Missing Madeleine
Come join us...there's more inside you cannot see as a guest!

Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

Page 6 of 8 Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 18:35

avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 18:35

18.74 From Colonel Wilford’s OP there was a view of some of William Street, though because of the bend in the road, it was not possible to see as far down as Barrier 14. It was also not possible to see much of Little James Street or Barrier 12. It should be borne in mind that the photograph shown above is not a reliable guide to what could be seen, as it was taken after Bloody Sunday and after buildings to the south-east of the Presbyterian church had been destroyed.

18.75 It is not clear when Colonel Wilford got to this OP, though we are satisfied that he was there for all or most of the time from at latest about 1515 hours until about 1610 hours. Captain Jackson, his adjutant, was with him together with a bodyguard. It is possible that his second in command (Major Norman Nichols) was with him, or with him for some of the time, since in his evidence to the Widgery Inquiry, Colonel Wilford referred to Major Nichols’s presence when a shot hit the Presbyterian church (a matter to which we return below). However, in his oral evidence to us Captain (now General) Jackson thought that Major Nichols was almost certainly not there,1 and Major Nichols himself in his written evidence to this Inquiry,2 while having little detailed recollection of the day, thought that he was on his own elsewhere. In addition there is an entry in the 1 PARA log,3 timed at 1530 hours, recording an order from Major Nichols to send “watchdog team ” (the Military Police) to “2IC location ”, which seems to indicate that at least at that time, Major Nichols was not with Colonel Wilford.

1 Day 318/22 3 W90 serial 26

2 C1876.2

18.76 Because he was in this building, Colonel Wilford was not in direct radio contact with Brigade HQ or other battalions on the Ulsternet, though it may be that he had a lead from the Land Rover so that he could listen to Brigade radio traffic.1 His Land Rover did have an Ulsternet radio, but when he was away from this vehicle, communications with Brigade HQ or other battalions would go through a signaller with an A41 radio on the battalion net to his Tac HQ in the Gin Palace who would send and receive Ulsternet messages.2Elsewhere in this report3 we describe in detail the radio communications in use on Bloody Sunday.

1 B948; C1876.2

2 C2033.4; C366.1; W291
3 Chapters 180–192


18.77 A memorandum,1 drafted in 1972 for Captain 200 by Sergeant INQ 2006, a signaller who was on duty in the Gin Palace on Bloody Sunday, recorded Colonel Wilford’s signallers as being Corporal INQ 1027, Corporal INQ 1171 and Corporal INQ 691. However, Lance Corporal INQ 1152 gave oral evidence to this Inquiry that he was the battalion net radio operator for Colonel Wilford on the day,2 and Corporal INQ 1027 in his written statement to this Inquiry,3 stated that he operated the Brigade Net (ie the Ulsternet radio in the Land Rover) and that Lance Corporal INQ 1152 operated the battalion net radio. In view of the fact that none of these soldiers gave an account in 1972 and thus were endeavouring to recall what precise function they performed decades ago on one particular day, it remains unclear who the various signallers were and what function they were performing, though there is nothing to suggest that any soldiers other than these could have been Colonel Wilford’s signallers on Bloody Sunday.

1 C2006.26 3 C1027.1

2 Day 334/94

Machine Gun Platoon

18.78 As noted above, as or soon after Machine Gun Platoon reached Abbey Taxis, rioters noticed soldiers in that building and started directing stones and bottles at them. There might have been some who continued to throw stones and bottles at the Mortar Platoon soldiers to the east of the Presbyterian church and on the GPO building.

18.79 As also noted above, the soldiers responded by firing rubber bullets. It was shortly after this that Corporal A and Private B opened fire with their SLRs, the former claiming to have fired two shots and the latter three.

18.80 Corporal A and Private B gave statements to the Royal Military Police (RMP) in the early hours of the following morning.1 Corporal A’s statement was signed at 0100 hours and Private B’s ten minutes later. Both statements were taken by Warrant Officer Class I Wood.

1 B20.014-015; B43.009-010

18.81 Corporal A gave a second statement to Colonel Overbury at Lisburn on 17th February 1972. Colonel Overbury was a member of the Army Tribunal Team assembled for the Widgery Inquiry.1

1 B20.019-024

18.82 Both soldiers also gave written statements for the Widgery Inquiry and gave oral evidence to that Inquiry.1

1 B8-9; WT12.40-WT12.48; B25-27; WT12.48-WT12.60

18.83 Both soldiers have maintained throughout that they fired their shots at, and believed that they hit, someone at the Nook Bar corner who was preparing to throw a nail bomb, shortly after two nail or gelignite bombs had been thrown and exploded near to where they were. It is alleged against them that this is untrue to their knowledge and that they neither had nor believed that they had any justification for opening fire.

