, had so conducted themselves in the months leading up to Bloody Sunday that they bore a heavy responsibility for what happened on that day. We deal with these allegations at the relevant points in this report.

We have been greatly assisted by reports prepared for this Inquiry by the distinguished historians Professor Paul Arthur and Professor Paul Bew.1 In addition we read a number of books and consulted other secondary sources, including the reports of inquiries conducted by Lord Cameron and Mr Justice Scarman (later Lord Scarman) into disturbances in Northern Ireland in the 1960s. These sources are listed in the bibliography and, where relevant, identified in footnotes. When dealing with the period after July 1971, including the weeks immediately preceding Bloody Sunday, our account was drawn primarily from the documents and other materials that were collected by this Inquiry, as well as the written and oral evidence to this Inquiry of a number of witnesses. We have also had regard to the submissions made by the interested parties who appeared before us.


A note on terminology

We have used the terms nationalist, republican, unionist and loyalist at various points throughout the report. These words are a convenient way of identifying and referring to groups or ideas, but they also present problems. When capitalised, the terms “Nationalist” and “Unionist” usually refer to specific political parties: the Nationalist Party, the main united Ireland party in Northern Ireland until the late 1960s and early 1970s, and the Ulster Unionist Party, which remained in government in Northern Ireland throughout the period with which this report is concerned. However, “nationalist” and “unionist” are also used to describe wider political and ideological positions concerned with opposition to, or support for, the union between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom. In this context, “nationalist” and “unionist” are generally used to indicate a constitutional approach, in contrast to “republican” and “loyalist”, which often (but not always) imply an acceptance of, or belief in, the legitimacy of using violence to advance the relevant cause. These labels are imprecise and the meanings ascribed to them have changed over time and according to context. Where we use these terms in this report we have sought to make clear what we mean by them. They should not be understood as implying that a monolithic set of opinions prevailed among the group that is being identified.

We have also used the terms “Catholic” and “Protestant” as a way of identifying part or all of the Catholic and Protestant communities in Northern Ireland. Again, the context in which these terms are used influences the meaning that should be attached to them, and it is important to stress that no single view or attribute should be ascribed to either community as a whole.


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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 1

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 10:35

Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry
- Volume I - Chapter 7









The Act of Union 1800 provided that Great Britain and Ireland should be united with effect from 1st January 1801, thereby forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
The 19th and early 20th centuries saw increasing tension within Ireland between those in favour of maintaining the union with Great Britain, and those who sought varying degrees of Irish political autonomy and independence. To a significant, but by no means universal, degree these competing traditions reflected the religious denomination of the population, with Protestants identified with support for the union, and Catholics with the nationalist cause.

The threat and reality of violence grew in the years before the First World War, and in 1916 the Irish Republic was unilaterally declared during the Easter Rising. The Republic was stated to be a “Sovereign Independent State ” which was “entitled to ... the allegiance of every Irishman and Irishwoman ”. Although the Rising was suppressed, in January 1919 the First Dáil, comprising representatives who had been elected to the United Kingdom Parliament but who refused to take their seats there, ratified the declaration of the Republic and asserted that “the elected Representatives of the Irish people alone have power to make laws binding on the people of Ireland ”. The same month saw the outbreak of the Anglo–Irish War, also called the Irish War of Independence.

In the following year, the United Kingdom Parliament at Westminster passed the Government of Ireland Act 1920. In effect, the Act divided the island of Ireland into two jurisdictions, providing for a Parliament of Southern Ireland and a Parliament of Northern Ireland. The Act gave each of these parliaments self-governing powers to make laws “for the peace, order and good government ” of their respective territories. However there were significant limitations to the legislative powers granted to these parliaments, as areas including defence and foreign affairs remained within the sole jurisdiction of the Westminster Parliament. Further, as a matter of constitutional theory, the two parliaments in Ireland owed their existence and their powers to a statute that could be amended or repealed by the Westminster Parliament.
Under the Government of Ireland Act 1920, Northern Ireland consisted of the six parliamentary counties of Antrim, Armagh, Down, Londonderry, Fermanagh and Tyrone and the parliamentary boroughs of Belfast and Londonderry. The jurisdiction of the Parliament of Southern Ireland extended over the other 26 counties in the island of Ireland.

Northern Ireland had a majority Protestant population, and the six counties and two boroughs were selected for that reason. The province of Ulster (one of the four historic provinces of Ireland) also included the predominantly Catholic counties of Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan. The exclusion of these three counties from Northern Ireland ensured the demographic and political ascendancy of the Protestant population and led to the charge that gerrymandering was inherent in Northern Ireland from its creation. At the time of partition, the population of Northern Ireland was about 1.2 million. By 1971, this had risen to just over 1.5 million, of whom approximately a third were Catholics.1

1 These figures are taken from information on the Conflict Archive on the Internet (CAIN) website http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/ni/popul.htm, which cites among other sources Paul Compton et al., Northern Ireland: A Census Atlas, London: Gill and Macmillan, 1981.

All 26 counties of Southern Ireland had Catholic majorities. Although the Government of Ireland Act 1920 established the Parliament of Southern Ireland, the vast majority of those returned to it in the election of May 1921 chose instead to constitute themselves as the Second Dáil of the Irish Republic.

In December 1921, the United Kingdom Government and representatives of the Second Dáil signed the Anglo–Irish Treaty. This provided that Ireland would have the same constitutional status within the British Empire as the existing Dominions of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, and would be styled and known as the “Irish Free State ”. The Irish Free State would have a Parliament with “powers to make laws for the peace, order and good government of Ireland ”, and an Executive. While the first article envisaged that the Treaty would apply to the whole of the island of Ireland, Articles 11 and 12 in effect allowed the Parliament of Northern Ireland to exclude Northern Ireland from the powers of the Parliament and Government of the Irish Free State, with the result that the Government of Ireland Act 1920 would continue to have full force and effect within Northern Ireland. In such circumstances, the Treaty provided for the appointment of a Boundary Commission to determine the borders of Northern Ireland.
As expected, the Parliament of Northern Ireland did choose to withdraw from the authority of the Irish Free State. Although the Boundary Commission was appointed, no changes were made to the border. Thus the Northern Ireland Parliament created by the 1920 Act, which by then was established at Stormont, continued to have jurisdiction in the six counties and two boroughs, while the remaining 26 counties constituted the Irish Free State.

The Treaty, and in particular the provisions relating to the status of the Irish Free State as a Dominion and the Oath of Allegiance to be sworn by its members of Parliament, precipitated the outbreak of the Irish Civil War of 1922–1923. The conflict was largely confined to the 26 counties of the Irish Free State, with those supporting the Treaty prevailing.
In 1936 and 1937 the Irish Free State Government introduced the Executive Authority (External Relations) Act 1936 and associated legislation, which limited the role of the monarch to acting as head of state in external affairs. The Bunreacht na hÉireann (Irish Constitution), enacted in July 1937, renamed the state Éire or, in the English language, Ireland.1. Article 12 of the Constitution established the office of President of Ireland. Articles 2 and 3 laid territorial claim to all 32 counties of the island of Ireland, including those that constituted Northern Ireland. Many within the Protestant community in Northern Ireland regarded Articles 2 and 3 as a threat to the territorial and constitutional integrity of Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom.



The Irish legislature severed the final constitutional link between Éire and the monarch by passing the Republic of Ireland Act 1948. This repealed the Executive Authority (External Relations) Act 1936 and allowed for the President, on the authority and advice of the Government, to “exercise the power or any executive function of the State in or in connection with its external relations ”. The Act also declared that “the description of the State shall be the Republic of Ireland ”. In response the Westminster Parliament passed the Ireland Act 1949. While this Act recognised that the Republic of Ireland no longer formed part of His Majesty’s dominions, it contained the unequivocal affirmation that “in no event will Northern Ireland or any part thereof cease to be a part of His Majesty’s dominions and of the United Kingdom without the consent of the Parliament of Northern Ireland ”. Irreconcilable positions on the “constitutional ” or “border ” question were thus enshrined in the Ireland Act 1949 and in the Irish Constitution. The relevant provisions of these pieces of legislation did not change in the period that is considered in this report.

Throughout this period, Northern Irish electors continued to send MPs to the United Kingdom Parliament at Westminster as well as to the Parliament of Northern Ireland at Stormont. However, a Parliamentary convention soon developed at Westminster preventing discussion there of issues considered by the Speaker to be within the proper authority of the Stormont Parliament and Government. The convention, which evolved from a series of rulings by successive speakers, lasted until the late 1960s.1 The journalist Peter Taylor wrote that as a result between 1922 and 1968, “the time spent on Northern Ireland matters at Westminster averaged less than two hours a year ”.2



The city of Londonderry

The city of Londonderry lies in the north-west of Northern Ireland, close to the border with the Republic, as shown on the map below. The distance between Londonderry and Belfast by road is about 70 miles.



In the course of this report we provide a detailed description of the physical and social geography of the city.

The history and name of Londonderry reflect the tensions between the two communities in Northern Ireland. The city, which had grown from a sixth-century monastic settlement, was originally known as Derry, which is still the name preferred by nationalists. In the 17th century, as part of the policy of plantation, the settlement of English and Scottish Protestants was encouraged in the area and the city was renamed Londonderry in recognition of the role played by the City of London in this process. Londonderry’s symbolic importance for unionists was enhanced by the successful resistance of the city when besieged by the Catholic forces of James II in 1688–1689, and this helps to explain the subsequent determination of unionists to retain Londonderry within Northern Ireland, despite Catholics constituting the majority of the population of the city and its environs.

In this report, we refer to the city by its official name at the time of publication, Londonderry. We are aware that in 1984 the City Council changed its own name to Derry City Council, that unsuccessful attempts have been made by means of judicial review to have the name of the city formally recognised as Derry,1 and that in November 2007 Derry City Council resolved to ask the Privy Council to change the name of the city to Derry. In September 2009 the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland recommended that Derry City Council should not proceed with its current proposals for bringing about a change in the name of the city.


Between 1920 and 1922 Londonderry Corporation, the city’s council which was then elected by proportional representation, had a nationalist majority. During this period, the Corporation ceased to fly the Union Flag and withdrew from any official relations with the Northern Ireland Government. However, in 1922 nationalist control gave way to a unionist majority after the Northern Ireland Government changed the local government voting system and redrew electoral boundaries.1 Such changes took place across Northern Ireland, and resulted in nationalist control being lost from 13 of the 24 councils that had previously been held.2 To many nationalists, this was further evidence of unionist gerrymandering of Northern Ireland’s political institutions.


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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 1

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 10:36

Professor Bew’s report to this Inquiry. 2 David McKittrick and David McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, London: Penguin Books, Revised Edition, 2001, p8.

In 1936 the local government electoral boundaries of Londonderry were again redrawn, resulting in the creation of three wards. Two of these had settled Protestant majorities, and returned a total of 12 councillors. The third ward, the South Ward, was predominantly Catholic and had eight council seats. As the largest party in each ward won all of the available seats, the new system made it inherently likely that Londonderry Corporation would have a unionist majority. According to Lord Cameron, whose report on disturbances in Northern Ireland in 1969 we consider below, the manipulation of the ward boundaries “effectively decided the permanent result of council elections ”.1



Nationalist grievances over the boundary changes in Londonderry were exacerbated by the property qualification for local government elections across Northern Ireland, which limited the franchise to occupiers of dwelling houses and their spouses. Those who could not vote included sub-tenants, lodgers, servants and children over 21 who were living at home. Lord Cameron reported that: “Whilst this exclusion affected all sections of the population, it was felt to operate mainly against poorer elements and in particular against Catholics. ”1


The post-war period to the 1960s

In Northern Ireland as a whole, the unequal political balance established by partition remained essentially unaltered until the 1960s. The Unionist Party retained control of the Parliament and Government at Stormont, and there appeared to be no prospect that nationalists would be able to form or participate in the executive, or be in a position to influence its policies in any material way.

1962 saw the end in failure of a six-year armed campaign by the Irish Republican Army (IRA), mainly confined to border areas and attacks on border posts and military installations. During this campaign, known as the “Border Campaign ”, both Northern Ireland and (a little later) the Republic of Ireland introduced internment without trial of suspected terrorists.
Two changes of government in the early 1960s altered the political landscape in Northern Ireland. In 1963, Captain Terence O’Neill succeeded Lord Brookeborough, who had been in power for 20 years, as Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, and the following year Harold Wilson’s Labour Government took office following the United Kingdom general election.

Captain O’Neill, like his predecessors the leader of the Unionist Party, embarked on a programme of social and economic reforms with the stated aim of modernising Northern Ireland. Further, he made diplomatic efforts to conciliate the Catholic community, sending public condolences on the death of Pope John XXIII in 1963 and, in 1965, exchanging visits with the then Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland, Seán Lemass.
Captain O’Neill’s reforms attracted considerable support, but they also antagonised unionist opponents and created both expectation and frustration among nationalists. Such sentiments were reinforced by the widespread belief that the new Labour Government in London and in particular the Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, were more sympathetic to nationalists in Northern Ireland than they were to unionists. Of the unionist critics of Captain O’Neill and his policies, the Rev Dr Ian Paisley rapidly became the most prominent. He would go on, in 1971, to co-found and lead the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), a rival to the established Unionist Party.

In relation to Londonderry and the north-west of Northern Ireland, several decisions made by the O’Neill Government heightened existing suspicions, especially common among nationalists, that the region received little public sector support for investment and economic development. In particular, the decision to site Northern Ireland’s new university in the predominantly Protestant town of Coleraine, rather than in Londonderry, the second largest city, caused considerable resentment.1


The birth of the civil rights movement

Since the creation of Northern Ireland, there had been allegations that Catholics suffered discrimination in a wide range of areas, including public and private employment, housing and, as we have discussed, local government enfranchisement. It is beyond the scope of this report to consider the extent of such discriminatory practices that did exist, the reasons for them, and counter-claims of discrimination against Protestants in some places in which they were in a minority. Further, we are not qualified to comment upon what effect, if any, Captain O’Neill’s reforms had on the situation. Nonetheless, it is apparent that in the late 1960s many (even most) nationalists remained convinced that anti-Catholic discrimination was a prevalent and malign force within Northern Ireland.

This was particularly the case in Londonderry, where the manipulation of local election wards had led to continuous unionist control of Londonderry Corporation. This caused resentment among the majority Catholic population, not only as a result of the perceived gerrymander, but also because of the belief that the unionist Corporation exercised its powers in employment and housing in a discriminatory manner. In particular, it was felt that the need to retain the demographic pattern that allowed for Protestant majorities in two of the wards in the city meant that housing for Catholics was provided, if at all, almost exclusively in the already overcrowded South Ward, and even then was often of poor quality. Tensions were exacerbated by the decline of traditional industries in the city, which resulted in high levels of unemployment and emigration in the post-war years.1


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1 E6.0015-19 Professor Arthur’s report to this Inquiry; E7.009-0013 Professor Bew’s report to this Inquiry; E17.2.3-4 Comments by Professor Arthur on Professor Bew’s report; E17.5.7-9 Professor Bew’s response to questions from representatives of some of the families; Cameron Report, para 37; Niall Ó Dochartaigh, “A Short Historical Background to the Conflict ”, From Civil Rights to Armalites: Derry and the Birth of the Irish Troubles, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005, first published 1997, ppxiii–xv.

7.29 The 1960s saw the emergence of civil rights movements in many places around the world; and Northern Ireland was no exception. Influenced in particular by the campaigns of Dr Martin Luther King in the United States, a number of disparate groups emerged in Northern Ireland. These drew support from a wide range of sources: IRA volunteers, radical activists and students, supporters of the Northern Ireland Labour Party and trades unionists, and more moderate voices from the Catholic middle classes and the Nationalist Party, the traditional constitutional party representing Northern Ireland’s Catholics. Although it is convenient to refer to the “civil rights movement ” as a whole, the different objectives and outlooks of those involved should not be understated.1

1 McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, pp38–40; Hennessey, History of Northern Ireland, pp136–137; Ó Dochartaigh, “A Short Historical Background to the Conflict ”, Civil Rights to Armalites, pxiv; Paul Bew, Peter Gibbon and Henry Patterson, Northern Ireland 1921–1996: Political Forces and Social Classes, London: Serif, 1996, pp149–155.

7.30 In early 1967 a committee was formed in Belfast that established the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA), the most prominent of the civil rights movements to emerge in Northern Ireland.1

1 McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, p38; Paul Bew and Gordon Gillespie, Northern Ireland: A Chronology of the Troubles, 1968–1993, Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1993, p1; FS10.15 Final Submissions on Behalf of NICRA.

7.31 The original constitution1 of NICRA was modelled on that of the National Council for Civil Liberties in Great Britain, with which NICRA had informal links. It was a rule of NICRA that there should be no bar on membership by reason of political affiliations, provided there was genuine acceptance of its objects and constitution.2 Clause 3 of its original constitution provided that the Association “shall be non-party and non-denominational ”.3 The objects of the organisation were stated to be the recovery, maintenance and enlargement of “civil liberties, including freedom of speech, propaganda and assembly ”.4

1 Later NICRA adopted a second constitution, which was in place at the time of Bloody Sunday. FS10.15; FS10.17-22 Final Submissions on Behalf of NICRA.

2 Cameron Report, para 187.
3 GEN5.1

4 GEN5.1


7.32 While NICRA was the best known of the civil rights associations other groups, such as the Campaign for Social Justice, had already formed, some with similar or overlapping aims.1 In Londonderry, a number of local causes and organisations, such as the campaign to site the new university in the city, the local Credit Union and the Derry Housing Association, mobilised public opinion and brought a new generation of civil rights leaders, including John Hume, Michael Canavan and Ivan Cooper among others, to prominence.2

1 Hennessey, History of Northern Ireland, pp126–137; McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, p38.
2 Ó Dochartaigh, “A Short Historical Background to the Conflict ”, Civil Rights to Armalites, ppxii–xv; Paul Routledge, John Hume, London: HarperCollins, 1998, first published 1997, pp38–58.


7.33 The civil rights movement drew its support predominantly from the Catholic, nationalist community.1 Despite its declared aims, many unionists regarded it as a cloak for the IRA and other groups intent on undermining and destroying the union.2 We deal with the issue of IRA infiltration of NICRA later in this report.3

1 McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, pp38–40; Hennessey, History of Northern Ireland,
pp126–138; Ó Dochartaigh, “A Short Historical Background to the Conflict ”, Civil Rights to Armalites, ppxiv–xv.
2 McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, pp43–44; Ken Bloomfield, Stormont in Crisis: A Memoir, Belfast: Blackstaff, 1994, p100.

3 Paragraphs 9.65–86


Protest marches and violence

7.34 In the summer of 1968, Austin Currie, a Nationalist Member of the Stormont Parliament, highlighted the case of a young unmarried Protestant woman who had been allocated a house in the County Tyrone village of Caledon, near Dungannon, in preference to two Catholic families. Lord Cameron, in his report on the disturbances that followed, found that this allocation had been made in effect by a local unionist councillor, and that the woman could not, by any stretch of the imagination, be regarded as a priority tenant. Austin Currie and others occupied the house in question, but they, and a family of Catholic squatters in the adjoining property, were evicted in June 1968.1

1 Cameron Report, paras 26–28; McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, p40.

7.35 These incidents were widely publicised and led in July 1968 to the first protest march sponsored by NICRA and other groups. NICRA had previously concentrated on taking up individual complaints rather than making mass protests. The march was re-routed by the police following representations by prominent unionists and the announcement of a public meeting, organised by the Ulster Protestant Volunteers, which was to take place on the same day and at the intended destination of the march. In the event the march, from Coalisland to Dungannon, passed off without any breach of the peace. However, the pattern of demonstration and counter-demonstration was established and was to be repeated on many future occasions.1

1 Cameron Report, paras 30–36; Hennessey, History of Northern Ireland, p138; McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, p41.