Corporal A

18.84 As described above, Corporal A was on the first floor (middle) level of Abbey Taxis.

18.85 According to the oral evidence given to the Widgery Inquiry by Corporal A, the soldiers on the bottom floor of Abbey Taxis were spotted by some youths who were hanging around after the main body of marchers had passed. They started throwing bottles, stones and rubbish at the building.The men on the ground floor fired rubber bullets at them in return.1

1 WT12.42

18.86 Corporal A said that he then noticed two smoking objects, each about the size of a bean can, thrown across his line of sight after which he heard two explosions, which he took to be nail or gelignite bombs, on the waste ground to the side of the building. The troops below him were still firing rubber bullets and he said that the two explosions were definitely louder than rubber bullets. As he saw the smoking objects go past he shouted out, “Nail bombs ”, to warn the men on the floor below. He said he was then ordered by the Platoon Commander (Sergeant INQ 441), who was on the ground floor, to fire if he saw any nail bombers.1

1 WT12.42D; WT12.44

18.87 According to Corporal A he then looked out of the window and, about 50m away on the other side of the road by an open space, he saw a man look round a building and then dart back again. The man came round and exposed his full body and brought his right hand from behind his back. He had an object in his hand. The man struck a fuse-type match against a wall, with his left hand. He then brought his two hands together. Corporal A said he assumed that the man was about to ignite a nail bomb, so he fired one round from a sort of kneeling position from the window, which missed his target. Corporal A said he then fired a second round aiming at the centre of the man’s body. That hit the man, who was pushed back and down. The man fell onto the corner. Other people then came out from the side of the building and dragged the man away.1

1 WT12.42G-WT12.43E; WT12.83

18.88 Corporal A said that he shot to kill.1 He said that the man was the only man in his sights (rear and fore) when he shot.2 He also said that at the same time as he fired, Private B fired three shots from the ground floor. It is not clear from his evidence to the Widgery Inquiry whether Corporal A heard Private B’s shots at the time, but he did tell Lord Widgery that when he fired he did not know that another soldier was firing at the same target.3 He said he saw no-one near the nail bomber at the time he shot, or anyone in the open ground.4

1 WT12.45 3 WT12.45

2 WT12.45 4 WT12.45

18.89 Corporal A told the Widgery Inquiry that he did not see what had happened to the object he had seen in his target’s hands and that he did not see anything lying in the road. He disagreed with the proposition that the device (if there was such) must have been left in the road, pointing out that the men who dragged the body away could have taken the nail bomb with them. He said that he did not seek to recover the bomb himself nor ordered anyone else to do so.1
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 18:36

1 WT12.47-WT12.48; B20.8

18.90 At an early stage in this Inquiry, Counsel to the Tribunal examined the 1972 statements and oral evidence given by the 21 members of 1 PARA who told the Widgery Inquiry and the RMP that they fired live rounds on Bloody Sunday. One of the resulting reports, Counsel’s Report No 2, outlined and analysed any discrepancies in the various accounts given by each of these soldiers in 1972.

18.91 Although the 1972 accounts given by Corporal A were largely consistent with each other, counsel identified three possible discrepancies.

18.92 The first of these related to where Corporal A was when he fired. In his RMP statement1 he had said “we moved unobserved onto waste ground to the SW of Tanner’s Row ”, and the map attached to this statement2 appears to put him on the waste ground outside Abbey Taxis.

1 B1 2 B3

avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 18:37

18.93 Corporal A did not himself annotate this map, which is typed and does not bear his signature or initials.1 It was prepared from what he had said in his RMP interview at which a map was available to him.2 We have no doubt that Corporal A was not on this waste ground and we accept his oral evidence to us that the relevant part of his RMP statement contained a mistake, which he might not have picked up because he was tired when he completed the interview at 1.00am on the morning following Bloody Sunday.3 It was a mistake that he corrected in the statement taken by Colonel Overbury4 where he said that his exact location at the time he fired was “a Courtyard behind the derelict building ”. This was itself later suggested to be a discrepancy, but we are not persuaded that this is so, as Abbey Taxis had no roof and little if any flooring and thus could in our view be considered as a sort of courtyard.

1 We examine in Chapter 173 how the RMP maps 3 Day 297/62-63
came to be prepared. 4 B5

2 B9; CW1.9; Day 383/160-161

18.94 The second discrepancy relates to the position of his target, as the RMP map shows this to be more in the middle of the laundry waste ground than Corporal A later put it in his trajectory photograph for the Widgery Inquiry (reproduced below).1

1 We examine in Chapter 174 how the trajectory photographs came to be prepared.
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 18:38

18.95 The RMP map1 is very small scale and is misleading, because it shows a building on the laundry waste ground that did not exist in 1972. The absence of this building at the time is demonstrated in the following photograph, taken on Bloody Sunday.
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 18:38

18.96 We are satisfied that the position shown for the target was a mistake, as Corporal A said in his RMP statement that his target was close to a wall and, as he explained in his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry, the scale of the map he was shown meant that he could not locate the position of his target exactly.1 In the light of these matters and bearing in mind that Corporal A did not himself annotate the map attached to his RMP statement, we regard this discrepancy as of no significance.

1 B9

18.97 The third discrepancy concerns the manner in which Corporal A described his target lighting a match. The typed version of his RMP statement recorded that: “I saw [the man] bring his right arm from behind his back. In his hand was some object which was about the size of his fist. I saw the man brush it against the wall where he was standing. The object in his hand caught fire as if it were a match. ”1 In his later testimony, Corporal A referred to his target lighting the nail bomb from a match struck against the wall by his left hand.2

1 B1-2 2 B9

18.98 This apparent discrepancy in fact arose from a transcription error, as is revealed by an examination of the original, handwritten record of Corporal A’s initial RMP interview.1 The full text of the relevant section reads: “I saw [the man] bring his right arm from behind his back. In his hand was some object which was about the size of his fist. I saw the man had something in his left hand and, as I watched, I saw the man brush it against the wall where he was standing. The object in his hand caught fire as if it were a match. ” The words shown in bold were omitted from the typed version of his statement.2 It is thus that in this account, as in his later evidence, Corporal A was describing his target as lighting a match with his left hand. Corporal A himself pointed out this mistake in his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry.3

1 B3.3 3 B20.26

2 B1-2

18.99 In his RMP statement,1 Corporal A described the person he shot as a man wearing a blue cardigan or windcheater who was about 5'7" tall and had fair hair. He was not asked for and did not give a description in his evidence to the Widgery Inquiry.

1 B1

18.100 Corporal A gave written and oral evidence to this Inquiry, on the lines of his previous testimony.1 He put the number of people engaged in throwing things at them as roughly 20 or 30;2 though he said that he could not recall how many he could see at the time when he saw objects being thrown and heard two explosions.3 He described the objects as “black and about the size of a bean can ”,4 but said he could not now remember them smoking or fizzing. His statement given to Colonel Overbury had referred to “objects with lighted fuses ”,5 and according to his Widgery Inquiry statement they were “shaped like cans of beans and there was smoke coming out of one end ”.6 He characterised the sound of a nail bomb, which he said he had heard three or four times before in Belfast, as “a dull thump type of explosion. But there is no sort of uniform sound. ”7 He described the sound of a rubber bullet as “more of a sharp crack ” and said that he did not believe he had mistaken one for the other.8 He also said that he shouted “Bombers ” or “Nailbombers ” in order to alert the platoon; and that he did not now recall hearing a response, though that did not mean that there was none.9

1 B20.1; Day 297/1 6 B8

2 Day 297/26 7 Day 297/27

3 Day 297/29 8 Day 297/27-29

4 B20.003 9 Day 297/29-30

5 B5

18.101 At that point, he said, a man emerged and then darted back from the corner of the Nook Bar, the building at the north-west corner of the laundry waste ground.1 Corporal A saw the man strike a match, which he described as being long and with a large flame, similar to the type used to light fireworks, against the wall of this bar.2 The match was in the man’s left hand, and he moved this closer to his other hand, which contained a dark object.3 Corporal A said that he then fired one shot, when on one knee, as the man, who was the only person he could see through his sight, brought his hands together.4 The man remained standing, and so Corporal A immediately fired again.5 He said he believed that he hit his target with this second shot, causing the man to fall.6

1 Day 297/30-31; B20.4 4 Day 297/32-33; Day 297/38; B20.4

2 Day 297/30-32 5 Day 297/32-33; B20.4

3 Day 297/31-32; B20.4 6 Day 297/33; B20.4

18.102 Corporal A was asked the following questions:1

“Q. Do you have still a recollection of what you describe in these paragraphs? [ie the paragraphs in his written statement to this Inquiry describing what he had seen and done]2

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Do you recall, did you see where the first of your shots landed?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you see where the second shot, if it was your shot, hit the man in question?

A. I did not see where it hit him, but I saw him go down as if he had been hit.

Q. How satisfied are you that the man whom you believe you shot was the man who lit the match and brought his hands together?

A. I am positive, sir.

Q. Were you wearing any gas mask at the time?

A. Not that I recall, sir. I cannot remember.

Q. As I understand it, you were not aware, at the time when you fired, that somebody else in the platoon had fired?

A. No, sir.

Q. You say in paragraph 35 that you learnt afterwards that Private B had fired shots at the same target, but you do not recall hearing him or anyone else shooting.

Do you recall now when you first learnt that the Private whom we know as B had also fired shots?

A. I cannot remember exactly, sir, no.

Q. Was it the same day?

A. Yes, sir. ”


1 Day 297/33 2B20.4-5

18.103 Corporal A said that after the man had fallen he saw people, he thought two, approach the casualty from the south-west and drag him away.1

1 Day 297/34

18.104 Corporal A’s evidence as to the reporting of the incident was varied. He said that he thought, although he could not be sure, that he did not tell anyone else about his shots until he was back in his Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC), where he also learnt for the first time that Private B had fired.1 When asked further about this, Corporal A accepted that he should have reported the matter earlier, and said that he did not think that anyone else in his platoon had observed him firing or his casualty falling.2 However, this was inconsistent with an earlier explanation that he had given to this Inquiry as to why he did not inform anyone about his shots, namely that he might have assumed that the Platoon Commander knew that he had fired and had reported it.3 Corporal A’s 1972 evidence does not deal with this point. In these circumstances, we consider that it would be unwise to rely on his evidence to this Inquiry as to when and where he reported his shooting.