7.36 In his report on the disturbances in Northern Ireland in 1968 and early 1969, Lord Cameron gave the following explanation of the tactic of counter-demonstration:1

“To put forward proposals for a march or demonstration which, if pursued, would clash in time or place with another already proposed on behalf of an organisation of an opposite political colour has been for long a recognised tactic of obstruction in Northern Ireland. In such an event the purpose of the proposed counter demonstration or march is to secure the prohibition or rerouting of the original march or demonstration. Once this is achieved the proposed counter demonstration is allowed to lapse. ”


1 Cameron Report, para 41.

7.37 The next march was in Londonderry on 5th October 1968. This was organised by an ad hoc group of local left wing activists and members of the Derry Housing Action Committee, in association with NICRA, whose secretary gave the required statutory notice of the intention to hold a march.1

1 Cameron Report, para 39.

7.38 The proposed route for the march started in the Waterside, a predominantly Protestant area on the eastern side of the Foyle, and ended in the Diamond, a square in the middle of the historic walled city. The route was, as Lord Cameron noted in his report, one that was commonly followed by Protestant and loyalist marches in Londonderry.1

1 Cameron Report, para 40.

7.39 There was strong local opposition to the march from unionists, some of whom set about organising, or at least declaring their intention to organise, a march of the Apprentice Boys of Derry on the same route on the same day and at virtually the same time. On 3rd October 1968 William Craig, then Minister of Home Affairs, made an order under Section 2 of the Public Order Act (Northern Ireland) 1951, prohibiting all processions in the Waterside or within the walls of the city.1

1 Cameron Report, paras 40–42.

7.40 Despite misgivings voiced by representatives of NICRA, the organisers decided to ignore the ban and proceed with the march.1

1 Cameron Report, para 43; Eamonn McCann, War and an Irish Town, London: Pluto Press, 1980, first published 1974, pp40–41.
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7.41 One effect of the ban was to swell the numbers who took to the streets on 5th October 1968, many incensed by what they regarded as unwarranted interference by the Minister.1

1 Cameron Report, para 44.

7.42 The marchers gathered at Waterside Railway Station and moved along Duke Street to a point about 50 yards from Craigavon Bridge where a police barrier had been hastily erected.1 Lord Cameron reported that at this stage “batons were used by certain police officers without explicit order ”.2 Among those struck were the Westminster MP Gerry Fitt and the Stormont MP Eddie McAteer, who had been at the head of the march.3 Television pictures of this incident, and in particular of a head wound sustained by Gerry Fitt, quickly became famous,4 and Lord Cameron stated that the use of batons on these men was “wholly without justification or excuse ”.5 Further disturbances followed, as some of the crowd threw stones and the police “broke ranks and used their batons indiscriminately on people in Duke Street ”.6 The crowd were subsequently dispersed by what Lord Cameron described as the indiscriminate and unnecessary use of water cannons.7

1 Cameron Report, paras 48–49. 5 Cameron Report, para 49.

2 Cameron Report, para 49. 6 Cameron Report, para 51.

3 Cameron Report, para 49. 7 Cameron Report, para 51.

4 McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Toubles,
p42; Cameron Report, para 55.

7.43 Later in the day violence flared in and around the Diamond, where other marchers had gathered, and the ensuing rioting continued into the following day.1 Lord Cameron attributed these later disturbances to “Hooligan elements wholly unassociated with the Civil Rights demonstrators ”, who had taken advantage of a minor clash between the police and the marchers over the removal of a political banner.2

1 Cameron Report, para 52; Ó Dochartaigh, 2 Cameron Report, para 54.
Civil Rights to Armalites, pp17–19.

7.44 In total, 11 policemen and 77 civilians were injured, the great majority of the latter having bruises and lacerations, mainly to the head.1 In his report, Lord Cameron criticised the organisation and stewarding of the march, and noted that some extremist and hooligan elements had sought to provoke or take advantage of violence or confrontation.2 However, he was also critical of the police, stating that their handling of the situation in Duke Street was “ill coordinated and ill conducted ”, and that the use of batons there was “probably unnecessary and in any event premature … [and later] lacking in proper control ”.3 He concluded that: “There was use [by the police] of unnecessary and ill controlled force in the dispersal of the demonstrators, only a minority of whom acted in a disorderly and violent manner. ”4

1 Cameron Report, para 53. 3 Cameron Report, para 54(8).

2 Cameron Report, para 54(2),(3),(5),(7). 4 Cameron Report, para 229.

7.45 The events of 5th October 1968 provoked an overwhelmingly hostile response outside Northern Ireland, especially as a result of the television footage.1 The United Kingdom Government increased pressure on the Northern Ireland Government to increase the pace of reform, and the longstanding convention that Northern Irish affairs were not discussed at Westminster was ousted.2 Within Northern Ireland, the Catholic population was outraged,3 the more so when the Stormont Cabinet tabled a motion congratulating the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC).4 At Queen’s University, Belfast, a new and more radical civil rights group, People’s Democracy, was formed out of the protests that followed the Londonderry disturbances.5

1 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p19 and p24; McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, p42; Hennessey, History of Northern Ireland, p142.

2 McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, pp42–46; Hennessey, History of Northern Ireland, pp142–143; Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p24; Bloomfield, Stormont in Crisis, pp98–99.
3 McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, pp42–46.

4 E6.0021 Professor Arthur’s report to this Inquiry.

5 Cameron Report, paras 56–61; E6.0021-0022 Professor Arthur’s report to this Inquiry.


7.46 In Londonderry a moderate group, the Derry Citizens’ Action Committee, which was led by Ivan Cooper and John Hume, was instrumental in stabilising the situation in the aftermath of the events of 5th October 1968. Although there were sit-ins and marches (including marches organised by unionist political groupings), there was no significant violence.1 A further government ban on marches within the City Walls was imposed for a month at the end of 1968. Lord Cameron described this ban as unenforceable and “therefore not only useless but mischievous ”; it did much, he thought, to increase tension.2 The announcement of the ban was followed on 16th November 1968 by the largest procession since the beginning of the civil rights campaign, in which at least 15,000 took part.3 Lord Cameron reported that thanks to the organisers, and particularly to John Hume, the procession passed off peacefully.4

1 Cameron Report, paras 62–65. 3 Cameron Report, para 65.

2 Cameron Report, paras 166–167. 4 Cameron Report, paras 62–65, 166–167.

The developing demands of the civil rights movement

7.47 This period saw NICRA and other organisations focus their campaign for civil rights on a number of specific issues. NICRA’s demands included, among other matters:1

1. fundamental changes in the system of local government elections, including the redrawing of electoral boundaries and the introduction of universal adult suffrage (“one man one vote ”);

2. the passing of anti-discrimination legislation in Northern Ireland;

3. reform of the way in which public housing was allocated through the introduction of a points-based assessment system;

4. the repeal of the Civil Authorities (Special Powers) Act (Northern Ireland) 1922, a piece of legislation that gave the authorities far-reaching powers that were regarded by civil rights campaigners as oppressive; and

5. the disbandment of the Ulster Special Constabulary, known commonly as the B Specials, a part-time police force formed in 1920, that was by the late 1960s exclusively Protestant and, according to Mr Justice Scarman, “Totally distrusted by the Catholics ”.

1 Scarman Report, Report of the Tribunal of Inquiry into Violence and Civil Disturbances in Northern Ireland in 1969, Cmnd 566, Belfast: HMSO, 1972, para 3.11. See also Cameron Report, paras 144–145; Sydney Elliott and WD Flackes, Northern Ireland: A Political Directory, 1968–1999, Belfast: Blackstaff Press, 1999, pp640–641; McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, p38.

7.48 Arguably the most potent of these demands was the call for local electoral reform,1 as was well demonstrated by the situation in Londonderry. Lord Cameron estimated that across Northern Ireland the property qualification excluded one quarter of those entitled to participate in Stormont elections, where universal adult suffrage was used, from voting in local government elections.2 As is noted above, the effect of this disenfranchisement fell disproportionately on the Catholic community.3 In Londonderry, the property qualification and the electoral ward system combined to produce what Lord Cameron (using the 1967 figures) described as the “extraordinary situation ” whereby “sixty per cent of the adult population was Catholic, but where sixty per cent of the seats on the Corporation were held by Unionists ”.4

1 McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, p38.

2 Cameron Report, para 143.
3 Cameron Report, para 143.

4 Cameron Report, para 134.


7.49 Although there is some dispute as to the effect that the introduction of universal adult suffrage at local elections would have had on its own (without, for example, accompanying boundary changes), there is no doubt that wider reform would have challenged unionist control of councils, especially in the west of Northern Ireland. Hence civil rights marchers’ demands for “one man one vote ” and new electoral wards were strongly resisted.1

1 Cameron Report, para 143; McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, p38.

The reforms of November 1968

7.50 On 22nd November 1968, under pressure from the United Kingdom Government (which is often referred to as “the Westminster Government ” or simply “Westminster ”), the Stormont Government announced a reform programme. This included encouraging local councils to use a new merit-based points system for the allocation of public housing, a commitment to abolish the Special Powers Act as soon as was practicable, the appointment of a Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (generally referred to as the Ombudsman) to investigate complaints of maladministration, and the abolition of the company vote, which gave voting rights to corporate bodies in local government elections.1 In relation to Londonderry, it was announced that the unionist-controlled Corporation was to be replaced with a Development Commission. This body, which took over the administration of the city in the spring of 1969, consisted of nine Commissioners, all of whom were appointed by the Northern Ireland Government.2

1 Hennessey, History of Northern Ireland, p143; McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, p46; Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, pp27–28; Elliott and Flackes, Political Directory, p378.
2 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p28 and pp88–90; Elliott and Flackes, Political Directory, p229.
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7.51 Many in the civil rights movement regarded these proposals as too little and too late.1 The Campaign for Social Justice (CSJ) expressed the view that the proposed Development Commission was merely a means of avoiding dealing with gerrymandering, that the new points system could be manipulated by local authorities to maintain advantages for unionists, and that there was no clear promise to repeal the Special Powers Act.2 Most significantly, the reforms did not allow for universal adult suffrage in local elections, a source of grievance for the CSJ and many others.3 Despite this, the announcement of the reforms eased the situation in Londonderry where more radical elements within the civil rights movements had begun to organise spontaneous marches and threats of marches, something that the Derry Citizens’ Action Committee opposed.4

1 Hennessey, History of Northern Ireland, p143; Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p28.

2 Hennessey, History of Northern Ireland, pp144–145.
3 Hennessey, History of Northern Ireland, pp144–145; Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p28; McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, pp44–45.

4 Cameron Report, para 67.


7.52 The reaction of unionists was mixed. While many supported or accepted the reforms, others were highly critical.1 William Craig, then Minister of Home Affairs, resisted the reforms within Cabinet and was less than supportive of some of his Government’s proposals in public speeches. In particular, he questioned what he perceived to be the undue influence of Westminster in the internal affairs of Northern Ireland.2

1 McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, pp43–44; Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p28 and pp88–90.
2 McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, p43; Hennessey, History of Northern Ireland,
pp144–145.


7.53 In December 1968 Captain O’Neill made a direct appeal to the people of Northern Ireland for calm and for an end to the growing disorder in a televised address that became known as his “Ulster stands at the crossroads ” speech. To unionists he pointed out that unless there was a programme of change and reform instituted by the Stormont Government it was likely that the Westminster Government would take matters into its own hands. To civil rights campaigners, he insisted that the proposed reforms did represent real progress and that even if they were not satisfied, they should desist from street demonstrations so as to allow a more favourable atmosphere for change to develop.1

1 Hennessey, History of Northern Ireland, p147.

7.54 In the same month, Captain O’Neill dismissed William Craig from office following a speech in which the latter had stated that he would: “resist any effort by any government in Great Britain … to interfere with the proper power and jurisdiction of the parliament and government of Northern Ireland. ” William Craig went to the Unionist backbenches, joining those who had already expressed opposition to the course being taken by the Stormont Government, some of whom were calling for Captain O’Neill to resign.1

1 McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, p47; Hennessey, History of Northern Ireland, pp148–149.

The People’s Democracy march

7.55 Captain O’Neill’s appeal for calm was heeded by much of the civil rights movement, and a suspension of demonstrations and marches was announced.1 However, People’s Democracy, the radical group that had grown out of student protests following the 5th October 1968 disturbances in Londonderry, ignored these developments. Seeking to emulate Dr Martin Luther King’s march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965, People’s Democracy announced later in December a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry.2

1 McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, p48; Hennessey, History of Northern Ireland, p148; Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p29.
2 Cameron Report, paras 56–61 and paras 89–90; McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, p48; Hennessey, History of Northern Ireland, pp150–151; Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p29, Bew and Gillespie, Chronology of the Troubles, p10.


7.56 The march, which took place contrary to the views and the advice of the Derry Citizens’ Action Committee and prominent figures in the Nationalist Party, began on 1st January 1969.1 On the fourth day the marchers were attacked by groups of loyalists, some of whom were said to be off-duty B Specials, at Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry.2 Lord Cameron stated that the incident was a “disgraceful episode ” that bore the marks of careful preparation.3 There had already been a riot in Londonderry the previous evening; Lord Cameron found that this arose out of a combination of “sectarian feeling ” brought about by a prayer meeting held by Dr Ian Paisley in the city’s Guildhall, and “the gathering of irresponsible and lawless elements many of whom were influenced by drink ”.4 He added that although the rioting had been blamed on supporters of the civil rights movement, it had not been incited or fomented in any way by any civil rights organisation or responsible local body.5

1 Cameron Report, para 90; Hennessey, History of Northern Ireland, p151; Bew and Gillespie, Chronology of the Troubles, pp11–12.

2 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p35; McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, p48; Hennessey, History of Northern Ireland, p151; Bew and Gillespie, Chronology of the Troubles, pp11–12; McCann, War and an Irish Town, p51.
3 Cameron Report, para 99.

4 Cameron Report, para 96 and para 174.

5 Cameron Report, para 96.


7.57 Further violence occurred when the People’s Democracy marchers reached the outskirts of the city following the Burntollet attack.1 Lord Cameron reported that on that night, 4th/5th January 1969, there was a breakdown of discipline among some members of the RUC in Londonderry. A number of officers, he wrote, were guilty of misconduct including assault and battery, malicious damage to property in the Catholic Bogside area of the city, and the use of provocative sectarian and political slogans.2

1 Cameron Report, para 100. 2 Cameron Report, para 177.

7.58 These events led to the establishment of the first “no go ” areas in Londonderry. Residents of the Bogside and other predominantly Catholic parts of the city erected barricades and organised vigilante patrols to prevent the RUC or loyalist crowds from entering their neighbourhoods.1 The famous slogan, “You are now entering Free Derry ”, was painted for the first time on a prominent gable wall in the Bogside.2

1 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p30 and pp35–37; McCann, War and an Irish Town, pp52–53.
2 McCann, War and an Irish Town, p53; Eamonn McCann, “Setting the ‘free Derry’ record straight ”, Sunday Journal, 21st October 2008.


The Cameron Enquiry

7.59 In the middle of January 1969, after further demonstrations and counter demonstrations in Northern Ireland, the Stormont Government announced that it would set up a Commission of Enquiry to look into the violence and civil disturbances that had started with the events in Londonderry on 5th October 1968. This led to the resignation of Brian Faulkner, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce, from the Stormont Government, on the grounds that to appoint a commission was an abdication of government responsibility.1

1 Brian Faulkner (ed John Houston), Memoirs of a Statesman, London: George Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1978, p51.

7.60 The Commission of Enquiry was established at the beginning of March 1969, headed by Lord Cameron. He produced his report, to which we have already referred, in September 1969. It summarised its conclusions in the following terms:1

“229. Having carried out as full an investigation as lay within our competence we can summarise our conclusions upon the immediate and precipitating causes of the disorders which broke out in Londonderry on 5th October 1968 and continued thereafter both in Londonderry and elsewhere on subsequent dates. These are both general and particular.

(a) General

(1) A rising sense of continuing injustice and grievance among large sections of the Catholic population in Northern Ireland, in particular in Londonderry and Dungannon, in respect of (i) inadequacy of housing provision by certain local authorities (ii) unfair methods of allocation of houses built and let by such authorities, in particular; refusals and omissions to adopt a ‘points’ system in determining priorities and making allocations (iii) misuse in certain cases of discretionary powers of allocation of houses in order to perpetuate Unionist control of the local authority (paragraphs 128–131 and 139).

(2) Complaints, now well documented in fact, of discrimination in the making of local government appointments, at all levels but especially in senior posts, to the prejudice of non-Unionists and especially Catholic members of the community, in some Unionist controlled authorities (paragraphs 128 and 138).

(3) Complaints, again well documented, in some cases of deliberate manipulation of local government electoral boundaries and in others a refusal to apply for their necessary extension, in order to achieve and maintain Unionist control of local authorities and so to deny to Catholics influence in local government proportionate to their numbers (paragraphs 133–137).

(4) A growing and powerful sense of resentment and frustration among the Catholic population at failure to achieve either acceptance on the part of the Government of any need to investigate these complaints or to provide and enforce a remedy for them (paragraphs 126–147).

(5) Resentment, particularly among Catholics, as to the existence of the Ulster Special Constabulary (the ‘B’ Specials) as a partisan and paramilitary force recruited exclusively from Protestants (paragraph 145).

(6) Widespread resentment among Catholics in particular at the continuance in force of regulations made under the Special Powers Act, and of the continued presence in the statute book of the Act itself (paragraph 144).

(7) Fears and apprehensions among Protestants of a threat to Unionist domination and control of Government by increase of Catholic population and powers, inflamed in particular by the activities of the Ulster Constitution Defence Committee and the Ulster Protestant Volunteers, provoked strong hostile reaction to civil rights claims as asserted by the Civil Rights Association and later by the People’s Democracy which was readily translated into physical violence against Civil Rights demonstrators (paragraphs 148–150 and 216–226).

(b) Particular

(8) There was a strong reaction of popular resentment to the Minister’s ban on the route of the proposed Civil Rights march in Londonderry on 5th October 1968 which swelled very considerably the number of persons who ultimately took part in the march. Without this ban the numbers taking part would in all probability have been small and the situation safely handled by available police forces (paragraphs 157–165).

(9) The leadership, organisation and control of the demonstrations in Londonderry on 5th October 1968, and in Newry on 11th January 1969 was ineffective and insufficient to prevent violent or disorderly conduct among certain elements present on these occasions (paragraphs 54 and 118).

(10) There was early infiltration of the Civil Rights Association both centrally and locally by subversive left wing and revolutionary elements which were prepared to use the Civil Rights movement to further their own purposes, and were ready to exploit grievances in order to provoke and foment, and did provoke and foment, disorder and violence in the guise of supporting a non-violent movement (paragraphs 187–189 and 193).

(11) This infiltration was assisted by the declared insistence of the Civil Rights Association that it was non-sectarian and non-political, and its consequent refusal to reject support from whatever quarter it came provided that support was given and limited to the published aims of the Association (paragraph 187).

(12) What was originally a Belfast students’ protest against police action in Londonderry on 5th October and support for the Civil Rights movement was transformed into the People’s Democracy – itself an unnecessary adjunct to the already existing and operative Civil Rights Association. People’s Democracy provided a means by which politically extreme and militant elements could and did invite and incite civil disorder, with the consequence of polarising and hardening opposition to Civil Rights claims (paragraphs 194–204).

(13) On the other side the deliberate and organised interventions by followers of Major Bunting and the Rev. Dr. Paisley, especially in Armagh, Burntollet and Londonderry, substantially increased the risk of violent disorder on occasions when Civil Rights demonstrations or marches were to take place, were a material contributory cause of the outbreaks [of] violence which occurred after 5th October, and seriously hampered the police in their task of maintaining law and order, and of protecting members of the public in the exercise of their undoubted legal rights and upon their lawful occasions (paragraphs 222–224).

(14) The police handling of the demonstration in Londonderry on 5 October 1968 was in certain material respects ill co-ordinated and inept. There was use of unnecessary and ill controlled force in the dispersal of the demonstrators, only a minority of whom acted in a disorderly and violent manner. The wide publicity given by press, radio and television to particular episodes inflamed and exacerbated feelings of resentment against the police which had been already aroused by their enforcement of the ministerial ban (paragraphs 168–171).

(15) Available police forces did not provide adequate protection to People’s Democracy marchers at Burntollet Bridge and in or near Irish Street, Londonderry on 4th January 1969. There were instances of police indiscipline and violence towards persons unassociated with rioting or disorder on 4th/5th January in Londonderry and these provoked serious hostility to the police, particularly among the Catholic population of Londonderry, and an increasing disbelief in their impartiality towards non-Unionists (paragraphs 97–101 and 177).

(16) Numerical insufficiency of available police force especially in Armagh on 30th November 1968 and in Londonderry on 4th/5th January 1969 and later on 19th/20th April prevented early and complete control and, where necessary, arrest of disorderly and riotous elements (paragraphs 87, 101 and 182).