1 Day 297/35; Day 297/76 3 Day 297/79-80

2 Day 297/158-9

18.105 Corporal A’s position when he fired was addressed in the statement of 17th February 1972 taken by Colonel Overbury:1

“Further to my previous statement dated 31 January 1972. My exact location at the time I fired 2 rounds on 30 January 1972 was a Courtyard behind the derelict building at [grid reference] 43241703. This area was surrounded by the walls of buildings to the north, south and west, and on the east side there was a wall about 18 inches high facing the open space to the southwest of the GPO Sorting Office. This courtyard was visible from William Street.

When I first saw objects with lighted fuses being thrown in our direction, I was standing on a derelict wall about 15 feet above the rest observing the crowd.
I shouted ‘Nail bombs!’. ”


1 B20.19

18.106 The grid reference is to Abbey Taxis. It is not entirely clear which are (i) “the courtyard …visible from William Street ”, (ii) “the walls of buildings ” and (iii) “the wall about 18 inches high ”. However, as indicated above, we consider that he was endeavouring to describe Abbey Taxis, which has what could be thought of as a courtyard behind, bounded by four walls with not much else left standing, the low wall being that part of the west face of the derelict building below the ground floor windows which looks out onto the waste ground to the south west of the GPO.

18.107 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Corporal A thought that the reference to “standing on a derelict wall ” may have referred to standing on a room-dividing wall of the floor below,1but this is not easy to square with the fact that he was at or near the window closest to William Street, on the first floor, and, according to his recollection, able to move from left to right.2

1 Day 297/102 2 Day 297/108-110

18.108 Counsel to the Inquiry put a number of possibilities to Corporal A relating to the injury to Damien Donaghey:1

“Q. One logical possibility was that there was a nailbomber, as you describe, but in fact you missed him and hit Damien Donaghy instead. As I understand your evidence, you think that is highly unlikely?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. The second possibility is that there was indeed a nailbomber, as you describe, and that you hit him with your second shot. Is that what you believe happened?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. The third possibility is that the person who you hit was someone who you mistakenly thought was a nailbomber, but who in fact was not. Is that possible?

A. No, sir, because he struck a match and I am sure he was going to light a bomb.

Q. The fourth possibility is that there never was anyone who either was or could be mistaken for a nailbomber, and you gave a false account of seeing a nailbomber in order to excuse the shooting that you had done. Is that possible?

A. No, sir.

Q. When you were in this building and saw the events that you have described, you were apprehensive, as I understand it, that the person that you saw might throw a nail bomb towards the building where you were; is that right?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you think that it was possible for such a bomb to land in the building itself?

A. It would have been possible, yes sir, through one of the open windows.

Q. I wonder whether there is one last possibility that I ought to ask you about, which is this: is it possible that you were panicked into firing at someone who had what might have been a stone and what might have been a nail bomb, but you could not tell?

A. No, sir, because I can see no reason why someone was striking a match and bringing it towards another object unless it was a nail bomb. ”


1 Day 297/37-38

18.109 Corporal A said that he did not see John Johnston shot.1 Indeed when giving oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry he said that the questioner (counsel for the families) was the first person to suggest to him that a second person had been shot.2 He also said that the firing he described was the only time he had fired in Northern Ireland other than on the range.3 He was not aware of any subsequent firing towards either Columbcille Court or Kells Walk. He said initially that he had a recollection of rejoining his APC and then being driven down Rossville Street at some stage,4 but he later indicated that he could have gone on foot.5

1 Day 297/37-38 4 Day 297/42

2 WT12.46 5 Day 297/44

3 Day 297/39-40

18.110 In the course of Corporal A’s oral evidence to this Inquiry, counsel representing, among others, Damien Donaghey and the family of John Johnston, put this suggestion to him:1

“Q. I suggest to you what happened here is: you were denied the opportunity for either speed or aggression and that you simply shot Damien Donaghy and Mr Johnston, either you or Corporal [sic] B in combination, quite literally because you refused to allow yourself to be categorised as an Aunt Sally or a crap-hat?

A. I shot a man who was preparing to throw a nail bomb. ”


1 Day 297/145

18.111 A little later counsel asked Corporal A this:1

“Q. What I suggest to you is, quite simply: that there was no justification for firing on this day?

A. I fired at a man I saw trying to ignite a nail bomb.

Q. And I suggest to you there was [sic] absolutely no nail bombs that exploded in and about the vicinity of where you have described?

A. Then you would be wrong.

Q. What I also suggest to you, Corporal A, is that you knew, having discharged shots in these circumstances, that to have done so without providing an explanation which gave you justification, you would be in deep trouble?

A. No, you are wrong again.

Q. Whatever happened here, you did shoot two innocent men between you, Corporal A and B; do you accept that?

A. I accept the fact that I shot at one man who was attempting to light a nail bomb.

Q. Do you accept that you also shot two innocent people who do not fit the description of the person whom you described as a nail-bomber?

A. No, because I fired at one man. ”


1 Day 297/148

Private B

18.112 Private B, according to his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry, got to the ground floor of Abbey Taxis with about three other men.1 His Platoon Commander, Sergeant INQ 441, was with him. He said that he took up position at the window closest to William Street2 and that he saw about 50 youths throwing bottles and stones, some of which came into the house.3 He cocked his rifle when the stoning started. At this stage there were about five soldiers on the ground floor, two with baton guns.4 These they fired at the youths, who nevertheless still kept throwing things. He heard two nail bombs explode to his left in the waste ground beside the house. At this time he was alone at the window.5 He did not see the nail bombs in flight because he was putting his gas mask on at the time. He said that he had previously heard nail bombs explode seven or eight times when in Belfast.6

1 WT12.49 4 WT12.49

2 WT12.49 5 WT12.57

3 WT12.50 6 WT12.50

18.113 Then, according to Private B, his attention was drawn to a group of people on the waste ground (by which he clearly meant the laundry waste ground) opposite his position. These people came out from the waste ground and threw stones and bottles. He noticed one particular man right at the edge of the house on William Street: of medium height and wearing a light-coloured windcheater. The man was looking in the direction of the soldiers and was in front of a group of about eight. He kept looking back at them. In his right hand he had a cylindrical black object, which looked like a nail bomb. With his left hand he struck the wall with a match. Then he brought both his hands together. He was looking down at the time.1

1 WT12.50-52; WT12.55

18.114 Private B said that he did not alert his Platoon Commander, who was about ten yards away, or anyone else, to the man’s behaviour.1 He told the Widgery Inquiry that his Platoon Commander was “busy at the time ”,2 and when asked why he did not alert other soldiers he replied that there was “a lot of noise going on ”.3 He also pointed out that “By the time I had mentioned it to the Sergeant he would have thrown the nail bomb ”.4 As a result, Private B said he had no orders to fire from his Platoon Commander.5

1 WT12.54-55 4 WT12.55

2 WT12.54 5 WT12.55

3 WT12.55

18.115 Private B said that he thought that the man was going to light the nail bomb and eventually throw it, so he took aim at the man’s chest and fired one shot. He said that he was wearing his gas mask, which impeded his aim, and that his initial shot had no effect. He fired two more rounds and the man, who was about 50m away, fell back. Private B did not see what happened to the object that had been in his target’s hands, but there was no explosion, and so he presumed that it either rolled away or was picked up by one of the fallen man’s “comrades ”, two of whom dragged the casualty away. Private B saw the group of eight who had been with the alleged nail bomber move away “in a body ” while other people further to the east gave him abuse as they dispersed.1

1 WT12.52; WT12.55

18.116 Private B told the Widgery Inquiry that he informed the Platoon Commander of the possibility that there was a nail bomb in the area where he had shot his target, but neither he nor any other soldier made or was ordered to make any attempt to recover it. He said that it “wasn’t practical for us to go ” as they did not have enough men at the time, though his evidence that there were only eight in the building is probably wrong, as we explain elsewhere.1

1 WT12.56

18.117 Private B said that he did not see anyone else fall and did not know that another person had been injured in the laundry waste ground.1 He told the Widgery Inquiry that when he fired there were eight soldiers in the building.2 He said that he found out that another soldier had shot twice from the window above him, but only when they were in the APC after the incident.3

1 WT12.60 3 WT12.56-57

2 WT12.56

18.118 Private B told the Widgery Inquiry that about five to ten minutes after he had fired he was ordered to move away across the other side of the road with another soldier and did so and took up position in another derelict house. He could see Guinness Force rounding up people in Kells Walk. The rest of the platoon eventually came out of the house and regrouped where he was, and then they moved to where the APCs were at the junction of Rossville Street and William Street after which they went in the APCs down to the Rossville Flats and stopped there.1

1 WT12.52-WT12.53

18.119 Private B said he reported to the Platoon Commander that he had fired “at this nail bomber on the corner ”; and the Commander tried via a signaller to get through on the radio to the Company Commander but Private B did not know whether he succeeded.1 It is not clear from the transcript of the oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry whether Private B’s affirmative answer to the question, “Did you, afterwards, make a report to your Platoon Commander? ”2 was intended to mean soon after his shooting, or only after he had got to the armoured vehicle, but evidence from Major Loden (which we consider below) indicates that it was the former.

1 WT12.57 2 WT12.57

18.120 Counsel’s Report Number 21 identifies three possible discrepancies in the contemporary evidence of Private B.

1 RPT2.1B.1-2

18.121 The first of these concerned the colour of the windcheater worn by his target. In his RMP statement Private B described his target as “a man … of medium height ... wearing a dark coloured windcheater ”.1 The same description is given in his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry.2 In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry, he was asked, “What was he wearing, so far as you can remember? ” His answer was “A windcheater, a light coloured windcheater ”.3 He was not asked about this discrepancy when he gave oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry. We consider its significance below.

1 B21 3WT12.51

2 B26

18.122 In our view the second possible discrepancy is not really a discrepancy at all. In his RMP statement1 Private B recorded that “Another soldier fired at the same time as I did ”, while in his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry2 he recorded that he had been told “after the body had been carried away” that Corporal A “had also fired at the man at the same time as I had from his position on the first floor ”. The two statements are not in our view inconsistent with each other.