The Government’s announcements on the reform of local government franchise – the ‘one man one vote’ issue – reform and readjustment of local government administration, including electoral areas and boundaries, introduction of a comprehensive and fair ‘points’ system in the allocation of Council built houses and the introduction of special machinery to deal with complaints arising out of matters of local administration, go a very considerable way, not only to acknowledge the justice of the complaints on these points but also the expediency and necessity of providing remedies for them. ”


1 Cameron Report, para 229.

7.61 In his report, Lord Cameron commented that NICRA had within its membership those whose aims and objects were far different and more radical than those of the association itself, and who would not exclude the use of violence if they thought it necessary or desirable to achieve their aims. However he took the view that during the period that he had considered, NICRA had been able to maintain its avowed policy of non-violent protest and agitation within the limits of the law. He also observed that many who supported NICRA who were neither Catholic nor interested in constitutional changes, violent or otherwise, and these and other moderates had been able, during the period with which he was concerned, to keep NICRA on its originally designed and published course.1

1 Cameron Report, para 193.

Political developments, further violence and the deployment of the Army

7.62 The split among unionists between those who supported and those who opposed Captain O’Neill and his policies led him to call a general election in Northern Ireland at the end of February 1969. After a bitter campaign between the two unionist factions, the result gave Captain O’Neill a continued but weakened majority, but did nothing to mend the divisions between unionists. The election was also significant in returning a new generation of nationalist leaders to Stormont, including John Hume and Ivan Cooper.1

1 McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, p49.

7.63 There were further disturbances in Londonderry on 19th and 20th April 1969, which might well have led to wide-scale violence but for the successful efforts of John Hume and his colleagues to defuse the situation.1 However, during the unrest police officers chased a number of youths into the house of Samuel Devenney, a Catholic resident of William Street. The youths escaped, but the police beat Samuel Devenney severely.2 He spent several weeks in hospital, before dying on 16th July 1969.3 Although an inquest recorded that Samuel Devenney died of natural causes,4 many in the local Catholic community viewed his death as a the result of police brutality.5 15,000 people attended his funeral, which was followed by a silent protest.6 This incident added to the growing hostility towards the RUC in the nationalist community in Londonderry.

1 Cameron Report, paras 121–124.

2 David McKittrick, Seamus Kelters, Brian Feeney and Chris Thornton, Lost Lives, Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing, 2001, first published 1999; Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p45.

3 McKittrick, Kelters, Feeney and Thornton, Lost Lives, p32.
4 McKittrick, Kelters, Feeney and Thornton, Lost Lives, p32.

5 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p47.

6 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p47.


7.64 During March and April 1969 a bombing campaign was undertaken against public utilities in Belfast and elsewhere in Northern Ireland. The police initially attributed the campaign to the IRA, though it later emerged that this was the work of loyalist extremists.1 The bombings, and the victory in April of radical student and civil rights activist Bernadette Devlin in a Westminster by-election for a seat previously held by unionists, increased the pressure on Captain O’Neill.2 He resigned as Prime Minister at the end of the month, only a few days after his administration had declared that it would accept universal adult suffrage for local government elections.3

1 Scarman Report, paras 4.1–5.10.

2 McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, pp49–50; Bew and Gillespie, Chronology of the Troubles, p14; Elliott and Flackes, Political Directory, pp321–322.
3 McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, pp49–50; Bew and Gillespie, Chronology of the Troubles, p15.


7.65 On 1st May 1969 Major James Chichester-Clark succeeded Captain O’Neill. He accepted that the O’Neill reforms would continue and that local government boundaries had to be redrawn by an independent commission.1 He also announced an amnesty for all offences connected with demonstrations since 5th October 1968.2

1 Hennessey, History of Northern Ireland, p162.
2 Bew and Gillespie, Chronology of the Troubles, p16.


7.66 In May 1969 NICRA suspended its campaign of civil disobedience.1 Widespread violence, however, soon broke out again as the approach of the marching season, the period during which unionists conducted their traditional summer processions, led to an increase in tension.

1 Bew and Gillespie, Chronology of the Troubles, p16.

7.67 There were disturbances in Londonderry and across Northern Ireland in June and July 1969.1 This period also saw the emergence in Londonderry of the Derry Citizens’ Defence Association, a group that took a more militant stance than the Derry Citizens’ Action Committee, and which declared that it was taking over the “defence ” of the Catholic Bogside area of the city.2

1 Scarman Report, paras 6.1–9.73. 2 Scarman Report, paras 10.11–10.14.

7.68 A major riot broke out in Londonderry on 12th August 1969, on the occasion of the annual Apprentice Boys’ Parade. According to the Scarman Report (which we consider in more detail below) the first missiles were thrown from a crowd in the Bogside at the police, who were trying to keep between the nationalist crowd and the unionist supporters of the parade.1 The ensuing unrest in Londonderry lasted for three days and led to many serious and violent disturbances elsewhere in Northern Ireland.2 By 14th August, it was clear to senior RUC officers that the police, by now exhausted and over-stretched, were unable to restore law and order to Londonderry.3 The authorities called for the assistance of the British Army, and at 5.00pm that day, troops from 1st Battalion, The Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment entered Londonderry.4 They were not attacked nor (apart from one accidental intrusion) did they enter the Bogside and the rioting died out.5

1 Scarman Report, paras 11.4–11.8.

2 Scarman Report, Chapters 10–18.

3 Scarman Report, paras 12.25, 12.30, 19.1–19.18 and 20.1–20.8.
4 Scarman Report, para 12.30.

5 Scarman Report, paras 12.31–12.34.


7.69 This disturbance became known as “the Battle of the Bogside ”. It amounted not only to sectarian clashes but to pitched battles between police and residents of the Bogside.1 The latter used barricades, stones, bricks and petrol bombs, while the RUC employed (it seems for the first time in the United Kingdom) CS gas.2 Mr Justice Scarman found that some police officers threw stones back at those opposing their attempts to move into the area3 and in at least two incidents police officers fired their weapons.4

1 McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, p54.

2 Scarman Report, paras 11.31–33; Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p107; Colonel Michael Dewar, The British Army in Northern Ireland, London: Wellington House, 1997, first published 1985, pp32–33.
3 Scarman Report, para 11.13.

4 Scarman Report, paras 12.14–12.16, 12.23 and 11.34.


7.70 The Battle of the Bogside led to the re-emergence of “no go ” areas in “Free Derry ”, first seen in the Bogside earlier in the year. For a number of weeks the Army agreed not to go into these areas, which were patrolled by members of the Derry Citizens’ Defence Association.1

1 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p115.

7.71 The widespread and grave disturbances elsewhere in Northern Ireland in August 1969 resulted in ten deaths and hundreds of injuries as well as substantial damage to property.1 In Belfast many families were forced to move from their homes. Mr Justice Scarman found that the Catholic community suffered a very much higher instance of displacement than did non-Catholics.2

1 Scarman Report, paras 31.1–31.25; McKittrick, Kelters, Feeney and Thornton, Lost Lives, pp30–31 and pp32–40.
2 Scarman Report, para 31.25.


7.72 The tensions between the Protestant and Catholic communities, already heightened by the violent summer of 1969, were increased further by a broadcast made by the Taoiseach, Jack Lynch,1 during the Battle of the Bogside, in which he said that the Irish Government could “no longer stand by and see innocent people injured and perhaps worse ”.2 Many on both sides of the sectarian divide interpreted these words, and the announcement that Irish Army field hospitals would be set up close to the border, as an indication that the Irish Republic was about to invade or intervene in the unrest in Northern Ireland.3

1 Jack Lynch became Taoiseach of the Irish Republic in 1966.

2 Scarman Report, para 13.9.
3 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p108.


7.73 On 19th August 1969 the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland Prime Ministers met, together with a number of their senior ministers, at 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the United Kingdom Prime Minister. At the conclusion of the meeting, the Downing Street Declaration was issued. This reaffirmed the existing position that Northern Ireland should not cease to be part of the United Kingdom without the consent of the people and Parliament of Northern Ireland. The Declaration also stated that troops would be withdrawn when law and order had been restored. The Northern Ireland Government reaffirmed, in the context of the deployment of the troops, that it would “take into the fullest account at all times ” the views of the United Kingdom Government. Both Governments also declared that it was vital that the momentum of internal reform in Northern Ireland should be maintained, and that every citizen was entitled to the same equality of treatment and freedom from discrimination as obtained in the rest of the United Kingdom.1, The announcements made following this meeting regarding the relationship between the Army and the RUC are discussed elsewhere in this report.2

1 Hennessey, History of Northern Ireland, pp168–169; Bew and Gillespie, Chronology of the Troubles, pp20–21; Faulkner, Memoirs, pp64–66.
2 Paragraphs 193.25–56


The Scarman Inquiry

7.74 On 27th August 1969 the Northern Ireland Government resolved to establish a public inquiry into the violence and civil disturbances that had started with the attacks on public utilities in March 1969. Mr Justice Scarman chaired this inquiry and presented the report, to which we have already made reference, to the Northern Ireland Parliament in April 1972, just over two months after Bloody Sunday.

7.75 The report concluded that the riots in 1969 were not caused by any conspiracy to overthrow the Stormont Government or to mount an armed insurrection, but that teenage hooligans, “who almost invariably threw the first stones ”, were manipulated and encouraged by persons seeking to discredit the Government:1

“While accepting that the major riots … were not deliberately planned, we are satisfied that, once the disturbances started, they were continued by an element that also found expression in bodies more or less loosely organised, such as the People’s Democracy, and various local Defence Associations, and in associating themselves with bodies such as NICRA and the several Action Committees. The public impact of the activities of this element was tremendously enhanced by the coverage given by the mass media of communication. ”


1 Scarman Report, para 2.2.

7.76 The Scarman Report attributed the outbreak of the riots as arising from a complex political, social and economic situation:1

“Young men threw a few stones at some policemen or at an Orange procession: there followed a confrontation between police and stone-throwers now backed by a sympathetic crowd. On one side people saw themselves, never ‘the others’, charged by a police force which they regarded as partisan: on the other side, police and people saw a violent challenge to the authority of the State. These attitudes were the creature of recent events. Their own interpretations of the events of 1968 and early 1969 had encouraged the belief amongst the minority that demonstrations did secure concessions, and that the police were their enemy and the main obstacle to a continuing programme of demonstrations, while the same events had convinced a large number of Protestants that a determined attempt, already gaining a measure of success, was being made to undermine the constitutional position of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom. In so tense a situation it needed very little to set going a major disturbance. ”


1 Scarman Report, para 2.4.

7.77 The Scarman Report concluded that the IRA neither planned nor started the riots, though the Derry Citizens’ Defence Association (which the report found undoubtedly contained some members of the IRA) made elaborate arrangements to keep the police out of the Bogside, if necessary by violence, in the event of disturbances erupting on the streets.1 The report laid heavy, albeit indirect, responsibility on NICRA for what was described as the “horrors ” that occurred in Belfast on 14th August 1969 by its underestimation of the strength of militant unionism, which had led NICRA to organise demonstrations elsewhere in the Province so as to prevent reinforcement of the police in Londonderry.2

1 Scarman Report, paras 2.6–2.7. 2 Scarman Report, para 2.8.

7.78 As to the RUC, the Scarman Report rejected the claim that it had acted as a partisan force co-operating with Protestant mobs to attack Catholic people.1 However, as the report stated:2

“[I]t is painfully clear from the evidence adduced before us that by July the Catholic minority no longer believed that the RUC was impartial and that Catholic and civil rights activists were publicly asserting this loss of confidence. Understandably these resentments affected the thinking and feeling of the young and the irresponsible, and induced the jeering and throwing of stones which were the small beginnings of most of the disturbances. The effect of this hostility on the RUC themselves was unfortunate. They came to treat as their enemies, and accordingly also as the enemies of the public peace, those who persisted in displaying hostility and distrust towards them.

Thus there developed the fateful split between the Catholic community and the police. Faced with the distrust of a substantial proportion of the whole population and short of numbers, the RUC had (as some senior officers appreciated) lost the capacity to control a major riot. Their difficulties naturally led them, when the emergency arose, to have recourse to methods such as baton-charges, CS gas and gunfire, which were sure ultimately to stoke even higher the fires of resentment and hatred. ”


1 Scarman Report, para 3.2. 2 Scarman Report, paras 3.5–3.6.

7.79 The report did, however, identify six occasions when the police were, by act or omission, seriously at fault.1 So far as Londonderry is concerned, the report contained the following criticism:2

“The lack of firm direction in handling the disturbances in Londonderry during the early evening of 12 August. The ‘Rossville Street incursion’ was undertaken as a tactical move by the Reserve Force commander without an understanding of the effect it would have on Bogside attitudes. The County Inspector did understand, but did not prevent it. The incursion was seen by the Bogsiders as a repetition of events in January and April and led many, including moderate men such as Father Mulvey, to think that the police must be resisted. ”


1 Scarman Report, para 3.7. 2 Scarman Report, para 3.7(1).

7.80 The criticised conduct was, according to the report, very largely due to the mistaken belief held at the time by many of the police, including senior officers, that they were dealing with an armed uprising engineered by the IRA.1

1 Scarman Report, para 3.8.

The Hunt Committee and its recommendations

7.81 A committee under Lord Hunt was appointed in August 1969 to examine the “recruitment, organisation, structure and composition ” of the RUC and the Ulster Special Constabulary (the B Specials). It reported in early October, recommending among other reforms the abolition of the B Specials and their replacement by an unarmed RUC reserve and a part-time force under the control of the General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland (a British Army officer) – the latter force was to become the Ulster Defence Regiment. Lord Hunt also proposed that the RUC be relieved of all duties of a military nature, and the setting up of a Police Authority whose membership should reflect the proportions of different groups within the community.1

1 Hunt Committee, Report of the Advisory Committee on Police in Northern Ireland, Cmnd 535, HMSO: Belfast, 1969.

7.82 The Hunt Report was greeted with dismay and anger by many unionists and following its publication loyalists rioted in Belfast. During the unrest a member of the RUC, Victor Arbuckle, and two civilians, George Dickie and Herbert Hawe, were fatally shot; Constable Arbuckle was the first police officer to be killed in what have become known as “the Troubles ”.1

1 According to Lost Lives, Victor Arbuckle was shot by the Ulster Volunteer Force, George Dickie “apparently by the Army”, and Herbert Hawe “by soldiers in disputed circumstances”. McKittrick, Kelters, Feeney and Thornton, Lost Lives, pp42–43.

7.83 The report was, however, generally greeted favourably by Catholics in Londonderry.1 The early autumn had already seen the removal of barricades in “Free Derry ” and the Army (using military police accompanied at first by regular soldiers, but days later by unarmed RUC officers) began without opposition to patrol the no-go areas set up after the Battle of the Bogside.2

1 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p124.
2 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, pp118–123.


7.84 However, in September 1969 there was a sectarian riot in the centre of the city, in the course of which 49-year-old William King was beaten and died of a heart attack. William King was the first Londonderry Protestant to die in the growing unrest and his death brought to a head unionist resentment over what they regarded as the failure of the Army to deal firmly at the outset with the no-go areas and nationalist unrest.1

1 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p136; McKittrick, Kelters, Feeney and Thornton, Lost Lives, p42; McCann, War and an Irish Town, p65.

7.85 This riot, and the fact that Catholic youths had taken to “casually stoning ” the RUC, led the Army to establish what it described as a “peace ring ” around the Bogside and Creggan areas of the city.1 This involved the erection of Army barriers, checkpoints on almost all the roads into these areas, and severe restrictions on the movement of people and vehicles, particularly into the city centre. At first tolerated as aiding the prevention of renewed violence, the peace ring became a cause of resentment, particularly among young Catholics, though this resentment soon spread to other parts of the community.2

1 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p136.
2 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, pp137–138.


The split in the IRA and Sinn Féin

7.86 Tensions between members of the IRA led to a split in that organisation at the end of 1969, from which the Provisional IRA and Official IRA emerged.1 The causes of the split are complex and beyond the scope of this report. We discuss elsewhere in this report2 the structure and organisation of the Provisional and Official IRA in Londonderry, and the activities of members of these organisations, at the time of Bloody Sunday.

1 Ed Moloney, A Secret History of the IRA, London: Allen Lane, 2002, pp54–84; Richard English, Armed Struggle: A History of the IRA, London: Macmillan, 2003, pp81–108.
2 Chapters 146–154


7.87 The political party Sinn Féin also split into Provisional and Official organisations in January 1970. Again the reasons for the split are complex and beyond the scope of this report.

Violence and unrest in Londonderry and Belfast during 1970

7.88 There was initially a good relationship between the Army and many of the Catholic community in Londonderry, though this did not last long. To staunch republicans and some left wing radicals the presence of British troops in the city and their welcome by Catholics as their protectors was anathema.1

1 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, pp134–136; McCann, War and an Irish Town, p64.

7.89 The Army had started a “hearts and minds ” campaign in late 1969 but at the beginning of 1970 there were clashes with troops and further rioting.1 In the months up to Easter 1970 there were more frequent clashes between the troops and Catholic youths.2 Although this was followed by a period of relative calm, in June 1970 there was a three-day riot triggered by the arrest of Bernadette Devlin, the radical activist and Westminster MP, for her involvement in the Battle of the Bogside.3 In the course of this riot, the Army (as opposed to the RUC) used CS gas for the first time in Londonderry.4 The arrest of Bernadette Devlin brought to a head the growing resentment of many in the nationalist community in Londonderry at perceived miscarriages of justice in cases where Catholic youths were imprisoned for rioting as the result of contentious evidence given by soldiers.5

1 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, pp142–146.

2 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, pp145–150.

3 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, pp180–184.
4 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p184.

5 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, pp181–184 and 188–189; McCann, War and an Irish Town, pp81–82.


7.90 On 1st July 1970 the Criminal Justice (Temporary Provisions) Act (Northern Ireland) 1970 imposed a minimum sentence of six months’ imprisonment for the offence of riotous behaviour. This further alienated Catholic opinion in Londonderry.1

1 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, pp188–189; McCann, War and an Irish Town, p81.

7.91 Despite this measure, and the announcement of a six-month ban on processions in July 1970, which had the effect of prohibiting the annual Apprentice Boys’ Parade, unrest continued in Londonderry. There was heavy rioting in August following the contentious shooting of a Catholic teenager, Daniel O’Hagan, in Belfast,1 and then further rioting from October.2 This period also saw, in August 1970, the first shots fired at soldiers in Londonderry (in two isolated incidents that were not repeated until the following spring), and in September the first bomb attack in the city; by Christmas there had been six others.3

1 McKittrick, Kelters, Feeney and Thornton, Lost Lives, pp55–56; Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p202.

2 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, pp201–206, 212–214 and 218.
3 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, pp205–206.


7.92 Although this part of the report is principally concerned with events in Londonderry it should be noted that in the summer of 1970 republican paramilitaries became active in the use of deadly violence in Belfast.1 During rioting there on the weekend of 27–28th June 1970, republican paramilitaries shot and killed five men they claimed had attacked Catholic areas, two of them in an incident centred on St Matthew’s Roman Catholic Church in the Short Strand area of East Belfast that became celebrated in republican circles as a demonstration of armed republicans resuming their role as defender of their community. In addition, one Catholic man was fatally wounded and another seriously wounded in the St Matthew’s Church incident. During the same weekend, a Protestant was fatally wounded by a missile thrown during rioting in the Crumlin Road area.2

1 We often use the phrase “republican paramilitaries ” here and throughout this report in order to denote incidents in which it is either not clear or not relevant whether the Official or Provisional IRA were involved, though it should be noted that where we are referring to or summarising the evidence of witnesses who have themselves referred simply to “the IRA ” we generally use their description.
2 McKittrick, Kelters, Feeney and Thornton, Lost Lives, pp49–52; McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, p61; Moloney, Secret History of the IRA, pp89–90; English, Armed Struggle, p135.


7.93 In July 1970 the British Army imposed a curfew and house-to-house searches in the Lower Falls district of Belfast. During the curfew there were gun battles between the soldiers and members of both the Provisional and the Official IRA. The search uncovered 100 firearms as well as bombs, explosives and ammunition, but involved rigorous searches of housing and businesses and considerable damage to property. Four civilians were killed, one crushed by an Army vehicle. Later in July a soldier shot dead a Catholic teenager in north Belfast in disputed circumstances. These events served to increase and intensify the hostility felt by many in the Catholic population in Belfast towards the Army.1

1 McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, pp61–62; Hennessey, History of Northern Ireland, pp174–175; McKittrick, Kelters, Feeney and Thornton, Lost Lives, pp52–55; Moloney, Secret History of the IRA, pp90–91; English, Armed Struggle, pp135–136; Dewar, British Army in Northern Ireland, p47; Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, pp187–188.

7.94 On 12th August two RUC officers, Samuel Donaldson and Robert Millar, were mortally injured in South Armagh by a booby-trap bomb hidden in a stolen car. The two constables were the first two members of the RUC to be killed by republicans in the unrest.1

1 McKittrick, Kelters, Feeney and Thornton, Lost Lives, pp56–57.

Changes in the political situation in 1970

7.95 In June 1970 the Conservatives won the United Kingdom general election and Edward Heath succeeded Harold Wilson as Prime Minister. Reginald Maudling replaced James Callaghan at the Home Office, then the department responsible for Northern Ireland affairs. Both men were to remain in these posts throughout the period considered in this report.