1 B22 2B26

18.123 The third possible discrepancy was that in his Widgery Inquiry statement Private B recorded that before Machine Gun Platoon left the derelict building they had heard the sound of firing from an easterly direction,1 while in his oral testimony to the Widgery Inquiry he said that he had heard firing from at least three directions.2 In our view this inconsistency is of no significance.
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 18:40

18.124 The map attached to Private B’s RMP statement shows the same position of firer and target as that of Corporal A and again is to be contrasted with the trajectory photograph prepared for the Widgery Inquiry. Both are reproduced below.



avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 18:40

18.125 As in the case of Corporal A, Private B did not himself annotate the RMP map attached to his statement. In his RMP statement he recorded that, “We took up position close to William St on ground where derelict houses have been broken down ”.1 We are satisfied that this is a reference to Abbey Taxis, which is consistent with the evidence that he gave to the Widgery Inquiry.2 As to the position of his target, it seems to us that throughout his 1972 evidence Private B sought to describe his target as being at the north-west corner of the laundry waste ground.3 In these circumstances the fact that the small-scale RMP map (marked by someone else) seems to show a different position for Private B and his target is in our view of no significance.

1 B21 3B21; B26; WT12.51

2 W12.49

18.126 Private B gave an extensive written statement for the Widgery Inquiry.1 His oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry was consistent with that statement, but the latter included some evidence not picked up in his oral testimony, including that when Private B had reached the ground floor, the soldiers were engaged in cutting barbed wire, and that Corporal A (who had climbed down to help the others enter the building) took up a position on what Private B described as the “second ” floor. We are sure that this is a reference to the middle storey of Abbey Taxis.

1 B25-7

18.127 Private B gave written1 and oral evidence2 to this Inquiry. He had, he said, practically no useful memory of the events of the day, and he could not recall firing, nor hearing nail bombs exploding.3 Private B had previously undergone surgery, and although he felt that he had made a full recovery he could not rule out the possibility that the surgery had affected his recollection of events in 1972.4 No useful purpose would be served by enumerating the many things that he said that he did not remember. That of which he did say he did have some recollection included the following.

1 B43.001 3B43.3; B43.3; Day 311/28-44

2 Day 311/1 4Day 311/1-2

18.128 He understood that Machine Gun Platoon would be close to the no-go area and he thought that the IRA might take pot shots at them.1 He recalled looking towards the Creggan and talk among the privates that it was there that the IRA was based, knowing that the soldiers could not go up there, but wishing that they could, because they would probably recover a lot of IRA ammunition and weapons and stop the no-go areas.2 He rejected the suggestion put to him3 that he opened fire to see whether he could flush the IRA out.

1 Day 311/4 3Day 311/93

2 Day 311/10-1

18.129 He said he could recall Private INQ 455 (the platoon signaller) on the ground behind him, having fallen “on the wall, we were making our way into the – where we ended up at, you know, the ground floor ”.1

1 Day 311/21

18.130 Private B recalled seeing people in William Street shouting and throwing objects at his position inside Abbey Taxis.1 He also remembered his eyes watering from the effects of CS gas, causing him to put his respirator on in a hurry.2

1 B43.3; Day 311/28-32 2B43.3; Day 311/42-43

18.131 He did not think that he could have mistaken a nail bomb for a baton gun or an exploding gas canister, although he was not familiar with the latter sound.1 He did not recall having any anxieties afterwards that he might have got it wrong and that there was no nail bomb,2 and he pointed out that he had not fired a live round in Northern Ireland before 30th January 1972.3

1 Day 311/35-36 3Day 311/10

2 Day 311/52

18.132 Private B told us that he remembered Sergeant INQ 441 saying “Ceasefire ”.1

1 Day 311/38

18.133 Private B said that with no present recollection of firing he could not help further on the question whether the person he fired at was a nail bomber, or whether he fired at a nail bomber but hit Damien Donaghey instead, or whether he honestly but mistakenly thought his target was a nail bomber.1 He was then asked this by Counsel to the Inquiry:2

“Q. The fourth possibility is that there was no nail bomber; you knew there was no nail bomber; you fired without justification; and you later gave a false story in order to explain what you had done.

A. Well, I explained that before. We had not done that in the previous situations in Belfast. It was exactly the same. Londonderry or Derry – whatever you want to call it – is the same as Belfast. A street is a street; a derelict building is a derelict building; a rioting crowd is the same, no matter where you are in the United Kingdom. If you are called there to uphold the law, and you think your life is at threat, then obviously you will take appropriate action. At first, the minimum force, you use a baton gun – round. But if that does not work, and then you are still under threat, you would obviously take out the target who is actually threatening you. And you will take him out. Because at the end of the day we are soldiers, not policemen – or were, I should say.

Q. I would like you to look at two paragraphs to your statement to this Inquiry,3 paragraphs 9 and 10, please.

You are talking in these paragraphs of the building in which you found yourself. You are talking about a solid wall facing south towards the crowd on William Street, and you say:

‘I remember feeling that the solid wall was a blind spot where someone could have easily planted a bomb. I can remember thinking ‘For Christ’s sake hang on a minute. We could get slaughtered here’. It was not a good situation. ’

Did you think it was possible that, as you were in that building, someone might run up and place a bomb along that blind wall?

A. Yes, I probably did.

Q. Were you also afraid that a petrol bomb or a nail bomb could come through the window?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you remember that?

A. I do not remember it; I am saying that that would have been the case. I do not remember me actually being frightened at that particular occasion you are saying, but I would imagine I would be.