7.96 1970 also saw the establishment of a new political party, the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP). The SDLP quickly emerged as the principal voice of constitutional nationalism in Northern Ireland, eclipsing the old Nationalist Party. Prominent SDLP politicians included Gerry Fitt, the party’s first leader, John Hume, Austin Currie and Ivan Cooper.1

1 Elliott and Flackes, Political Directory, p446.

Events during the first six months of 1971

7.97 The security situation in Northern Ireland continued to deteriorate in the early months of 1971 and violence increased in Londonderry, while social, political and generational tensions grew within the Catholic community. These were examined by the historian Niall Ó Dochartaigh in his book, From Civil Rights to Armalites: Derry and the Birth of the Irish Troubles, an extract from which we reproduce here:1

“The political changes in Derry since 1968 had had major social effects on local youths. The experience of rioting and of constant conflict had created a ‘hero’ mentality among young males, a desire to prove themselves through confrontation with the army and the RUC. It has also, in weakening the authority of the police and the state, weakened all other forms of authority. In other arenas of even greater civil disorder it has been noted that the concept of authority itself loses much of its meaning when state authority begins to be perceived as a hostile force. In Derry, this was reflected among the young by the fact that local youth groups found them more difficult to work with, less inclined to accept the authority of adults and more connected to militant groups which were willing to work with the young and give them a measure of authority. In Derry, it was the Provisionals and the Official Republicans who were most welcoming to the radicalised youth. In Derry, the rioters were regarded by the army, and by many conservative Catholics, as ‘hooligans’, that is, they were not seen to be politically motivated, but simply to have lost respect for authority, for ‘law and order’, and their actions were seen as ‘criminal’ rather than ‘political’.

The fact is that rioting was both political and criminal; it was part of a process of politicisation and also part of the rejection of law and order in general by many youths. For, at the same time as many of these youths were becoming involved with the Labour party, and the Official or Provisional Republicans, and youth participation in militant politics in Derry was increasing rapidly, the rate of ordinary crime and vandalism in the city was also soaring. Derry as a city, prior to 1968, had had a famously low rate of crime, commented upon by judges, clergy, politicians and visiting academics. In the course of 1970 there were increasingly frequent break-ins and burglaries and an increase in vandalism which reached epidemic proportions. This rapid increase in crime and vandalism was seen by many conservative Catholics as linked with the rioting and civil disorder in the city...

[E]ven in early 1971, there were important sections of the Catholic community who had effectively accepted the limited reform package [of the Unionist Government], who were willing to work with the RUC and still accepted the army as an essentially benevolent presence. They were organising within the community against crime but also against political forces which they saw as promoting destabilisation of society and the state … In a very real sense, they were committed to accepting the authority of the state. The reason they did not make more of an impact has a great deal to do with the decline of the authority of both church and state and with the fact that many people, young and old, including sections of the Nationalist party and the SDLP, were beginning to view the army as an aggressive force, not deserving of support. ”


1 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, pp213–214.

7.98 Minor disturbances took place on a weekly basis in Londonderry throughout the first six months of 1971, with larger-scale rioting also occurring intermittently.1 Contemporary Army documents reported “vicious rioting by about 50 young hooligans ” over the Easter weekend, followed by a period of relatively minor and isolated incidents of stone-throwing and petrol-bombing, before the level of street violence again increased towards the end of June.2

1 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p209.
2 G1.1-1.2 8th Infantry Brigade Op Directive No 3/71, 2nd July 1971; G1AC.19.1.13 Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) Special Assessment, 24th June 1971.


7.99 On the night of 6th February 1971 in Belfast, republican paramilitaries killed the first serving soldier, Gunner Robert Curtis, and the Army shot and killed the first member of either the Provisional or Official IRA, James Saunders, a Provisional volunteer, since the beginning of the unrest. A civilian was also killed on the same night, and another soldier was fatally wounded.1 Later the same month, five civilians were killed in County Tyrone by an IRA bomb apparently intended for soldiers, and two policemen were shot and killed in North Belfast.2 In March, a Catholic man was shot dead by the Army in disputed circumstances in West Belfast,3 a Provisional IRA volunteer was killed apparently by Official IRA gunmen,4 and three off-duty Scottish soldiers, two of them teenage brothers, were shot dead by republican paramilitaries on a mountain road overlooking Belfast.5

1 McKittrick, Kelters, Feeney and Thornton, Lost Lives, pp52–65 and 67; McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, p64; English, Armed Struggle, p137; Tírghrá Commemoration Committee, Tírghrá: Ireland’s Patriot Dead, Dublin: Republican Publications, 2002, p11.

2 McKittrick, Kelters, Feeney and Thornton, Lost Lives pp66–68; McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, p64.

3 McKittrick, Kelters, Feeney and Thornton, Lost Lives, p69.
4 McKittrick, Kelters, Feeney and Thornton, Lost Lives, pp69–70; Tírghrá Commemoration Committee, Tírghrá, p12.

5 McKittrick, Kelters, Feeney and Thornton, Lost Lives, pp70–72; McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, pp64–65; Moloney, Secret History of the IRA, p97, English, Armed Struggle, pp137–138.


7.100 In Londonderry, Lance Corporal William Jolliffe was killed on 1st March 1971. He had been travelling in a Land Rover that crashed after being hit by petrol bombs while on patrol in the Bogside, and he died as a result of inhaling a high concentration of chemicals from fire extinguishers that were used to put out the resulting fire. Two other soldiers were dragged from the vehicle by local residents and taken to a house, where they were cared for until an ambulance arrived. Lance Corporal Jolliffe was the first soldier to be killed in Londonderry in the Troubles. The incident that led to the death of Lance Corporal Jolliffe was condemned by, among others, John Hume and the Catholic Bishop of Derry.1

1 McKittrick, Kelters, Feeney and Thornton, Lost Lives, pp68–69; Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p219.

7.101 On 20th March 1971 Major Chichester-Clark resigned after Westminster had rejected his wide-ranging request for tougher security measures, offering only an extra 1,300 troops. Brian Faulkner succeeded him as Prime Minister of Northern Ireland after defeating William Craig in an election for leadership of the Unionist Party.1 The new Prime Minister brought into his government both liberal and hard-line unionists, as well as David Bleakley, a former Northern Ireland Labour Party chairman and MP, who became the first non-unionist minister to serve in a Stormont government.2

1 McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, p65; Bew and Gillespie, Chronology of the Troubles, p34; Hennessey, History of Northern Ireland, p189.
2 Elliott and Flackes, Political Directory, p183; Faulkner, Memoirs, p84; McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, p66; Bew and Gillespie, Chronology of the Troubles, p34.


7.102 In June, Brian Faulkner proposed the setting up of new committees, to sit alongside the existing Public Accounts Committee, overseeing social services, the environment and industry, with opposition members chairing two of them.1 This proposal was greeted favourably, albeit cautiously, by the SDLP.2

1 Faulkner, Memoirs, pp103–104; Hennessey, History of Northern Ireland, pp190–192; McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, p66; Bew and Gillespie, Chronology of the Troubles, p34.
2 G2AA.23.1.2 Minutes of the Ministerial Committee on Northern Ireland, 6th July 1971; Faulkner, Memoirs, pp103–104; Hennessey, History of Northern Ireland, p192; Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p230.


7.103 Brian Faulkner, like Major Chichester-Clark before him, pressed the United Kingdom Government and the Army for a tougher military response to the unrest. After a bomb attack on a Belfast police station that killed a soldier seeking to shield people from the blast, he announced in Stormont in May 1971 that “any soldier seeing any person with a weapon or seeing any person acting suspiciously may fire either to warn or may fire with effect, depending on the circumstances and without waiting for orders from anyone ”.1

1 G1AAC.19.1.1.12 Minutes of the Defence and Oversea Policy Committee, 26th May 1971; McKittrick, Kelters, Feeney and Thornton, Lost Lives, p74; Bew and Gillespie, Chronology of the Troubles, p35; Faulkner, Memoirs, pp100–101; Hennessey, History of Northern Ireland, p192; McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, p66.

7.104 Ministers in the United Kingdom Government were alarmed and dismayed by this comment. In a meeting of the (United Kingdom) Defence and Oversea Policy Committee on 26th May 1971, the Minister of State for Defence, Lord Balniel, said that: “This statement was inaccurate. Soldiers were not free to open fire unless they had reason to believe that a weapon was about to be used for offensive purposes and that life was in danger. Moreover, shots were not authorised to be fired as a warning. ” It was agreed at the meeting that, in order to avoid the impression that there was any divergence of opinion between the United Kingdom Government and Brian Faulkner, arrangements should be made for the latter to “issue a very early statement correcting the comment … and making it clear that the rules governing the use of firearms by troops were as had been stated in the Committee’s discussion ”.1

1 G1AAC.19.1.1.12 Minutes of the Defence and Oversea Policy Committee, 26th May 1971.

7.105 Brian Faulkner’s announcement was regarded by many on the nationalist side as seeking to justify in advance shooting by soldiers in contentious circumstances.1

1 Hennessey, History of Northern Ireland, p192.

7.106 Those contentious circumstances soon arrived.

The shooting of Seamus Cusack and Desmond Beattie

7.107 As already noted, in Londonderry by June 1971 there was increasing street violence, but nothing on the scale of the unrest and paramilitary activity in Belfast. However on 4th July 1971 there was gunfire in the city (the first for some months) directed at Army posts.1 In the days following there was rioting and further gunfire was directed at soldiers2 and though contemporary security reports considered that this did not amount to evidence of a planned campaign by the Provisional IRA,3 this view later changed.4

1 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, pp202–204 and p232; G2A.23.1-6 8th Infantry Brigade Intelligence Summary No 74, 7th July 1971; G27.196 8th Infantry Brigade Op Directive No 4/71, 10th November 1971.

2 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p232; G2A.23.1-6 8th Infantry Brigade Intelligence Summary No 74, 7th July 1971; G27.196 8th Infantry Brigade Op Directive No 4/71, 10th November 1971.
3 G2A.23.6 8th Infantry Brigade Intelligence Summary No 74, 7th July 1971.

4 G2C.23.12 HQNI Intelligence Summary No 28/71, 15th July 1971; G3B.48.9-10 8th Infantry Brigade Intelligence Summary No 75, 7th July 1971; G27.196 8th Infantry Brigade Op Directive No 4/71, 10th November 1971.


7.108 In the early hours of 8th July 1971 a soldier shot a Catholic man, Seamus Cusack, in the thigh. Seamus Cusack was taken across the border to Letterkenny Hospital in Donegal, because it was feared that he would be arrested for riotous behaviour if taken to Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry. He died of loss of blood shortly after arrival.1

1 Gifford Report, Report of the Inquiry into the Circumstances Surrounding the Deaths of Seamus Cusack and George Desmond Beattie, London: Northern Ireland Socialist Research Centre, 1971, pp10–20; Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p232.

7.109 Later that day there was further rioting that, at least in part, was in response to the shooting of Seamus Cusack.1 Bombs were thrown at Army vehicles, and in the resulting explosions four soldiers were injured. A few seconds later another Catholic man, Desmond Beattie, was shot and killed by a soldier.2

1 G3B.48.3 8th Infantry Brigade Intelligence Summary No 75, 17th July 1971; Gifford Report, pp28–30.
2 G3B.48.2-3 8th Infantry Brigade Intelligence Summary No 75, 17th July 1971; Gifford Report, pp28–30; Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, pp232–233; Hennessey, History of Northern Ireland, p192; McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, p66.


7.110 The Army claimed that Seamus Cusack had been aiming a rifle and Desmond Beattie had been about to throw a nail bomb.1 Local people vehemently denied this and insisted that both men were unarmed.2 An unofficial inquiry chaired by Lord Gifford, in which the Army did not participate, concluded that both men had been unarmed when shot.3 In a subsequent civil case Mr Justice Gibson held that Seamus Cusack was probably not armed, but had been taking part in a violent riot and was equally to blame for what happened.4

1 G3B.48.2-3 8th Infantry Brigade Intelligence Summary No 75, 17 July 1971; Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, pp232–233.

2 Gifford Report, pp20–22 and pp32–34.
3 Gifford Report, pp21–22 and p40.

4 McKittrick, Kelters, Feeney and Thornton, Lost Lives, p76.


7.111 These two deaths, the first in Londonderry resulting from Army gunfire since the soldiers had arrived on the streets in 1969, and what the local nationalist population regarded as a cover-up by the Army and the United Kingdom Government of illegal shooting of innocent men, destroyed much of what remained of the goodwill felt by this community towards the Army.1 More riots followed and local people in the Bogside and the Creggan erected barricades.2 Large crowds attacked the Army and police post at Bligh’s Lane in the Creggan area of the city for several days, with some setting fire to buildings in the complex.3 There were also several shooting incidents.4

1 E6.0043 Professor Arthur’s report to this Inquiry; G3B.48.13 8th Infantry Brigade Intelligence Summary No 75, 17th July 1971; G27.197 8th Infantry Brigade Op Directive No 4/71, 10th November 1971.

2 G3B.48.2-13 8th Infantry Brigade Intelligence Summary No 75, 17th July 1971.
3 G3B.48.2-13 8th Infantry Brigade Intelligence Summary No 75, 17th July 1971.

4 G3B.48.2-13 8th Infantry Brigade Intelligence Summary No 75, 17th July 1971.


7.112 The SDLP, under pressure from the nationalist community, threatened to withdraw from the Stormont Parliament unless the Government set up an independent inquiry into the deaths of Seamus Cusack and Desmond Beattie. No inquiry was forthcoming and the SDLP left Stormont on 16th July 1971, so in effect ending Brian Faulkner’s attempt to involve the elected representatives of the minority community in the governance of Northern Ireland through the proposed new government committees.1

1 E6.0043-44 Professor Arthur’s report to this Inquiry; G3A.48.1 Extract from Home Office Memorandum, “Northern Ireland: Political Summary for the Period 16th–22nd July 1971 ”, 23rd July 1971; Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p235; Hennessey, History of Northern Ireland, pp192–193; Routledge, John Hume, pp101–103; Bew and Gillespie, Chronology of the Troubles, pp35–36; McCann, War and an Irish Town, pp90–91.

7.113 On 24th July 1971 a nine-year-old boy was accidentally killed in the Bogside when an Army truck struck him. There followed a further week of fierce rioting, during the course of which buildings were burned and there were incidents of shooting and bombing.1

1 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p234; G3CA.48.14.2 Special Assessment approved by the Joint Intelligence Committee, 29th July 1971.

7.114 The increased level of violence, and particularly fatal violence, in Northern Ireland in the period to the end of July 1971 is shown starkly by the figures in the book Lost Lives. In 1969, 18 people were killed in incidents related to the Troubles;1 in 1970 there were 28 deaths.2 In the first seven months of 1971, 31 people were killed.3,4

1 McKittrick, Kelters, Feeney and Thornton, Lost Lives, pp32–45.

2 McKittrick, Kelters, Feeney and Thornton, Lost Lives, pp48–59.

3 McKittrick, Kelters, Feeney and Thornton, Lost Lives, pp62–79.
4 These figures are taken from the individual accounts of these deaths given in McKittrick, Kelters, Feeney and Thornton, Lost Lives. However, it should be noted that elsewhere in the book, the authors cite different figures – 19 for 1969 (p31, p1494), 29 for 1970 (p47, p1494). We consider Lost Lives to be the most authoritative source for such information, although any assessment of which deaths resulted from violence in the Troubles is to some degree subjective
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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 1

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 10:41

Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry
- Volume I - Chapter 8



The period from August to December 1971
Chapter 8: The period from August to December 1971

Contents

Paragraph

Government and security structures 8.2

The relationship between the Army and the Royal Ulster Constabulary 8.29

Internment 8.35

Legality of the ban on marches 8.47

The response to internment 8.49

The period of containment 8.56

The treatment of internees 8.66

The tripartite talks 8.71

General Carver’s military appreciation of the security situation 8.77

The meeting between the British and Northern Irish Prime Ministers on
7th October 1971 8.89

Major General Ford’s Directive 8.100

The Northern Ireland Government’s Green Paper 8.106

Brigadier MacLellan’s Directive 8.110

The Yellow Card 8.121

The GEN 47 meeting on 11th November 1971 8.124

Edward Heath’s Guildhall speech 8.126

The visit of Harold Wilson to Northern Ireland 8.127

Further GEN 47 Committee meetings 8.132

The end of the containment phase in Londonderry 8.139

Major General Ford’s December 1971 visit to Londonderry 8.142

Reginald Maudling’s meeting at Headquarters Northern Ireland 8.161

General Carver’s visit to Northern Ireland 8.171

Meeting of the Ministry of Defence’s Northern Ireland Policy Group 8.180

Edward Heath’s visit to Londonderry 8.185

Proposals for a political initiative 8.186

The resumption of marches 8.193

8.1 The increase in violence led to discussions between the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland Governments regarding the possibility of introducing internment without trial. Before examining the debate and the decision that followed, it is necessary to set out the political and security structures then in place in Westminster and Stormont.

Government and security structures

8.2 The governance of Northern Ireland rested in the first instance with the Northern Ireland Government and the Parliament at Stormont to which it was responsible. However, as these bodies were created by the Parliament at Westminster, many, including Edward Heath in his written evidence to this Inquiry, felt that the United Kingdom Government (formally known as Her Majesty’s Government, or “HMG ”) “recognised a responsibility to all the citizens of Northern Ireland ”.1 As we consider later in this part of the report, London’s interest in, and influence on, the affairs of Northern Ireland increased significantly following the deployment of the Army in August 1969.

1 KH4.2

8.3 The highest decision-making body within the United Kingdom Government was the Cabinet. Although matters concerning Northern Ireland were discussed at meetings of the full Cabinet, the most significant forum for discussion and decision in the weeks and months preceding Bloody Sunday was the Cabinet Committee on Northern Ireland, known as the GEN 47 Committee, or just GEN 47. Like all such Cabinet committees, GEN 47 had delegated authority to take decisions on behalf of the Cabinet, and these decisions engaged the collective responsibility of the Government. At the time relevant to this report, the GEN 47 Committee comprised:

•Prime Minister: Rt Hon Edward Heath MP (chairman);
•Secretary of State for the Home Department: Rt Hon Reginald Maudling MP;
•Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: Rt Hon Sir Alec Douglas-Home MP;
•Chancellor of the Exchequer: Rt Hon Anthony Barber MP;
•Lord President of the Council: Rt Hon William Whitelaw MP; and
•Secretary of State for Defence: Rt Hon Lord Carrington.
8.4 The following senior officer and civil servants also attended meetings regularly:

•Chief of the General Staff (CGS): General Sir Michael Carver;
•Permanent Under Secretary of State, Foreign & Commonwealth Office: Sir Stewart Crawford;
•Permanent Under Secretary of State, the Home Department: Sir Philip Allen; and
•Permanent Under Secretary of State, the Ministry of Defence (MoD): Sir James Dunnett.
8.5 Other senior officials, such as Philip Woodfield, Arthur Hockaday and Donald Maitland, whose positions are explained below, were present at some meetings, often in place of their departmental permanent under secretaries.1 The General Officer Commanding (GOC) Northern Ireland, Lieutenant General Sir Harry Tuzo, and the United Kingdom Government Representative in Northern Ireland, Howard Smith, might also attend when in London. Sir Burke Trend, the Secretary to the Cabinet, and other civil servants provided the secretariat.

1 The Permanent Under Secretary is the most senior civil servant in a government department.

8.6 In addition to GEN 47, various other inter-departmental committees concerned themselves in whole or in part with the affairs of Northern Ireland. These included the Ministerial Committee on Northern Ireland (which pre-dated GEN 47 and generally comprised the same ministers and departments); the Defence and Oversea Policy Committee (which again involved many of the same senior ministers, but had a wider brief than the Northern Ireland committees); the Joint Intelligence Committee (which briefed ministers on intelligence matters relating to Northern Ireland); and the Official Committee on Northern Ireland, which was made up of senior civil servants and some military personnel, who met on a regular basis before GEN 47 meetings in order to discuss the issues that were likely to arise.

8.7 The Cabinet Secretary throughout the period that directly concerns this Inquiry was Sir Burke Trend. The Prime Minister’s Principal Private Secretary was Robert Armstrong, and his Chief Press Secretary was Donald Maitland. In January 1972, Arthur Hockaday moved from the MoD to the Cabinet Office to become Deputy Head of the Defence and Oversea Division of the Cabinet Secretariat, where his main responsibilities were defence and Northern Ireland.

8.8 Departmental responsibility for Northern Ireland lay at this time with the Home Office, where the Secretary of State was Reginald Maudling. Sir Philip Allen was the Permanent Under Secretary, and he also chaired the Official Committee on Northern Ireland. Philip Woodfield was the Assistant Permanent Under Secretary whose responsibilities included Northern Ireland.

8.9 Following the deployment of the Army to Northern Ireland in August 1969, two senior Westminster civil servants were stationed with the Northern Ireland Government in order to “represent the increased concern which the United Kingdom Government had necessarily acquired in Northern Ireland affairs through the commitment of the Armed Forces in the present conditions”.1 One of the posts created was that of the United Kingdom Representative. Between April 1971 and March 1973, the post was held by Howard Smith, who succeeded Oliver Wright and Ronald Burroughs. The United Kingdom Representative usually reported to the Home Secretary, but on occasions he would also attend inter-departmental ministerial committee meetings. At the time of Bloody Sunday, Howard Smith’s deputy was Frank Steele.

1 G0.11 Communiqué accompanying the Downing Street Declaration, 19th August 1969.

8.10 The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs was Sir Alec Douglas-Home. The most significant officials within his department in relation to the events discussed in this report were the Permanent Under Secretary, Sir Stewart Crawford, and the Head of the Republic of Ireland Department, Kelvin White. Sir John Peck was Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Ireland from April 1970 until February 1973.

8.11 The Armed Forces deployed in Northern Ireland remained under the authority of the MoD in London. This was a matter of great significance to the constitutional and political balance between the governments in Westminster and Stormont. The Secretary of State for Defence, Lord Carrington, was assisted by a number of junior ministers, including the Minister of State for Defence, Lord Balniel, who had responsibility for all three Armed Forces, and the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Army, Geoffrey Johnson-Smith MP. The Permanent Under Secretary at the MoD was Sir James Dunnett. Of the civil servants within the department, the most significant to this Inquiry include: Arthur Hockaday, the Assistant Under Secretary (General Staff) (AUS (GS)) until early January 1972 when he moved to the Cabinet Secretariat; his replacement as AUS (GS), Derek Stephen; and Anthony Stephens, the Head of Defence Secretariat 10 (DS10). The AUS (GS) was the civil service representative on the Chief of the General Staff’s management team, whose other members were senior Army personnel. Under the AUS (GS) were three divisions, DS6, DS7 and DS10, the last being a relatively new body established to deal exclusively with Northern Ireland. DS10 was intended to provide policy advice to ministers and military staff within the MoD, and to liaise with the Home Office and Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

8.12 The professional head of the Armed Forces at the time of Bloody Sunday was the Chief of the Defence Staff, Admiral of the Fleet Sir Peter Hill-Norton. The Chief of the General Staff (CGS), General Sir Michael Carver, was the professional head of the Army, and he sat with Admiral Hill-Norton, the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, the First Sea Lord (Chief of the Naval Staff) and the Chief of the Air Staff on the Chiefs of Staff Committee. Under General Carver were the structures of the Army’s General Staff, which worked with civilian civil servants in the MoD in the formulation, co-ordination and implementation of policy and operations. Lieutenant Colonel David Ramsbotham served as General Carver’s Military Assistant at this time. The Director of Military Operations, who was responsible to the CGS, was Major General Ronald Coaker. Colonel Henry Dalzell-Payne served under him as the Head of Military Operations Branch 4 (MO4), which was the section of the General Staff responsible for Northern Ireland. In this role he worked closely with Arthur Hockaday and Anthony Stephens.

8.13 The MoD’s Northern Ireland Policy Group (NIPG) brought together the relevant politicians, civil servants and military staff and constituted the department’s principal internal forum for discussion on issues relating to Northern Ireland. Relevant discussions also took place among officials at the Permanent Under Secretary’s morning meetings.

8.14 The Parliament and Government of Northern Ireland were governed by a similar combination of constitutional relationships and conventions as their counterparts in London. Brian Faulkner, who was Prime Minister of Northern Ireland from March 1971, chaired the Cabinet, whose Secretary at the time directly relevant to this report was Sir Harold Black. His deputy was Kenneth Bloomfield. The Prime Minister’s Principal Private Secretary was Robert Ramsay, and his most senior press officers were David Gilliland (Chief Press Officer) and Jack McNally.

8.15 Until the introduction of direct rule by Westminster in March 1972, the Stormont Government retained responsibility for the internal security of Northern Ireland, and it was the gravity of this issue that led Brian Faulkner to serve as minister for the responsible department, Home Affairs, as well as prime minister. He was assisted in his departmental duties by the Minister of State, John Taylor (later Lord Kilclooney), who also attended the Northern Ireland Cabinet, and after October 1971 by the Londonderry city MP, Commander Albert Anderson, who was the Senior Parliamentary Secretary. William Stout (a civil servant) was appointed by Brian Faulkner as the Government Security Adviser and head of the Government Security Unit.
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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 1

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 10:42

8.16 The Prime Minister of Northern Ireland chaired the Joint Security Committee (JSC), which in the months before Bloody Sunday comprised:

•Prime Minister of Northern Ireland: Rt Hon Brian Faulkner MP;
•Minister of State at the Ministry of Home Affairs: Rt Hon John Taylor MP;
•Senior Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs: Commander Albert Anderson MP;
•General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland (Army): Lieutenant General Sir Harry Tuzo;
•Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC): Sir Graham Shillington;
•Secretary to the Northern Ireland Cabinet: Sir Harold Black;
•Government Security Adviser: William Stout; and
•United Kingdom Government Representative: Howard Smith.
8.17 Other prominent figures, such as the Commander Land Forces (CLF) Northern Ireland, received the minutes of the meeting, and attended from time to time. John Taylor would chair the meetings in the Prime Minister’s absence. The secretary to the committee was Thomas Cromey, a civil servant.

8.18 The JSC had a somewhat ill-defined function, and witnesses to this Inquiry have given differing accounts of its precise role. To some in London it was the body that was responsible for taking executive decisions on security matters within Northern Ireland.1However, the evidence to this Inquiry of many of those who prepared or participated in the meetings suggests that the committee did not so much make decisions as approve them. The JSC provided a forum for discussion, debate and the exchange of information between politicians, officials and the security forces and as such it played an important role in the governance of Northern Ireland. However, on significant operational matters the committee seems to have accepted recommendations that had emerged from earlier meetings between the GOC, the Chief Constable and the Prime Minister. In effect, JSC ratification was the last stage in the security policy process, but as such it was often the only part seen by those, such as politicians and civil servants in London, who had not been directly involved.2

1 KC8.7 Statement to this Inquiry of General Carver;
KC10.2 Statement to this Inquiry of Lord Crawford; G74.457 “Proposed March in Londonderry ”, submission of Anthony Stephens to the Secretary of State for Defence, 26th January 1972 (but see KS3.111-112 Statement to this Inquiry of Anthony Stephens and Day 273/13-14 Oral evidence to this Inquiry of Anthony Stephens).
2 KK3.2 Statement to this Inquiry of John Taylor;
Day 196/14-17 Oral evidence to this Inquiry of John Taylor; KB1.3 Statement to this Inquiry of Kenneth Bloomfield; Day 216/46-47 Oral evidence to this Inquiry of Kenneth Bloomfield; KR1.5 Statement to this Inquiry of Robert Ramsay; Day 215/13-14, Day 215/128,
Day 215/96-99 Oral evidence to this Inquiry of Robert Ramsay; KC15.10-11 Statement to this Inquiry of Brian Cummings; Day 253/14-16 Oral evidence to this Inquiry of General Ford.


8.19 The formal constitutional responsibility for internal security matters lay with the Northern Ireland Government, but the most significant of the available forces, the Army, which had been deployed “in support of the constitutional civil authority ”1remained under the ultimate control of the United Kingdom Government and Parliament. Elsewhere in this report2we discuss in more detail the process by which security policy in Northern Ireland was made and the constitutional and legal position of the Army in Northern Ireland at the time of Bloody Sunday.

1 V58 Extract from Hansard, Oral answers of the Minister of State for Defence, 17th February 1972.
2 Chapters 193–196


8.20 The GOC exercised command of the Army in Northern Ireland and, as we have already noted, Lieutenant General Sir Harry Tuzo filled this post during the period with which we are concerned. He was responsible, through the CGS (General Carver) and the Chief of the Defence Staff (Admiral Hill-Norton), to the MoD and hence to Westminster. In Northern Ireland, the GOC also fulfilled the role of the Director of Operations, in which he was instructed to exercise operational command of all land forces (including the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR)), as well as certain naval and air forces. The GOC’s responsibilities with regard to the RUC are discussed below. We consider below and elsewhere in this report1 the GOC’s role in the formulation of security policy in Northern Ireland, and his relationship with the governments in London and Stormont.

1 Chapters 193–196

8.21 The GOC chaired the Director of Operations Committee (D Ops Committee), which had responsibility for discussing, planning and co-ordinating security operations. At the time of Bloody Sunday, this comprised:

•General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland: Lieutenant General Sir Harry Tuzo;
•Commander Land Forces Northern Ireland: Major General Robert Ford;
•Director of Intelligence: David (surname withheld for security reasons);
•Chief Constable of the RUC: Sir Graham Shillington;
•Assistant Chief Constable (Operations) RUC: David Corbett;
•Head of Special Branch: David Johnston; and
•Chief of Staff, Headquarters Northern Ireland (HQNI): Brigadier Marston Tickell.
8.22 There is some dispute as to whether other figures, such as the Government Security Adviser, William Stout, and the United Kingdom Government Representative, Howard Smith, were permanent members of this committee, or merely attended some meetings, though it seems to us likely that the latter at least was a permanent member.1 Major INQ 18692 served as secretary from February 1971. The committee generally met on a Wednesday, before the JSC meetings on Thursday.

1 G116B.771.11 Annex to JSC report on events in Londonderry, 5th February 1972, Northern Ireland Chain of Command.
2 This is the cipher used by the Inquiry to preserve the anonymity of this soldier.


8.23 The CLF worked closely with, and in effect as deputy to, the GOC, and both were based at HQNI in Lisburn, County Antrim. General Robert Ford replaced General Anthony Farrar-Hockley in this post from 29th July 1971.1 The CLF had responsibility for the day-to-day conduct of Army operations in Northern Ireland. General Ford and senior staff officers would attend General Tuzo’s “morning prayers ” (informal discussions which were not minuted)2 and, on at least three occasions a week, the GOC and the CLF would meet privately, including for talks before D Ops Committee meetings.3

1 B1208.019 Statement to this Inquiry of General Ford.

2 Day 244/113 Oral evidence to this Inquiry of Brigadier Tickell; Day 241/199 Oral evidence to this Inquiry of Colonel Tugwell.
3 Day 253/13 Oral evidence to this Inquiry of General Ford.


8.24 The Director of Intelligence, David, was a member of the Security Service who held the equivalent rank of Major General. His role was to co-ordinate the intelligence-gathering efforts of the various elements of the security forces in Northern Ireland. David oversaw a department consisting of other Security Service officers and military personnel, and he liaised closely with the RUC, especially Special Branch.1 He was in regular contact with General Tuzo and General Ford.2

1 KD2.1 Statement to this Inquiry of David. 2 Day 330/4 Oral evidence to this Inquiry of David.

8.25 Beyond HQNI, Northern Ireland was divided into three brigade areas. At the time of Bloody Sunday the three brigades were: 39th Infantry Brigade (39 Inf Bde), based in Belfast under the command of Brigadier Frank Kitson; 5th Airportable Brigade (5 Airptbl Bde), based in Lurgan, which had replaced 19th Airportable Brigade (19 Airptbl Bde) during the autumn of 1971; and 8th Infantry Brigade, based in Londonderry, under Brigadier Patrick MacLellan, who took up his command on 27th October 1971 in succession to Brigadier Alan Cowan.
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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 1

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 10:43

8.26 Each of the brigades was formed by a number of battalions and regiments and a Brigade Staff. At the time of Bloody Sunday, 8th Infantry Brigade had under its command 2nd Battalion, The Royal Green Jackets (2 RGJ), 1st Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment (1 R ANGLIAN), 1st Battalion, The Coldstream Guards (1 CG) and 22nd Light Air Defence Regiment, Royal Artillery (22 Lt AD Regt). 1st Battalion, The Parachute Regiment (1 PARA) was the Reserve Battalion for Brigadier Kitson’s 39th Infantry Brigade. In addition to the battalions and regiments that made up each brigade, there was a Province Reserve; 1st Battalion, The King’s Own Royal Border Regiment (1 KOB) became operational in this role on 15th January 1972.1

1 G133A.904.4 Historical Record, 1st Battalion, The King’s Own Royal Border Regiment.

8.27 The RUC, Northern Ireland’s police force, was under the command of the Chief Constable (previously the Inspector-General), a position held between November 1970 and November 1973 by Sir Graham Shillington. At the time of Bloody Sunday, the Assistant Chief Constable (Operations), David Corbett, and the Head of Special Branch, David Johnston, sat with the Chief Constable on the D Ops Committee. Like the Army, the RUC divided Northern Ireland into geographical areas of responsibility, to which were designated letters. Division “N ” included Londonderry, and was under the command of Chief Superintendent Frank Lagan.

8.28 The Chief Constable reported to the Government of Northern Ireland, and the RUC was part of the civil authority in support of which the Army was deployed from August 1969.

The relationship between the Army and the Royal Ulster Constabulary

8.29 Elsewhere in this report1we consider in greater detail the division of responsibilities between the Army and the RUC and the submissions made to this Inquiry on this topic. The following paragraphs provide an overview.

1 Chapters 193–196

8.30 The relationship between the RUC and the Army was addressed very shortly after the initial deployment of troops to Northern Ireland, at the meeting that took place on 19th August 1969 between the then Prime Ministers, Harold Wilson and Major James Chichester-Clark, and their senior ministers.1 The communiqué that was issued after the meeting included the following statement:2

“It was agreed that the GOC Northern Ireland will with immediate effect assume overall responsibility for security operations [emphasis added]. He will continue to be responsible directly to the Ministry of Defence but will work in the closest co-operation with the Northern Ireland Government and the Inspector-General of the Royal Ulster Constabulary [then the chief officer of the RUC]. For all security operations the GOC will have full control of the deployment and tasks of the Royal Ulster Constabulary [emphasis added]. For normal police duties outside the field of security the Royal Ulster Constabulary will remain answerable to the Inspector-General who will be responsible to the Northern Ireland Government. ”

1 As is described above, it was this meeting that led to the publication of the Downing Street Declaration.
2 G0.10, G37C.252.6 “Responsibility for Law and Order in Northern Ireland ”, a note by the Chairman of the Official Committee, 10th December 1971.


8.31 In October 1969, as a result of representations by the then chief officer of the RUC, Sir Arthur Young, this arrangement was modified. The Directive that defined the GOC’s role as Director of Operations was amended so that he was made responsible, not for full control, but for the “co-ordination of the tasking of the RUC ” in relation to “security operations ”.1

1 G37C.252.6

8.32 The responsibility of the GOC for such “co-ordination ” was reaffirmed in a revised Directive issued by the Acting Chief of the Defence Staff to the GOC in February 1971, which continued to have effect at the time of Bloody Sunday.1 This Directive defined “security operations ” as:2

“relating to internal and external security and cover[ing]:

a. The execution of operations necessary to counter action, whether covert or overt, aimed at subverting the security of the State.

b. The action necessary for the protection of life and property in case of actual or apprehended civil commotion. ”


The Directive also reiterated that: “Outside the security field you will have no responsibility for normal police duties, for which the Chief Constable will remain responsible to the Northern Ireland Government. ”3

1 G1AAB.19.1.1.8-10; FS10.342

2 G1AAB.19.1.1.8
3 G1AAB.19.1.1.10


8.33 As we discuss in detail elsewhere in this report,1 we broadly accept the following summary of the relationship between the Army and the RUC given by Kenneth Bloomfield, the Deputy Secretary to the Northern Ireland Cabinet at the time of Bloody Sunday, in his oral evidence to this Inquiry:2

“Q: Can you tell us what that meant in effect: did it mean that the RUC were subject to – I do not know what is the right word – supervision, control, whatever, of the GOC?

A: No, I think it was a more sophisticated situation than that. I think what it meant was that the Army would be in the lead in considering how to handle what you might describe as the security situation, but you know, they would try to treat the RUC as a reasonably equal partner. Clearly, they had a tremendous input to make into that sort of situation from their local knowledge, but at the end of the day it would be for the GOC ultimately, or for officers responsible, to say ‘look, we have listened to all of this, we have discussed all of this, now this is how we are going to handle it’. ”


1 Chapters 193 and 194 2Day 216/36

8.34 There was another aspect of the relationship between the Army and the RUC, namely that relating to the investigation by the Royal Military Police (RMP), rather than the RUC, of possible criminal offences by soldiers in Northern Ireland. We consider this matter elsewhere in this report.1

1 Paragraphs 194.9–16

Internment

8.35 The Northern Ireland Government had the constitutional power to introduce internment without trial and in theory could have done so without the agreement of the United Kingdom Government. However, in view of the involvement of the Army with security in Northern Ireland, and the fact that this force would in all probability be needed to guard internees, it was accepted by both governments that internment would not be introduced without such agreement.1

1 G4.49 Text of a message from the Home Secretary to Brian Faulkner, 4th August 1971; G4A.49.2-3 GEN 47 minutes, 5th August 1971.

8.36 The question of introducing internment without trial had been under consideration for some time.1The United Kingdom Government was initially opposed to the idea, and was minded to wait until after the annual Apprentice Boys’ Parade (due to take place in Londonderry on 12th August 1971) before making a decision on the issue.2However, the increasing terrorist violence in July 1971 put great pressure on Brian Faulkner to introduce this measure, and he sought the agreement of the United Kingdom Government to taking this course.3

1 Faulkner, Memoirs, p117; G3A.48.1 Extract from Home Office Memorandum, “Northern Ireland: Political Summary for the Period 16th – 22nd July 1971 ”, 23rd July 1971.

2 G3D.48.18 Minutes of the Defence and Oversea Policy Committee, 3rd August 1971.
3 G3BA.48.13.1 Letter from Anthony Stephens to PL Gregson, 21st July 1971; G4A.49.2 GEN 47 minutes, 5th August 1971; G5.50 Note of a Meeting at 10 Downing Street on 5th August 1971; G3D.48.18-20 Minutes of the Defence and Oversea Policy Committee, 3rd August 1971.
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8.37 The view expressed in July 1971 by the GOC, General Tuzo, was that the arguments against internment were very strong and that other measures should be tried first.1The United Kingdom Secretary of State for Defence, Lord Carrington, was reported to be in agreement with General Tuzo on this point.2The other measures included continually harassing known leading IRA activists.3The Army had previously planned an operation (code-named Operation Hailstone) to lure out, engage and arrest terrorists and hooligans in the area above the Bligh’s Lane Army and police post in Londonderry.4This operation would have involved bringing 1 PARA to Londonderry for the first time. This battalion arrived on the outskirts of the city on 17th July, but the operation was ultimately abandoned and 1 PARA, who had not entered the city, returned to Belfast without incident.5

1 G3BA.48.13.1 Letter from Anthony Stephens to PL Gregson, 21st July 1971.

2 G3BA.48.13.1 Letter from Anthony Stephens to PL Gregson, 21st July 1971.

3 G3BA.48.13.1-2, G3BC.48.13.8 Letter from Anthony Stephens to PL Gregson, 21st July 1971.
4 G3.24-41 Operation Hailstone, HQ 8 Infantry Brigade, 16th July 1971.

5 G3.42-48 Operation Hailstone, HQ 8 Infantry Brigade, 16th July 1971; CJ1.1, CJ1.9 Statement to this Inquiry of Captain Mike Jackson.


8.38 There was also the problem of deciding what to do about the traditional Apprentice Boys’ Parade, due to be held on 12th August 1971. Some senior Army officers in Londonderry were by now expressing the view that the shooting incidents starting on 4th July marked the beginning of a campaign by the IRA intended to pressurise the Stormont Government into banning this march.1 However, an intelligence report for HQNI put a different interpretation on the renewed violence, namely that it was in order to gain support from the nationalist community in Londonderry.2The view expressed by the GOC in early August was that the Army was not recommending on military grounds the banning of the Apprentice Boys’ Parade.3

1 G27.196 8th Infantry Brigade OP Directive 4/71, 10th November 1971.

2 G2C.23.12 HQNI Intelligence Summary No. 28/71, 15th July 1971.
3 G4.49 Text of a message from the Home Secretary to Brian Faulkner, 4th August 1971.


8.39 On 5th August 1971 the GEN 47 Committee met to consider the situation. It would appear from the minutes of this meeting that the initial unfavourable view of internment was now changing, in view of the fact that a refusal to agree on the part of the United Kingdom Government would be very likely to render Brian Faulkner’s position untenable.1By this time, the members of GEN 47 appear to have accepted that the Faulkner administration represented the last chance for Stormont and that if he fell it was almost inevitable that the Northern Ireland Government would have to be replaced with direct rule from Westminster, something that the United Kingdom Government wished to avoid if possible.2

1 G4A.49.1-4
2 G1AA.19.1.1 Report from H Smith to the Home Secretary, 10th June 1971; G3BB.48.13.5 Minutes of the Cabinet Ministerial Committee on Northern Ireland, 27th July 1971; G3BC.48.13.10 Confidential annex to the minutes of the Ministerial Committee on Northern Ireland, 29th July 1971; KH4.5 Statement to this Inquiry of Edward Heath.