Q. You said in 1972 that stones had come in through the windows, although you do not remember that now. Presumably if a stone could come in a nail bomb could come in?

A. That is correct.

Q. And within that area a nail bomb could have caused horrendous injuries to anyone close to it on explosion?

A. Yes, probably injury and death.

Q. Is there any chance that, with that fear in your mind, you saw the rioters, saw them throwing things, and panicked and fired at them to keep them back?

A. No, because it had happened before in Belfast.

Q. Is there any possibility that – either your eyes were watering, or because of the respirator, or both – you could not see clearly what was going on, but felt under threat and so fired?

A. No. ”
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 18:41

Major Loden’s List of Engagements

18.134 As is discussed in detail elsewhere in this report,1 Major Loden compiled a list of engagements after interviewing a number of the firing soldiers in the immediate aftermath of Support Company’s withdrawal from the Bogside.2 This consisted of 15 entries, each containing a brief description of the target or targets at whom a soldier or soldiers fired, and grid references giving their respective positions. This list is incomplete and there are further problems with some of the information it contains. The list did not name or otherwise identify the soldiers, but nonetheless it is possible in many cases to ascertain to which of the soldiers particular entries seem to refer. These entries represent the first recorded accounts given by the soldiers as to their firing, though as will be seen when discussing the events of Sector 3, Captain 200, the Commander of Composite Platoon (Guinness Force), had a little earlier made notes of firing reported to him by his soldiers, which he later incorporated into a statement.

1 Chapter 165 2ED49.12

18.135 In relation to the shots fired by soldiers A and B, the relevant entry is the eighth:

“1 nail bomber at GR 43251698 (William St) shot from GR 43271711. Hit. ”


18.136 When plotted, as is done below, the grid references show that the firing soldier or soldiers were to the north of the Presbyterian church (marked in blue), while the target was to the south of William Street, seemingly in the laundry waste ground (marked in red).
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 18:42

18.137 The positions shown for the firing soldiers cannot be accurate, for it would have been impossible for the soldiers to see, let alone fire at, their claimed target. However, in our view there is no significance in this point. As is considered elsewhere, Major Loden compiled his list in difficult circumstances: the physical conditions were cramped and dimly lit;1 the soldiers were not familiar with Londonderry; and the map contained only three grid reference numbers, leaving Major Loden and the relevant soldiers to estimate the fourth. We are of the view that several of the grid reference numbers recorded on the list are unintentionally inaccurate, and did not convey the positions that the soldiers intended.

1 Day 344/13-14

18.138 In the case of the eighth entry on the Loden List of Engagements, we are satisfied that the information came from either Corporal A or Private B, or from both men. In our view the soldier or soldiers meant to locate themselves in Abbey Taxis and their target on the laundry waste ground. No possible purpose could have been served by a deliberate suggestion that they managed to see and shoot a nail bomber who was behind an intervening building. It follows that the first account given by one or both of Corporal A and Private B to explain their firing was consistent with their later evidence: namely that they fired at a single nail bomber to the south of William Street, and that the nail bomber was apparently hit.

The other members of Machine Gun Platoon

18.139 The only other formal statement made by a soldier of Machine Gun Platoon in 1972 was one by Private 005; this does not deal with the situation in Abbey Taxis, but with events after the platoon had moved away from that area.1

1 B1370

18.140 The members of the Machine Gun Platoon present in Londonderry on the day were the following:

Sergeant
INQ 441
Acting Commander

Corporals
INQ 1686
Acting Platoon Sergeant

A

INQ 513

Lance Corporals
INQ 275

INQ 588

INQ 624

Privates
B

005
Driver

INQ 439
Driver

INQ 153

INQ 455
Signaller

INQ 896

INQ 1354

INQ 1523

INQ 1544
Vehicle guard

INQ 1553

INQ 1805

INQ 1874

INQ 1919

INQ 1917


18.141 The Inquiry has obtained evidence from all of the above, save Corporal 1686, who has died, and Private INQ 1523, whom the Inquiry was unable to interview. Although some of these soldiers only recalled a few of the platoon being in Abbey Taxis, it seems to us that all or virtually all were there with the exception of the two drivers and the vehicle guard, Private INQ 1544:1“a complete platoon ” as Major Loden told the Widgery Inquiry.2

1 C1544.2 2 WT12.8

18.142 Sergeant INQ 441 appeared on the Thames Television production This Week, shown a few days after Bloody Sunday, when he said this:1

“Sgt 4: They’re on about the shooting, but nobody has spoken about the nail bombs. My platoon had nail bombs thrown at them and one of my men shot a man in the process of the throwing a nail bomb, this was in the William Street area before the actual main onslaught that they are talk[ing] about started when they’re all talking about us firing indiscriminately, where does they say come in what they can do? As far as I’m concerned If a man throws a nail bomb at my platoon or at me he deserves the only thing that can happen back to him and a rubber bullet will not stop a nail-bomber so the only thing you can stop him is with is with a bullet as far as I’m concerned. ”


1 X1.17.15

18.143 We are satisfied that Sergeant INQ 441 was not giving a first-hand account of what he had observed, but rather what he had been told by Corporal A and Private B.