8.40 The minutes of the GEN 47 meeting record the following discussion about the merits of introducing internment:1

“In discussion it was agreed that the current military measures involved a relatively long campaign; internment, if it was effective would bring more immediate results. In deciding whether we should agree to its immediate use, it had to be borne in mind that it was the last action available to us short of direct rule. It could not be argued that internment would enable Mr Faulkner to carry on his Administration indefinitely. On the other hand, it seemed inevitable that internment would have to be used sooner or later. If we agreed to its use before 12 August, it could be accompanied by a prohibition on all processions, and it could then be represented as part of a comprehensive policy for maintaining public order and not directed against any particular section of the community. If Mr Faulkner were at his meeting that afternoon formally to seek our agreement to the use of internment, and we were to refuse it, the fact would become known, and Mr Faulkner’s political position would become

impossible. Direct rule would then almost inevitably follow, and in that event we ourselves were likely to want to use the power of internment; it would be better if we had allowed the Northern Ireland Government to use the power of internment earlier. These were arguments for agreeing at once to the use of internment coupled with a prohibition of all processions before 12 August.

In further discussion it was observed that the use of internment would have international implications. It would involve entering a further derogation from the European Convention on Human Rights, and it was not impossible that the situation in Northern Ireland would be brought before the United Nations. It was also to be expected that retaliatory action by the IRA would not be confined to Ireland; hostages might be taken in Great Britain. ”


1 G4A.49.1-4

8.41 Prime Minister Edward Heath summed up the conclusion of the meeting in the following terms:

“THE PRIME MINISTER, summing up the discussion, said that, although a refusal to accede to a demand made that afternoon by Mr Faulkner for our agreement to the use of internment would seriously damage his political position, it had at the same time to be borne in mind that the United Kingdom Government would be bearing the effective responsibility for the act. The full implications of a resort to internment ought to be put before Mr Faulkner and it was undesirable that a decision on the use of internment should be taken before the matter had been thoroughly discussed with him. He himself, accompanied by the Home Secretary and the Secretary of State for Defence would see Mr Faulkner that afternoon. The fact that the meeting was taking place should not be made public. ”
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8.42 In the afternoon of the same day Edward Heath, together with the Home, Foreign and Defence Secretaries, met Brian Faulkner in London. The upshot of this meeting was that the United Kingdom Government agreed to support internment provided there was a complete ban on all marches.1According to Edward Heath’s oral evidence to this Inquiry, Brian Faulkner was reluctant to accept this condition, and only did so because it was clear that, without it, the United Kingdom Government would not agree to internment.2Brian Faulkner himself recorded in his memoirs that he “readily accepted ” the ban.3The view of the United Kingdom Government was that if internment was accompanied with a ban on all marches in Northern Ireland, the measures could be represented as part of a comprehensive policy for maintaining public order and not directed against any particular section of the community.4

1 G5.50-52 Note of a meeting at 10 Downing Street, 5th August 1971.

2 Day 282/96

3 Faulkner, Memoirs, p120.
4 G3BC.48.13.9 Minutes of the Cabinet Ministerial Committee on Northern Ireland, 29th July 1971; G4A.49.3 GEN 47 minutes, 5th August 1971;
G5A.55.1-3 Note of a meeting at 10 Downing Street, 5th August 1971; G5.52 Note of a meeting at 10 Downing Street, 5th August 1971.


8.43 During this meeting the CGS, General Carver, and the GOC, General Tuzo, attended to express their view that internment could not be described as an essential measure in purely military terms, as they considered that the IRA could be defeated by the methods currently being used, though whether the likely timescale for this was acceptable was a political and not a military question. The Chief Constable of the RUC expressed the view that the time for internment had now arrived.1

1 G5.51 Note of a meeting at 10 Downing Street, 5th August 1971.

8.44 The decision to introduce internment was criticised during the present Inquiry. Those representing the family of Jim Wray, one of those killed on Bloody Sunday, submitted that the need for a formal derogation from the European Convention on Human Rights, the possibility of the situation in Northern Ireland being brought before the United Nations and the risk of IRA activity extending to Great Britain “were discussed more as an inconvenient consequence of the action rather than a measure of its gravity”. The same representatives described internment as a “monstrous violation of human rights ”.1It was submitted by those representing other families that internment represented an act of British “appeasement ” of the Northern Ireland Government.2

1 FS4.18 2 FS1.486-491

8.45 We have found nothing in the evidence to support the suggestion that internment was regarded as other than a grave step to take; or that its consequences were regarded as inconveniences rather than a measure of its gravity. On the contrary it seems to us that the records of the discussions show that the question of internment and its consequences were carefully and thoroughly considered.1The analysis of the United Kingdom Government was that unless internment was introduced Brian Faulkner and his government would fall, and that this would lead to the imposition of direct rule in circumstances where the United Kingdom Government would itself be likely to have to introduce internment.2It was to avoid such an outcome, not to “appease ” the Northern Ireland Government, which led the United Kingdom Government to agree to internment. Furthermore, the attitude of unionists in the face of Provisional and Official IRA campaigns of violence intended to lead to the end of partition was something that could not simply be ignored by the United Kingdom Government.

1 G3D.48.19 Confidential annex to the minutes of the Defence and Policy Committee, 3rd August 1971;
G4A.49.3 GEN 47 minutes, 5th August 1971; G5.51 Note of a meeting at 10 Downing Street, 5th August 1971.
2 G3BB.48.13.4-5 Memorandum by the Home Secretary, 27th July 1971; G4A.49.3 GEN 47 minutes, 5th August 1971; G4AA.49.6 Manuscript notes of GEN 47, 5th August 1971, from Sir Burke Trend’s minute book.


8.46 Internment was introduced under Regulation 12 of the Schedule to the Civil Authorities (Special Powers) Act (Northern Ireland) 1922.1Internment had been used before by both the Northern Ireland Government and the Republic of Ireland during the IRA campaign between 1956 and 1962. By the beginning of August 1971, however, the United Kingdom Government was made aware that, this time, the Republic of Ireland would not introduce a similar measure.2

1 LAW2.12 2G3D.48.18 Minutes of the Defence and Oversea Policy Committee, 3rd August 1971.

Legality of the ban on marches

8.47 At the same time as internment was introduced, the Stormont Government imposed a six-month ban on marches under section 2(2) of the Public Order Act (Northern Ireland) 1951.1Section 2(4) of that Act, a provision inserted by section 2 of the Public Order (Amendment) Act (Northern Ireland) 1970, made it an offence for a person knowingly to take part in a banned public procession. The Criminal Justice (Temporary Provisions) Act (Northern Ireland) 1970 provided that the minimum penalty for this offence was imprisonment for six months. The Criminal Justice (Temporary Provisions)(Amendment) Act (Northern Ireland) 1970 made certain exceptions to this and there were special provisions for juveniles under the age of 17, such as custody in a remand home, training schools, borstal or attendance centres instead of imprisonment. There had been previous bans on marches, the last of which had covered the period between July 1970 and January 1971.2

1 LAW6.1 2 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p190.

8.48 At this Inquiry it was submitted that the circumstances in which the Northern Ireland Government came to introduce a ban on marches in August 1971 raised the question of whether the ban fell outside the provisions of the Public Order Act and violated Articles 10 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights, on the grounds that it was introduced by the Government of Northern Ireland, not for genuine security reasons, but as the price to be paid for the agreement of the United Kingdom Government to internment.1It is neither necessary nor desirable in this report to express a view on these matters, which are essentially questions of law, since we have no evidence to suggest that any of those taking part in, or seeking to stop, the march on Bloody Sunday acted otherwise than in the belief that it had been legally banned, and since it is far from certain that all the relevant evidence, materials and arguments have been put before us.

1 FS10.271-296 Final submissions on behalf of NICRA; FS4.14-18 Final submissions made on behalf of the Wray family; FS1.510-515 Final submissions made by Madden & Finucane.

The response to internment

8.49 It had been intended to introduce internment on 10th August 1971 but fear that news of it might leak led to the operation (code-named Operation Demetrius) starting in the early hours of the previous day,1when 342 people were arrested in Northern Ireland as being suspected IRA terrorists or republican activists.2In the Londonderry area, 67 or 68 were detained out of 86 sought by the security services, of whom about 20 were arrested in the city itself.3

1 Michael Carver, Out of Step: Memoirs of a Field Marshal, London: Hutchinson, 1989, p409.

2 The Compton Committee, Report of the enquiry into allegations against the Security Forces of physical brutality in Northern Ireland arising out of events on the 9th August, 1971 (London: HMSO, 1971 Cmnd 4823), para 9.
3 G14A.86.003 Brigadier Cowan’s notes for the visit of the Secretary of State and the Prime Minister, 30th September 1971; G41.264 “Future Military Policy in Londonderry: An Appreciation by the CLF ”, 14th December 1971; Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, pp270–271; McCann, War and an Irish Town, p92.


8.50 The response to internment was immediate and, in many cases, violent. All but two of those arrested were Catholics, and both the non-Catholics were associated with the civil rights campaign or republican groups.1Although Brian Faulkner maintained that this was because only the Official IRA and the Provisional IRA were then involved in an organised and systematic campaign of violence,2the perception of many, if not most, of the minority community in Northern Ireland was that this was yet another example of sectarianism and repression by the authorities at Stormont, aided and abetted by the security forces.3In addition, there was resentment from the fact that the intelligence on which internment was based appeared unimpressive – many of those initially picked up were soon released – and from the feeling that internment was a political move designed to shore up Brian Faulkner’s position against attack from right wingers.4In Londonderry there were many days of renewed rioting, local people erected more barriers in the Bogside and the Creggan and the Provisional and Official IRA both mounted armed patrols in these areas of the city.5

1 G9B.66.13 Minutes of a meeting of the (Northern Ireland) Cabinet, 20th August 1971; Michael Farrell, Northern Ireland: The Orange State (London: Pluto Press, 1976), p282.

2 Faulkner, Memoirs, p119; G5.54 Note of a meeting at 10 Downing Street, 5th August 1971.

3 McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, pp69–70; Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites,
pp236–238; John Peck, Dublin from Downing Street (Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1978), pp127–128.
4 McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, pp67–70.

5 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p236; G7B.60.6 Memorandum attaching report of the Ireland Current Intelligence Group, 10th August 1971; G9BA.66.9.2-3 Memorandum attaching special assessment approved by the JIC.
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8.51 Those opposed to internment included moderate Catholics.1In Londonderry a group of 30 leading Catholic figures (sometimes known as the Committee of 30), including the Chairman of the local RUC Liaison Committee and three members of the Londonderry Development Commission (the body by then administering the city), resigned their public offices in protest, announcing their withdrawal on 19th August 1971.2Non-unionist councillors of some 20 local authorities also announced their withdrawal from their councils.3

1 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, pp236–237; Routledge, John Hume, p106.

2 G14AA.86.1.5 Extracts from steering brief for the visit of the Prime Ministers of the Irish Republic and of Northern Ireland, 24th September 1971; Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, pp236–237.
3 Hennessey, History of Northern Ireland, p195.


8.52 Moderates and radicals combined in a campaign of civil disobedience aimed at ending internment. Within days, a rent and rates strike had been launched across Northern Ireland, organised primarily by the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA), but with the support of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) politicians and other opposition and civil rights groups.1In Londonderry this was augmented by a one-day industrial strike on 16th August 1971 that was supported by an estimated 8,000 workers.2

1 KB2.12 Statement to this Inquiry of Kevin Boyle; Day 123/111-112 Oral evidence to this Inquiry of Kevin Boyle; G14AA.86.1.5 Extracts from steering brief for the visit of the Prime Ministers of the Irish Republic and of Northern Ireland, 24th September 1971; Professor Ian McAllister, The Northern Ireland Social Democratic and Labour Party:
Political Opposition in a Divided Society (London: Macmillan, 1977), pp99–100; McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, p252; Farrell, Northern Ireland: The Orange State, p283.

2 CAIN website, http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/othelem/chron/ch71.htm.


8.53 In the four days after the introduction of internment, the continuing unrest led to 25 deaths and many injuries in Northern Ireland.1In Londonderry Hugh Herron, a Catholic, was shot by a soldier in Long Tower Street in disputed circumstances and Paul Challenor, a bombardier in the Royal Horse Artillery, was shot at the Bligh’s Lane Army and police post by republican paramilitaries and died shortly afterwards.2Bombardier Challenor was the first person to be shot and killed by Official or Provisional IRA gunfire in Londonderry in the Troubles.3Several soldiers were also injured by gunfire in the city.4

1 McKittrick, Kelters, Feeney and Thornton, Lost Lives, pp79–91.

2 McKittrick, Kelters, Feeney and Thornton, Lost Lives, p86 and p88; Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p236.
3 McKittrick, Kelters, Feeney and Thornton, Lost Lives, p88; Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p236.

4 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p236.


8.54 On 18th August 1971 the Army mounted an operation in Londonderry (code-named Operation Huntsman) to engage republican paramilitaries, arrest rioters and remove the barricades. According to the Army reports, the soldiers came under heavy fire from Thompson sub-machine guns and other weapons, to which they responded. During the exchange the Army killed an IRA gunman, Eamonn Lafferty, the adjutant of the Provisionals’ Derry Brigade. The operation also involved widespread use of CS gas and rubber bullets. The Army succeeded in removing nearly all the barricades, but by the following morning most of them had been replaced.1

1 G8B.63.5 Confirmatory notes to operational orders of Commanding Officer 2 RGJ for Operation Huntsman, 16th August 1971; G9C.66.14 2 RGJ weekly intelligence summary no. 10, 24th August 1971; G3C.48.14-15 2 RGJ Commander’s Diary, August 1971; McKittrick, Kelters, Feeney and Thornton, Lost Lives, p.91.

8.55 During the course of Operation Huntsman, two Northern Ireland MPs, John Hume and Ivan Cooper, were arrested with others for remaining in an assembly of more than three persons after being ordered to disperse by an Army officer.1They successfully challenged their conviction on the grounds that the regulations in question were invalid, since the Northern Ireland Parliament had no power to make laws in respect of the Armed Forces. The Westminster Parliament in February 1972 passed retrospective legislation (the Northern Ireland Act 1972) validating the regulations. Elsewhere in this report2we consider these events and the submissions arising from them in more detail.

1 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, pp238–239; G9C.66.14 2 RGJ weekly intelligence summary no. 10, 24th August 1971.
2 Chapter 195


The period of containment

8.56 On 20th August 1971 the GOC, after meeting the Committee of 30, decided to adopt a policy of lowering the military profile in Londonderry in the hope that this would give moderates the chance to calm the situation.1This involved abandoning any routine patrolling of the Bogside and the Creggan and the taking of no military initiatives, save in response to aggression or for specific search or arrest operations.2

1 G116.751 “Summary of Events in Londonderry on Sunday 30th January 1972 ”; Carver, Out of Step: Memoirs of a Field Marshal, p410; L279.1 Extract from Eastern Daily Press, May 1998; Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, pp237–239.
2 G116.751 “Summary of Events in Londonderry on Sunday 30th January 1972 ”.


8.57 General Tuzo took this step, which at the time he described as an experiment that might fail but was worth trying, after being persuaded to do so by moderate middle-class opinion in Londonderry.1According to General Ford, General Tuzo was particularly influenced to take this course by Chief Superintendent Lagan, the senior police officer in Londonderry and its environs.2

1 G11.73 Agenda and Conclusions, JSC meeting, 26th August 1971.
2 Day 253/25; Day 253/51-52


8.58 The policy had the temporary effect of reducing rioting and similar disturbances in the city, but the moderates in the nationalist community who had persuaded General Tuzo to take this step, and those who worked with and supported them, were unable to deliver a suspension of the republican paramilitary campaign, and in particular the bomb attacks.1Furthermore, it reinforced the view held by many that the Bogside and Creggan had returned to being unacceptable no-go areas ruled by the Official and Provisional IRA, which led in turn to criticism of the Army in unionist circles.2The Army did occasionally go into these areas, but there was no routine patrolling in the Bogside and Creggan; and in the following months any incursion started to be signalled by an efficient warning system of the banging of dustbin lids, the blowing of car horns, sirens and the like with (at night) the use of searchlights; and was met with rioting crowds as well as armed resistance.3

1 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, pp239–240.

2 G11.73-74 Agenda and Conclusions, JSC meeting, 26th August 1971.
3 G41.264 “Future Military Policy in Londonderry: An Appreciation by the CLF ”, 14th December 1971.


8.59 Large-scale rioting, accompanied by bombing and shooting, broke out in the city after Annette McGavigan, a 14-year-old girl, was killed by gunfire in disputed circumstances on 6th September 1971.1The incident occurred during the disturbances that accompanied the court proceedings brought against John Hume and others following their arrest during Operation Huntsman.2Further violent riots followed the death some days later of a 3-year-old boy who had been hit by an Armoured Personnel Carrier.3The historian Niall Ó Dochartaigh wrote that these deaths, and the other civilian casualties in this period, meant that, despite the lower profile adopted by General Tuzo, “huge numbers of Derry Catholics, conservatives, moderates and extremists, [saw] the British army as a dangerous and malevolent force ”.4

1 G13AA.82.1 Joint Intelligence Committee, Special Assessment, 16th September 1971; McKittrick, Kelters, Feeney and Thornton, Lost Lives, pp97–98; Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p240.

2 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p240; Eamonn McCann, Maureen Shiels and Bridie Hannigan, Bloody Sunday in Derry, reprinted edition (Dingle: Brandon Book Publishers, 1992), p59.
3 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, pp240–241; G13AA.82.1.2 Joint Intelligence Committee, Special Assessment, 16th September 1971.

4 Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p241.


8.60 In Londonderry there were a number of Army casualties from republican paramilitary activities between September and November 1971. On 2nd September Major Robin Alers-Hankey was shot (and eventually died on Bloody Sunday) while deploying his troops to protect firemen who were being attacked by stone throwers as they tried to deal with a blaze at a timber yard at the junction of Abbey Street and Frederick Street in the Bogside.1On 14th September Sergeant Martin Carroll was shot dead outside Bligh’s Lane Army and police post.2On 27th September Private Roger Wilkins was mortally wounded by machine gun fire while on duty in the Brandywell area of the city.3On 16th October Rifleman Joseph Hill was shot and killed as he stood in Columbcille Court in the Bogside after following up rioters.4On 27th October Gunner Angus Stevens and Lance Bombardier David Tilbury were killed by a bomb attack on an Observation Post at the back of the police station in the Rosemount area of the city, which lay to the north of the Creggan.5On 9th November Lance Corporal Ian Curtis was mortally wounded by gunfire near the junction of Foyle Road and Bishop Street while on patrol.6

1 G107A.652.002 NIRSEC situation report no.31, 21st January 1972; McKittrick, Kelters, Feeney and Thornton, Lost Lives, pp149–150.

2 McKittrick, Kelters, Feeney and Thornton, Lost Lives, p99.

3 McKittrick, Kelters, Feeney and Thornton, Lost Lives, p105.
4 McKittrick, Kelters, Feeney and Thornton, Lost Lives, p106.

5 McKittrick, Kelters, Feeney and Thornton, Lost Lives, p111.

6 McKittrick, Kelters, Feeney and Thornton, Lost Lives, p117.
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8.61 Two civilians, both Catholics, were also killed by gunfire in Londonderry during the same period: William McGreanery on 14th September 1971, and Kathleen Thompson on 6th November. Both died in disputed circumstances, with allegations made that the Army had unjustifiably killed unarmed and uninvolved civilians.1

1 McKittrick, Kelters, Feeney and Thornton, Lost Lives, pp98–99 and p116; McCann, Shiels and Hannigan, Bloody Sunday in Derry, pp59–60; Ó Dochartaigh, Civil Rights to Armalites, p242.

8.62 Throughout Northern Ireland, 108 people were killed and many seriously injured between the introduction of internment in August 1971 and the end of November 1971.1

1 McKittrick, Kelters, Feeney and Thornton, Lost Lives, pp77–121.

8.63 The bombing campaign in Londonderry continued. Between July and December 1971 there were over 200 explosions and an additional 180 nail bombing incidents.1The objective of the Provisional IRA’s bombing strategy, according to the evidence of Martin McGuinness who was then a member of the Provisional IRA, was to exert pressure on and stretch the security forces in addition to the direct attacks on the Army.2

1 G41.263 “Future Military Policy in Londonderry: An Appreciation by the CLF ”, 14th December 1971.
2 Day 390/34; Day 390/52


8.64 In addition, rioting by youths in the city had become almost ritualised.1There were regular riots on Saturday afternoons, the “Saturday matinées”, which usually took place at the corner of Rossville Street and William Street, a junction that became known to soldiers and others as Aggro Corner.2There were also frequent riots on other days,3including on Sunday afternoons after the televised football match.4

1 AK17.7 Noel Kelly’s statement to this Inquiry.

2 Day 113/123-124 Oral evidence to this Inquiry of William McCormack; Day 420/140 Oral evidence to this Inquiry of Kevin Martin; Day 425/3-4 Oral evidence to this Inquiry of Brian Power.
3 Day 113/123-124 Statement to this Inquiry of William McCormack; WT4.16 Oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry of Fr Daly; WT6.2 Oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry of Raymond Rogan.

4 M79.2 Written statement for the Widgery Inquiry of Nigel Wade.




8.65 Although one witness described the rioting as “a kind of play ”, which he told us the soldiers enjoyed as much as the rioters,1there is little doubt that it was serious and gave rise to serious injury.2According to Army sources, groups of boys and young men gathered to throw stones, bottles and other objects at the soldiers standing behind barriers. The soldiers would fire rubber bullets and sometimes attempt to snatch rioters from the crowd, but with little success.3On occasion paramilitaries would use these riots or their aftermath as an opportunity to snipe at soldiers (as appears to have been the case with the shooting of Rifleman Hill and Major Alers-Hankey mentioned above) or to throw nail or petrol bombs.4We have little doubt that had the crowd isolated a soldier, it is likely that he would have been killed.5In short, the rioting often carried with it the risk to soldiers of serious injury or even death.

1 AH39.2 Statement to this Inquiry of Thomas Harrigan.

2 Day 55/33 Oral evidence to this Inquiry of Fr McIvor.

3 G116B.771.11-14 Summary of events in Londonderry on Sunday 30th January 1972; G138.920-922 “An Appreciation of the ‘Londonderry Hooligan Element’ ” written by Colonel Jackson, Commanding Officer of 1 R ANGLIAN.
4 AH67.2 Statement to this Inquiry of Hugh Hegarty;
AD26.10 Statement to this Inquiry of Donal Deeney; AC157.7 Statement to this Inquiry of Michael Clarke; WT4.17-19 Oral evidence of Fr Daly to the Widgery Inquiry; G138.920-922; “An Appreciation of the ‘Londonderry Hooligan Element’” written by Colonel Jackson, Commanding Officer of 1 R ANGLIAN.

5 Day 68/27 Oral evidence to this Inquiry of Hugh Hegarty.


The treatment of internees

8.66 Very shortly after the introduction of internment, public complaints were made about the treatment of internees. In response, on 31st August 1971 the Home Secretary, Reginald Maudling, appointed a committee of inquiry under the chairmanship of Sir Edmund Compton. The committee initially looked into allegations made by 40 people arrested on 9th August. Only one of the complainants appeared before the committee, most others adopting the stance taken by NICRA that the inquiry was unacceptable because of its constitution and the decision to hold its proceedings in private. The Compton report, presented to Parliament in November 1971, cleared the security forces of any acts of “physical brutality ”, but concluded that in respect of 11 individuals there had been “physical ill-treatment ” during interrogation in depth in the form of what became known as the “five techniques ”. These were: making the internee stand against a wall for long periods; hooding the internee; subjecting the internee to continuous noise; depriving the internee of sleep; and depriving the internee of food other than a bread and water diet. In six other cases not involving these techniques, the report found that complainants had suffered “a measure of ill-treatment ”. Other individuals also suffered some form of hardship or ill-treatment, although in most of these cases the committee felt that this was unintended.1

1 Compton Committee, Report of the enquiry into allegations against the Security Forces of physical brutality in Northern Ireland arising out of the events on the 9th August, 1971 (London: HMSO, 1971 Cmnd 4823).

8.67 On 16th November 1971 Reginald Maudling announced that another committee would consider whether to amend “the procedures currently authorised for the interrogation of persons suspected of terrorism and for their custody while subject to interrogation ”. The three-man committee, which was chaired by Lord Parker of Waddington, presented their findings on 31st January 1972, the day after Bloody Sunday. The majority view, expressed in the report of the chairman and John Boyd-Carpenter, was that there was no reason to rule out the five techniques on moral grounds and that it was “possible to operate them in a manner consistent with the highest standards of our society ” provided that certain safeguards were observed. However, in his minority report Lord Gardiner said that he did not believe that such measures were morally justifiable even in emergency or war conditions. After the reports were published on 2nd March 1972, the Prime Minister announced that the five techniques would not be used in future as an aid to investigation.1

1 Parker Committee, Report of the Committee of Privy Counsellors appointed to consider authorised procedures for the interrogation of persons suspected of terrorism (London: HMSO, 1972 Cmnd 4901).

8.68 The treatment of internees was also the subject of a case brought against the United Kingdom Government by the Government of the Republic of Ireland at the European Court of Human Rights. The European Commission of Human Rights unanimously held that the combined use of the five techniques constituted inhuman and degrading treatment and torture. However, the Court ultimately found that they amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment but not torture.1On 8th February 1977 the United Kingdom Government undertook to the Court that the five techniques would not in any circumstances be reintroduced as an aid to interrogation.2

1 Ireland v United Kingdom [1978] 2 EHRR 25.
2 Ireland v United Kingdom [1978] 2 EHRR 25, para 102.


8.69 It was submitted by the representatives of many of the families that the five techniques were, on the United Kingdom Government’s own admission, authorised at “high level ”,1 and that they demonstrated that the Government had sacrificed its adherence to the rule of law in “what was, essentially, a war situation ”.2

1 FS1.518 2 FS1.494-506

8.70 Whatever validity (if any) this submission may have with regard to the treatment of internees suspected of terrorist activities (a matter which falls outside the scope of this report), we are not persuaded that the findings of the European Court of Human Rights, or the undertaking of the United Kingdom Government, showed that the United Kingdom Government had departed from the rule of law in its treatment of the nationalist population generally. What is important, however, in the present context, is that the allegations about the treatment of internees further exacerbated the feelings of enmity among many nationalists towards the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland Governments and the security forces.

The tripartite talks
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8.71 Although the United Kingdom Government had made contingency plans to introduce direct rule from Westminster for Northern Ireland,1it continued throughout the period under consideration to seek to avoid this eventuality if possible.2 This desire contributed to attempts by the United Kingdom Government to break the political impasse in Northern Ireland in autumn 1971. The primary initiative was to encourage talks among all the parties, including those who had withdrawn from Stormont, under the auspices of the Home Secretary, Reginald Maudling. The intention was to reach an agreement whereby the minority community would return to Stormont and adopt a significant role in the administration of Northern Ireland.

1 G3BB.48.13.5 Minutes of the Cabinet Ministerial Committee on Northern Ireland, 27th July 1971.
2 See, for example, Sir Philip Allen’s summary of the position at G32B.233.17 in his note on “Possible course of action ”, 23rd November 1971, which is discussed below.


8.72 There were three overlapping difficulties that the United Kingdom Government faced. First was the security situation. Throughout the autumn, the Northern Ireland Government pushed for tougher measures and greater resources, as well as the maintenance of internment.1 This led to the second difficulty: the continued absence of the SDLP not only from Stormont, but also from any political talks with the two governments regarding the future of Northern Ireland while internment lasted. Initially, the parties had withdrawn over the deaths of Seamus Cusack and Desmond Beattie, but they subsequently demanded the abolition of internment as a precondition for their return.2 Neither the United Kingdom nor the Northern Ireland Governments were prepared to accept this, and instead concentrated on trying to entice the SDLP back through reforms of the existing political structures. This developed into a third difficulty. The initiatives put forward by the Northern Ireland Government built on the new committee proposals of the previous June, which had been cautiously welcomed by the SDLP, and Brian Faulkner continued to envisage that the SDLP and others would act as a parliamentary opposition, albeit with greater powers of scrutiny.3 However, attitudes had hardened over the summer, and it quickly became apparent that the nationalist parties would not be satisfied with measures that did not allow them a guaranteed role in the executive, and not just the legislative, branch of government, something that was unacceptable (at this stage) to Brian Faulkner.4 The United Kingdom Government had supported the Northern Ireland Government’s stance in mid-August,5 but subsequently began to express its desire for talks on ways of establishing “an active, permanent and guaranteed role in the life and public affairs of the Province ” for the minority community.6

1 G12C.78 Record of a meeting held in the Cabinet Office, Whitehall on 15th September 1971; G12A 78.1,
G12B.78.2 Exchange of letters between Brian Faulkner and General Tuzo, 13th and 15th September 1971;
G17.120 Record of a discussion with the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland held at 10 Downing Street on 7th October 1971.

2 G13B.82.6 Confidential annex to Cabinet minutes, 21st September 1971; McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, p74; Routledge, John Hume, pp105–106.

3 G8A.63.4 Confidential annex to Cabinet minutes, 16th August 1971; G9A.66.6-7 Note of a meeting held at Chequers, 19th August 1971; G9B.66.11 Northern Ireland Cabinet minutes.
4 G10A.70.2 Joint Intelligence Special Assessment, 26th August 1971.

5 G9A.66.6-7 Note of a meeting held at Chequers, 19th August 1971; G9B.66.11 Northern Ireland Cabinet minutes, 20th August 1971.

6 G13B.82.6 Confidential annex to Cabinet minutes, 21st September 1971; G22C.163.7 Minutes of GEN 47, 29th October 1971; G28A.220.3-4 Minutes of GEN 47, 12th November 1971.


8.73 The United Kingdom Government also sought to engage with the Government of the Irish Republic in order to make further efforts to end the conflict in Northern Ireland. Initially, Edward Heath attempted to persuade Jack Lynch, the then Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland, that his government should encourage the nationalist parties to enter the Home Secretary’s talks. To this end, he invited both Jack Lynch and Brian Faulkner to Chequers, his official residence, at the end of September. This too proved problematic. Edward Heath and Jack Lynch had publicly exchanged acrimonious telegrams the previous month following the introduction of internment. This incident heightened the suspicions of hard-line unionists1 and Brian Faulkner himself expressed his reservations about meeting the Taoiseach at this time.2

1 G12AA.78.1.1-2 Text of a telephone conversation between Mr Faulkner and the [United Kingdom] Prime Minister, 10th September 1971.
2 G9A.66.5-6 Note of a meeting held at Chequers, 19th August 1971; G12AA.78.1.1-2 Text of a telephone conversation between Mr Faulkner and the [United Kingdom] Prime Minister, 10th September 1971.


8.74 The tripartite talks took place between 26th and 28th September 1971.1 The talks were wide-ranging, but were predicated on an understanding that there would be no substantive negotiations on the constitutional question.2 On this, the Taoiseach continued to call for reunification, while the United Kingdom Prime Minister restated his government’s adherence to the Ireland Act 1949, which guaranteed that the union with Britain would not be removed without the consent of the Stormont Parliament.3

1 G14AC.86.1.14 United Kingdom note on the visit of the Prime Ministers of the Irish Republic and of Northern Ireland; G14AC.86.1.48 Communiqué.

2 G14AAA.86.1.1.1 Memorandum from Sir Burke Trend to the Prime Minister, September 1971; G12AC.78.1.16 Note of a telephone conversation between the Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, 11th September 1971.
3 G14AC.86.1.26 Record of a discussion between the Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, 27th September 1971; G14AC.86.1.22 Record of a discussion between the Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, 27th September 1971.


8.75 During the talks, Brian Faulkner urged the Government of the Irish Republic to take firmer measures and increase co-operation on security, arguing that the first priority in Northern Ireland was to restore law and order.1 Jack Lynch expressed his opinion that internment had been a major error, and stated that it would not be introduced in the Republic, where the conditions for derogation from the European Convention on Human Rights were not met.2 He considered that the security situation could only be improved by a political solution that allowed the minority community to participate in government, something that had not been envisaged by Brian Faulkner’s reforms.3 Brian Faulkner’s position was that there was no possibility of the majority (Unionist) party forming a government with members of the SDLP “because they differed so fundamentally from members of the existing Government on the constitutional position ”.4

1 G14AC.86.1.27

2 G14AC.86.1.26-28
3 G14AC.86.1.26-28; G14AC.86.1.31

4 G14AC.86.1.32


8.76 Unsurprisingly, little was agreed between the governments and a somewhat bland communiqué was issued, condemning the use of violence as an instrument of political pressure.1 Although the fact that the tripartite talks took place at all was significant, and to some extent an achievement in itself, the event did not lead directly to any political progress in the ensuing months, nor did it reduce the risk of having to introduce direct rule.

1 G14AC.86.1.48

General Carver’s military appreciation of the security situation

8.77 On 7th October 1971 there was a further meeting between the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland Prime Ministers. In advance of this meeting Edward Heath requested, and obtained, a full military appreciation of the security situation in Northern Ireland, including an assessment of “what measures the Army would propose, if they were instructed that the primary objective was to bring terrorism in Northern Ireland to an end at the earliest possible moment, without regard to the inconveniences caused to the civilian population, and what forces they would require to carry these measures out ”.1

1 G14AAA.86.9

8.78 General Carver, the CGS, provided the assessment, emphasising in his covering memorandum of 4th October 1971 that, in his view, the problem was essentially a politico-military one and that the factors could not be disentangled.1He wrote:2

“The history of all previous campaigns against terrorists – and few of them have been wholly successful – proves that a purely military solution is most unlikely to succeed, and that whether it is achieved by military or political means or both, the isolation of the terrorist from the population is a sine qua non of success. ”


1 G14B.86.8 2 G14B.86.8

8.79 The assessment itself painted a picture of a deteriorating security situation, with both the Provisional IRA and the Official IRA supporting a terrorist campaign designed to provoke Protestant anger, to force direct rule and then to influence public opinion in the United Kingdom to abandon the struggle to maintain partition.1

1 G14B.86.9-15

8.80 So far as Londonderry was concerned, the assessment made reference to the Creggan and the Bogside as virtually no-go areas where about 200 extremists and a number of “‘hard core’ ” hooligans operated “unchecked ”, and to the clear failure of moderate Catholic opinion in the form of the Committee of 30 to improve matters.1General Carver accepted the desirability of reasserting the full range of military and police activity throughout the city, but advised that this would require a strong military presence (possibly as many as five battalions) on the ground for several months. He noted that the timing, political implications and likely reaction to such an operation would have to be carefully judged.2He set out the three courses he considered open:3

“Course 1. Continuing as we are, controlling the rest of Derry and raiding the [Creggan and Bogside] area for gunmen as our intelligence allows us. We would hope, though without great confidence, that progress in the political field would produce a gradual return to normality.

Course 2. Show our ability to go into the area when we want by establishing regular patrol patterns. This will achieve little except to please the Protestants.

It is a practical course but it will not achieve the removal of the obstructions and certainly will not re-establish law and order throughout the areas. But it could be done with our present force levels.

Course 3. To occupy and dominate the areas, take down the barricades, and, we hope, eventually persuade the RUC to play their full part. This is a practical military operation although it will involve some casualties and, most important, stir up Catholic opposition as much as it will satisfy the Protestants. It is difficult to estimate how great the political reaction would be. This must be a political and not a military decision. However, there is one significant military factor. We could only occupy and dominate these areas by an increase in our force levels by three battalions. ”

1 G14B.86.9.12

2 G14B.86.9.12
3 G14B.86.9.13
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8.81 The following map shows the two areas of the Creggan and the Bogside.



8.82 So far as Northern Ireland as a whole was concerned, General Carver suggested three general options. The first was to maintain low-intensity operations in the hope of assisting political progress, but at the risk of increasing Protestant reaction, which might lead to the formation of a “third force ” of Protestant paramilitaries, the weakening of Brian Faulkner’s position and the bringing nearer of direct rule. The second was to abandon all hope of political progress with the minority by adopting a “‘tough policy’ ” which might have short-term benefits and strengthen Brian Faulkner’s position, but would be unlikely to eliminate terrorism in the long term and could become a pyrrhic victory within Ireland, within Great Britain and internationally. The third was to continue with the present policy, though removing the restraints on operations motivated by a desire not to disturb current political initiatives, thus allowing intensification of border operations (including the humping and cratering of roads to hamper the surreptitious movement of paramilitaries and their equipment between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland), and “an operation in Londonderry ”. General Carver concluded by stating that the third of these options seemed to represent, for the time being, the best reconciliation of all the factors that had to be taken into account.1

1 G14B.86.15

8.83 General Carver’s reference to the possible formation of a “‘third force’ ” reflected the concerns of United Kingdom officials that the actions (or inactions) of the security forces in Northern Ireland might increase resentment in the Protestant community to such an extent that locally raised bodies would be established as defenders of law and order. The local nature of any such force was central to its appeal, as many unionists continued to lament the replacement of the B Specials, who were responsible to Stormont, by the UDR, which came under the control of the Army and the MoD in London and was at this time perceived by many in the unionist community to be less effective at countering the threat posed by republican paramilitaries.1

1 G16.104 United Kingdom Government brief for the Prime Minister for the meeting with the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, 7th October 1971.

8.84 These frustrations were evident in the weeks before General Carver presented his paper. On 6th September 1971 Dr Ian Paisley addressed a mass rally in Victoria Park, Belfast, where he reportedly appealed for the “loyal people of the province ” to organise a non-military and non-paramilitary “civil defence corps ”, that would, “when the crunch came …offer themselves to a government that would ‘chase out the rebels’ ”.1 According to the same report in the Irish Times newspaper, another speaker, the hard-line Ulster Unionist MP and former Cabinet minister William Craig, called for the reorganisation of the RUC and the return, in modernised form, of the B Specials.2 A week later John Taylor, the Minister of State for Home Affairs, publicly spoke of his support for a “third force ”.3 He told this Inquiry that what he meant by this was a legally constituted body under the command of the Northern Ireland Government, which would only be required if the Government would otherwise have insufficient resources to fulfil its obligation to provide law and order in Northern Ireland.4

1 OS1.473

2 OS1.473
3 OS1.418

4 Day 196/47-50; Day 196/159-161


8.85 The Irish Times of 15th September 1971 reported that following John Taylor’s remarks, the Northern Ireland Government issued a statement setting out its policy, with which John Taylor was said to be “fully in support ”. According to the report, the statement set out the position of the United Kingdom Government – that there could be “no question of raising any additional armed force for the security of Northern Ireland except with their agreement and consent ” – and noted that the Northern Ireland Government accepted this position “on the understanding that the security needs of Northern Ireland would be fully met ”. The statement reportedly warned that “Any encouragement to form a force of any sort other than one lawfully constituted would do the greatest possible damage to the vital interests of Northern Ireland ”.1John Taylor told us that he thought that the Irish Times report was exaggerated in its account of his discussions with Brian Faulkner on this issue.2

1 OS 1.421
2 Day 196/159-160


8.86 None of the proposals of Dr Ian Paisley, William Craig or John Taylor resulted in the establishment of any significant unauthorised body, though in themselves they hardly contributed to the easing of tensions in Northern Ireland.

8.87 September 1971 is generally considered to be the month in which the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) emerged from an amalgamation of numerous loyalist vigilante groups in Belfast.1 Although the organisation was not proscribed until 1992,2 elements within it rapidly acquired a reputation for paramilitary activity and acts of sectarian violence.

1 Elliott and Flackes, Political Directory, pp474–481; Hennessey, History of Northern Ireland, pp201–205; Bew and Gillespie, Chronology of the Troubles, pp39–40.
2 Elliott and Flackes, Political Directory, p474.


8.88 It appears from the documentary evidence that the GOC, General Tuzo, was at the beginning of October 1971 proposing an operation in Londonderry in two weeks time for which he wanted three extra battalions.1This operation did not take place at this time, though, as we discuss below, military operations in Londonderry were increased in early December.

1 G14C.86.18-19 Memorandum from AUS (GS) (Arthur Hockaday), “Meeting with Northern Ireland Prime Minister ”.

The meeting between the British and Northern Irish Prime Ministers on 7th October 1971

8.89 On 6th October, the day before the meeting with Brian Faulkner, the GEN 47 Committee considered the approach to be adopted at this meeting. Edward Heath is recorded as saying that a concerted Northern Ireland policy was now needed, with its objects clearly defined in an order of priority, based on the best reconciliation that could be made of conflicting considerations. He expressed the view that Brian Faulkner probably represented the last prospect of maintaining an independent government at Stormont, and that if he fell, direct rule would be a virtual certainty, in the worst case the transfer to direct rule taking place in a situation where the machinery of administration in Northern Ireland had virtually collapsed. As appears from a briefing note prepared for the Prime Minister by Sir Burke Trend, the Cabinet Secretary, there was an increasing concern in London that direct rule might be accompanied by a “withdrawal of labour from all forms of public service ”, including the police and civil service.1At the GEN 47 meeting Edward Heath was recorded as saying that “Taking full account of the political dangers of further alienating the minority population in Northern Ireland, and of the risks of strain on our relations with Dublin, he believed that the first priority should be the defeat of the gunmen using military means and that in achieving this we should have to accept whatever political penalties were inevitable ”.2

1 G14D.86.23 2 G15.88

8.90 In general discussion those at the meeting recognised that in order to maintain the status quo constitutionally, it was probable that the terrorist problem should be overcome as the first priority, though if the object were to preserve the option of creating a united Ireland sometime in the future, it might be better to seek first for a political solution in which the minority were persuaded to participate in government in Northern Ireland. The meeting considered that if Brian Faulkner could be persuaded to broaden his government to include “non-militant ” republicans, the support for the terrorist campaign might be undermined by political action, rendering more severe military measures unnecessary, but that there were few signs of an early political solution.1

1 G15.88
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8.91 The minutes of this meeting also reveal that the GEN 47 Committee was agreed that three additional Army battalions should be sent to Northern Ireland1but recognised that major new military initiatives in the Catholic areas of Belfast and Londonderry would alienate Catholics even further without necessarily defeating the IRA campaign.2The meeting also recognised that despite the difficulty of reaching a political or military solution, the continuation of the present trends might well lead to a situation in which direct rule would prove to be inevitable.3

1 G15.90 3 G15.89

2 G15.88-89

8.92 The perceived need to keep Brian Faulkner in power as the last chance to avoid direct rule seems to us to have caused a shift in priorities towards a greater effort to defeat the terrorists, evident from the record of this meeting. However, either before or during the meeting, at which both General Carver and General Tuzo were present, it seems that the three battalion operation in Londonderry that the latter had proposed earlier in the month was put off. Instead it was decided in principle that two of the additional three battalions would be sent to Belfast and the other one to the border area, although the GOC was left with discretion with regard to their deployment.

1 G15.89

8.93 At the meeting on the following day, 7th October 1971, Brian Faulkner expressed the view that a solution of the security problem was the key to progress elsewhere and that without an immediate breakthrough in dealing with the terrorists, the administration of government would shortly become impossible.1What was needed, he said, was “an increase in the Army presence, an enlargement of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR), an offensive by the troops against the terrorists in Belfast and Londonderry, and firmer action on the border ”.2

1 G17.120 2 G17.120

8.94 Edward Heath told Brian Faulkner that it would only be possible to retain British public support for the security operations if there was movement towards a political settlement. It was thus essential, he said, “that any immediate increase in the military effort should be accompanied by parallel political moves ”.1

1 G17.121

8.95 Brian Faulkner stated that his government had made concessions to the minority, and pointed to further proposed changes contained in a draft Green Paper that he hoped to publish following approval by his Cabinet.1This draft Green Paper concentrated on reforms to the size and composition of the Northern Ireland Parliament.2 However, Reginald Maudling (the United Kingdom Home Secretary) pointed out that many responsible members of the minority would tend largely to dismiss proposals not accompanied by some indication of the willingness of the Northern Ireland Government to move on the central issue of broadening the basis of the government to include minority representatives.3Brian Faulkner responded by reiterating the position that he had adopted at the tripartite meeting, that he could not contemplate leading or serving in a government of Northern Ireland which included republicans, whether or not (like the SDLP) they eschewed the use of violence in bringing about a unified Ireland.4He dismissed this notion and the possibility of composing an administration on proportional principles as “unworkable ”. However, he expressed his hope that discussion of the proposed Green Paper would provide an opportunity to air a proposal for a council comprising representatives of minority community interest groups, such as trade unionists and professional and business organisations. The chairman of such a council might be given a seat in the Cabinet, thereby providing what Brian Faulkner termed a “permanent and guaranteed share in Government ”.5

1 G17.121

2 Brian Faulkner complained that the publication of the Green Paper had been delayed by the United Kingdom Government’s desire to see it emerge from the proposed multi-party talks that the Home Secretary hoped to establish: G17.121-123. At the meeting, it was agreed
that the Northern Ireland Government could go ahead with publication: G17.123; G18A.136.3.

3 G17.121

4 G17.122; G15A.91.3

5 G17.122


8.96 Edward Heath said that this idea had value, but noted that Brian Faulkner was unwilling to meet the emergency by seeking to form a government that was neutral on the matter of reunification, and repeated that the United Kingdom Government regarded it as essential that tougher security measures should be accompanied by real evidence of determination to proceed with political advance.1

1 G17.122-123

8.97 Later in the meeting Edward Heath stated that it would be necessary to develop further political initiatives in order to sustain the support of British public opinion. To this end, it was agreed that representatives of the two governments would meet at regular intervals – every month at ministerial level, and fortnightly at official level.1

1 G17.130

8.98 The United Kingdom Government was clearly disappointed at the lack of progress on the political front, but nevertheless did agree to the provision of additional security resources, including the despatch of the three additional battalions discussed at the GEN 47 meeting on the previous day. In line with that discussion, the priorities for these troops were decided as: first, an increased effort against terrorists in Belfast; second, the better control of the border; and third, a reassertion of control of all parts of Londonderry. However, the precise method of use of the forces was left to the GOC.1

1 G17.126

8.99 In the event, one additional battalion was sent to Londonderry in December 1971, thereby increasing the force level of 8th Infantry Brigade.1

1 G41.264 “Future Military Policy in Londonderry: An Appreciation by the CLF ”, 14th December 1971.

Major General Ford’s Directive

8.100 On 26th October 1971 the CLF, General Ford, issued to all the Brigade Commanders a Directive concerning the future of internal security operations in Northern Ireland.1

1 G23.165-168
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8.101 This Directive was influenced by the line taken at the GEN 47 meeting on 6th October and marked the beginning of the end of the policy of low-key containment in Londonderry instituted by General Tuzo in August. In later years General Tuzo described this low-key policy as “the major mistake for me ”, since in his view the gesture proved “quite futile ” and allowed the situation to go from bad to worse.1According to General Ford, the fact that it was Chief Superintendent Lagan who was principally responsible for persuading General Tuzo to adopt this policy led the latter to form a low opinion of this police officer and never to trust him again.2General Ford also said that he himself had never been in favour of the policy.3

1 L279.1 Extract from Eastern Daily Press, May 1998;
Day 253/26-27 Oral evidence to this Inquiry of General Ford.
2 Day 253/51-52

3 Day 253/23-26


8.102 The Directive described the mission to be to restore and maintain law and order throughout each brigade’s area, acting in aid of the civil power in conjunction with the RUC. The first priority was stated to be the defeat of the IRA’s campaign of violence, and the second to overcome threats to law and order from all other directions, including in particular inter-sectarian violence.1The Directive continued:2

“However much the first priority task brings us into conflict with one section of the community, we must retain our sectarian impartiality. Furthermore, we must avoid unnecessary alienation of Roman Catholic opinion because the rejection by the Catholics of IRA violence is an essential ingredient of our ultimate success. ”


1 G23.165-166 2 G23.166

8.103 So far as 8th Infantry Brigade (the unit covering the Londonderry area) was concerned, the Directive set out certain additional tasks, including the following instruction:1

“Progressively impose the rule of law on the Creggan and Bogside. Hooligan fringe activity is to be vigorously countered: arrest operations are to continue to be mounted: and normal patrols through IRA dominated areas are to be restarted when considered practicable.

Be prepared to occupy and dominate the Creggan and Bogside, when sufficient forces are provided. ”


1 G23.166

8.104 In a general conclusion, General Ford stated that:1

“We should not hesitate to fire whenever events demand it and the law permits. Nevertheless, we must not permit standards of conduct to deteriorate, whatever the provocation. We must ensure that fire discipline is good and discipline generally is of the highest order – particularly now that the rules of engagement themselves are less restrictive – and we must never give an impression of being a repressive Army at war with a large section of the population. ”


1 G23.167

8.105 When giving oral evidence to this Inquiry, General Ford told us that he was unable to remember why he thought it necessary or desirable to say that they should not hesitate to fire whenever events demanded it and the law permitted.1It may be, as he told the journalist Desmond Hamill in an interview in 1984, that he considered that the soldiers on the ground were often operating below the level that the law permitted because any perceived over-reaction was immediately seized on by the media.2

1 Day 253/36
2 B1208.003.012; Day 258/34


The Northern Ireland Government’s Green Paper

8.106 On 26th October 1971 the Northern Ireland Government’s Green Paper on parliamentary reform was published and Basil McIvor, described by Brian Faulkner as a liberal unionist, was appointed as Minister of Community Relations.1 On the following day Dr Gerard Newe, a respected Catholic community worker who was not attached to any political party, was appointed a Minister of State in the Department of the Prime Minister.2Brian Faulkner told Edward Heath that he saw Dr Newe’s role “primarily as representing the minority viewpoint at the Cabinet table ”.3

1 OS4.93 Letter from Brian Faulkner to Edward Heath, 1st November 1971.

2 Bew and Gillespie, Chronology of the Troubles, p40.
3 OS4.93 Letter from Brian Faulkner to Edward Heath, 1st November 1971.


8.107 Dr Newe was the first Catholic to serve as a minister in the Stormont Government,1 and he hailed his appointment as evidence that the advocacy of a united Ireland by peaceful means was not inconsistent with holding office in the Stormont Cabinet.2 However, it was also significant for what it did not represent. Brian Faulkner had made a personal appointment of a non-party political figure at a time when there was increasing pressure for the abolition of existing structures and the establishment of a system that would allow the representatives of the minority community an active, permanent and guaranteed place in the government of the Province.3 The Green Paper reforms, which only concerned the legislature and not the executive, did nothing to alter this, and the SDLP and other major nationalist parties remained outside government, and (through their own choice) absent from any all-party forums and initiatives.

1 McKittrick and McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, p74; Hennessey, History of Northern Ireland, p187.

2 G28A.220.3 GEN 47 minutes, 11th November 1971.
3 G28A.220.3 GEN 47 minutes, 11th November 1971; G17.120-121 Record of a discussion with the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, 10 Downing Street, 7th October 1971; Faulkner, Memoirs, pp130–131.


8.108 The reaction of the United Kingdom Home Secretary at the GEN 47 meeting on 29th October was mixed. Reginald Maudling thought that even though the Green Paper and appointment of Dr Newe would have “brought better results if they had taken place some weeks ago ”, they had “not been without effect ”. However, he warned that the initiatives did not address “the main stumbling block ” to political progress. “Reform of Northern Ireland institutions, to be effective, had to be centred on the structure of central Government; Parliamentary reforms would not be enough. ”1 The minutes also reveal that steps were continuing to be taken to prepare for the possibility of direct rule.2

1 G22C.163.7 2 G22C.163.8

8.109 At this meeting, the Prime Minister announced that GEN 47 would meet more frequently: at least once, and possibly twice, a week.1By this stage the meetings of the GEN 47 Committee had already started to become more frequent. Between April and September there had been four meetings. Between October 1971 and January 1972 there were to be 19.2

1 G22C.163.6
2 OS4.197-204 List of GEN 47 meetings, compiled by the representatives of the Wray family.


Brigadier MacLellan’s Directive

8.110 Following General Ford’s Directive of 26th October 1971, Brigadier MacLellan, who, as we have already noted, succeeded Brigadier Cowan as 8th Infantry Brigade Commander on 27th October,1 issued OP Directive 4/71.2 This document, dated 10th November, set out the mission, means and methods that 8th Infantry Brigade would implement to bring into effect the CLF’s Directive.3 Although the document was distributed under the Brigadier’s name, the first draft was compiled by the Brigade Major, Colonel Michael Steele.4 The following paragraphs summarise this Directive.

1 B1229 Statement to the Widgery Inquiry of Brigadier MacLellan.

2 G27.196-218
3 G23.165-168

4 B1315.1 Statement to this Inquiry of Colonel Steele.
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8.111 Brigadier MacLellan began by reflecting back on the “cautious optimism ” about the security situation in Londonderry contained in the previous 8th Infantry Brigade Directive, signed on 2nd July 1971 by Brigadier Cowan. At that time, there had been no shooting attacks against the security forces, it was felt that the hooligan element had been separated from the majority of the community, and the IRA were described as “quiescent ”. Progress had been made towards stability and normality and “there were signs that the policy of restraint, which the Security Forces had been following since June 1970, was at last beginning to succeed ”.1

1 G27.196

8.112 Brigadier MacLellan wrote that within two days of the July Directive the situation had changed dramatically. He attributed this to the beginning of what he described as an IRA campaign aimed at disrupting the city and thereby forcing the cancellation of the Apprentice Boys’ Parade. According to Brigadier MacLellan, this culminated in the shooting of Seamus Cusack and Desmond Beattie, described in the paper as rioters who were shot in the “first ever return of fire in Londonderry ”. Brigadier MacLellan wrote that this “instantly turned the Catholic community from benevolent support to complete alienation ”. The subsequent introduction of internment led to “a situation in which the Security Forces were faced by an entirely hostile Catholic community ”. In response, on 20th August 1971, it was decided to lower the military profile in the city, in the hope that moderate opinion would win the day. This, Brigadier MacLellan commented, had “proved to be a pious hope ”. At the time of writing, “neither the RUC nor the military have control of the Bogside and Creggan areas, and law and order is not being effectively maintained ”. No routine military patrols took place in those areas, and “the mob rule of the gun prevails ”.1

1 G27.196-197

8.113 After this overview of the security situation, Brigadier MacLellan briefly noted the general political trends in the Province before turning to an assessment of the Official and Provisional IRA. He reported that there was no evidence of liaison between the Officials (described in the paper as the “Goulding Group ”) and the Provisionals (the “Brady Group ”), and that there were reports that the latter would attack the former when the time was ripe. The Provisionals were claiming responsibility for the wave of violence in the city, as part of their policy of “making Ulster ungovernable ”. There were reports of an influx of “a good number ” of recruits, and “no shortage of arms, ammunition or explosives ”. However, it had also been suggested that the “present rate of attrition by the Security Forces ” was beginning to weaken morale, with some Provisional IRA members believing that their relations with the Catholic community were beginning to deteriorate. The Officials in Londonderry continued to concentrate on political activities “with the emphasis on the continuation and proliferation of the civil resistance campaign ”. Although the success of this campaign had heartened the group, there were concerns both about the shortage of arms, ammunition and explosives, and the defection of the younger and more militant members to the Provisionals. Brigadier MacLellan noted the possibility that a more militant line might be adopted by the Officials to halt this flow, and added that it was also the case that the group would take up arms in defence of their own “‘liberated’ ” areas in the event of an “‘invasion’ ” by the security forces.1

1 G27.198

8.114 Brigadier MacLellan concluded his report on these groups by noting that while “We must assume that the present level of IRA activity will continue for some time ” there was reason to believe that the security forces could continue to weaken the morale and operational ability of the paramilitaries. This, combined with the continued alienation of those in the Catholic community who were “fed up with the disruption of their lives, with the disorder, and with the gunmen in their midst ”, indicated that “if the Security Forces can continue to operate at a high level of intensity, and can re-establish control and stability the IRA will be defeated ”.1

1 G27.199

8.115 In terms of Protestant organisations, Brigadier MacLellan wrote that, unlike Belfast, there were no vigilante patrols in the Protestant areas of the city, although a report had been received predicting that 600 people might be available for such groups if a call were made (there being no evidence that it would be). He praised the Orange Order and the Apprentice Boys for their general attitude of patience, restraint and responsibility to the then security situation, adding that there had been no attempt to increase tension by defying the ban on marches.1

1 G27.199

8.116 Turning to his own forces and their role and methods, Brigadier MacLellan defined the mission of 8th Infantry Brigade as being “to restore and maintain law and order throughout the Brigade area, acting in aid of the civil power in conjunction with the RUC ”. In accordance with General Ford’s Directive, he highlighted and expanded upon the three “simultaneous and inter-related fronts ” – intelligence, operational and public relations – on which the battle against the IRA was conducted.1 Of particular relevance to this Inquiry were his comments on the second and third of these matters.

1 G27.200

8.117 Under the heading of “The Operational Front ”, Brigadier MacLellan wrote that: “Our reaction to any incident of rioting or terrorism must be positive, quick, and effective ”. In response to gunmen, Brigade soldiers “should not hesitate to return fire whenever events demand it and the law permits ”, and such actions should be followed up by arrests and recovery of bodies and weapons when possible. Hooliganism presented a different set of problems, as the perpetrators were “particularly youthful, agile, cunning, and fleet of foot, and any arrest manoeuvre which smacks of ponderousness will not catch them ”. Instead, hooligans should be “dispersed by the minimum use of force, and arrested by the use of imaginative tactics ”. Brigadier MacLellan concluded this section by telling commanders to ensure that the personal standards of conduct of their soldiers did not deteriorate, stressing that “the soldier must be, and must be seen to be, impartial, humane and courteous ”.1

1 G27.201

8.118 On the public information front, Brigadier MacLellan wrote the following:1

“In the present situation there must, at times, inevitably be a tendency for our soldiers to become frustrated and angry, and even to regard the entire community of the Bogside and Creggan as supporters, if not actual members, of the IRA. Of course this is not true; it does not automatically follow that because most of them are against the Stormont Government that they actively support the IRA.

Nevertheless, in their desire to see the fall of the Stormont Government they share, to some extent, a common aim with the gunmen and are thus very susceptible to anti-Security Forces propaganda. Our successes against the IRA cannot therefore be seen in isolation and must be balanced against our success in convincing moderate opinion that the defeat of the IRA is in the best interests of the community as a whole.

Our enemies [sic] propaganda machine is both efficient and unscrup[u]lous and is quick to exploit any weakness in our position. It is therefore imperative that we act honourably and, in our relentless pursuit of the IRA, do everything we can to avoid alienating the decent people who are at present being cowed and intimidated by the gunmen and thugs.

We shall defeat the IRA, but if we do not also win the battle on the Public Information Front we shall have gained a Pyrrhic victory. It is vital therefore that not only should the behaviour of troops be impeccable, but also that commanders should exploit every opportunity to gain favourable publicity for our activities. ”


1 G27.202

8.119 The rest of the Directive set out the concept of different types of operation, the tasks of the specific regiment or battalion areas that comprised the Brigade, and the composition of security committees.1 In relation to arrest operations, Brigadier MacLellan set out that they were to be continued “at the highest possible intensity ”, with the aim of conducting “a never-ending series of small arrest operations and to harass the IRA to such an extent that they do not know where to turn to next for a safe bed for the night ”. On patrolling in the Bogside and Creggan, he wrote that 8th Infantry Brigade intended to start such patrols “in strength as soon as the Brigade force levels allow ”, which was then predicted to be on 2nd December 1971. These patrols, which would inevitably provoke a hostile response, would be co-ordinated by Brigade HQ, and were intended to re-establish law and order in the Bogside and Creggan. Until then, commanders in the city and Creggan areas were “to carry out limited patrolling in their areas whenever they can do so from within their own resources ”.2

1 G27.203-218 2 G27.202-203

8.120 An annex to the Directive set out the regulations to be deployed in using internal security (IS) weapons. The general overarching principle was that the “most appropriate weapon is to be used to ensure that the force used is the minimum necessary to achieve the objective of keeping the peace ”. Live-round fire was to be governed by the latest version of the Yellow Card, the purpose and wording of which we consider below. CS Bursting Grenades could be used before small arms if the commander felt that he must open fire to deal with an incident; again the rules laid down in the Yellow Card would have to be observed. CS gas could be employed only if, short of opening fire, there was no other way of dealing with a number of listed situations in which people or property were at risk of being attacked, or (again as a last resort) in dispersing an illegal meeting or demonstration. Water cannons could be used on the orders of a local commander who deemed it necessary in order to achieve control of a crowd or an incident. Baton rounds, which were to be used in preference to CS gas, were best fired in salvoes of not less than six rounds, at a range not exceeding 50m, and from a standing position. Normally, the round should be fired into the ground with the intention of bouncing it into the thighs and shins of a crowd; however, it could be fired directly at a target “if the circumstances warrant it ”. Whenever possible, baton rounds were to be fired in conjunction with the deployment of an arrest squad. Batons, which were hand-held and hence a “discriminating weapon ”, could be deployed when required in accordance with the doctrine of minimum force. Finally, the use of all IS weapons was to be preceded by a “clear and timely warning to the crowd ”.1

1 G27.217-218

The Yellow Card

8.121 The reference to the Yellow Card was to the (yellow) booklet headed “Instructions by the Director of Operations for Opening Fire in Northern Ireland ”. It was issued to every soldier serving in Northern Ireland and contained instructions as to when a soldier could use lethal force. The Yellow Card was first issued in September 1969. It was periodically revised and the fourth version (revised in November 1971)1 was current in January 1972.2
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