18.144 Although we formed the view that Sergeant INQ 441 was doing his honest best to help us, we also considered that his recollections concerning Abbey Taxis had faded or become distorted with the passage of time; and that accordingly it would be unwise to rely upon his written or oral evidence to this Inquiry, save where there is other reliable material that supports his recollection. In many instances he told us he could not remember specific matters, such as whether or not he gave any order to fire, whether or not he heard Corporal A or Private B firing, and whether or not he reported the firing on the radio.1 His account was an attempt to reconstruct events that had taken place decades ago, and was clearly erroneous in a number of respects. He said he had been interviewed by the RMP at the time, but we have not been able to trace any statement from him and it may be that this too is a false memory. It was submitted on behalf of the majority of the families that in his evidence to us Sergeant INQ 441 was attempting to distance himself from his responsibility as Platoon Commander for the shots fired by Corporal A and Private B,2 but we have found nothing that to our minds supports this submission, which accordingly we reject.

1 Day 303/83; Day 303/86; Day 303/109-110 2 FS1.1020

18.145 Much of the evidence provided by the other members of Machine Gun Platoon has also proved of little assistance to us, again in our view due to their understandable difficulty in remembering and disentangling the details of one operation among many others in which they took part so long ago. For example Lance Corporal INQ 624, who did not give oral evidence for medical reasons, described his own recollections as “seriously flawed ” and “dangerously unsafe ” for this reason.1 He gave an account in a draft statement of giving his rifle to another soldier (he seems to be referring to Corporal A) who then used it to fire one or two shots.2 In view of Lance Corporal INQ 624’s assessment of his own memory of Bloody Sunday and the fact that in his oral evidence Corporal A was positive he fired his own weapon,3 it is highly unlikely that Corporal A used INQ 624’s rifle rather than his own.

1 C624.14; C624.9 3Day 297/136

2 C624.2

18.146 Some soldiers from this platoon recalled hearing noises that they thought, with varying degrees of certainty, could have been the sound of nail bombs detonating. These were Private INQ 1919;1 Private INQ 1874;2 Lance Corporal INQ 624;3 and Private INQ 1917.4 One thought that he heard a nail bomb strike the outside of Abbey Taxis after the final shots had been fired from there.5 Other members of the platoon did not recall hearing any such explosions. These were Corporal INQ 275;6 Lance Corporal INQ 588;7 Private INQ 1805;8 and Corporal INQ 513.9 None of these soldiers gave evidence of seeing a nail bomb or nail bomber. Again, while some soldiers recalled hearing a shouted warning or exchange about a nail bomb or bomber, others had no such recollection. These were Private INQ 1919;10 Private INQ 1553;11 Lance Corporal INQ 624;12 Lance Corporal INQ 275;13 Lance Corporal INQ 588;14 Private INQ 1874;15 and Private INQ 1917.16 Details from the evidence of these witnesses are often vague, and some recollections are clearly inaccurate: for example, some soldiers remembered substantial incoming gunfire,17 something that we are sure did not occur, since otherwise it would have been mentioned in the contemporary accounts of Corporal A and Private B.

1 Day 296/9-11; Day 296/16-19 10 C1919.4

2 Day 298/28-31; Day 298/35-37; Day 298/43 11 C1553.3-4

3 C624.3 12C624.3

4 C1917.2; Day 288/65-67; Day 288/95-97 13 Day 340/182

5 C1553.4 14 C588.5

6 C275.3; Day 340/181-182 15 Day 298/40-41

7 C588.4 16 Day 288/102

8 C1805.3 17 C1874.2; Day 298/37-40; Day 298/50-53; Day 341/11-16

9 C513.4

18.147 There are some matters, for example the presence of CS gas,1 Lance Corporal INQ 588 being hit by a rock thrown into the building,2 and the signaller, Private INQ 455, falling from a wall,3 which are likely to be true memories. However, in the end we concluded that there was little in this evidence which was of material assistance in either supporting or undermining the accounts given by Corporal A and Private B of the circumstances in which they came to fire.

1 C1919.3 3 C455.1; C1919.3; C275.2; C1553.3

2 C588.3

18.148 We are of the view that none of these soldiers sought, either individually or collectively, to give false evidence or otherwise to conceal from this Inquiry anything that might have indicated that Corporal A and Private B had shot without any justification.

The evidence of other soldiers

18.149 There were a number of soldiers in the area of Abbey Taxis.

18.150 Major Loden was in his OP on the western side of the Presbyterian church. His Diary of Operations1 recorded that “… a member of the MG Pl observed a man preparing to ignite a nail-bomb at the corner of the building GR 43251699 [this grid reference corresponds with the position of the Nook Bar] on the South side of William St. The Pl Comd then gave orders to a Cpl and a soldier to open fire as the bomber prepared to throw. These two soldiers did so and the man was seen to fall and was dragged away by his comrades. ”

1 B2212

18.151 Except possibly for the last sentence, this account must have emanated from members of Machine Gun Platoon in Abbey Taxis. As to the last sentence, in his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry Major Loden recorded that he had heard several shots from Machine Gun Platoon in the disused building. He stated that he turned and saw one man fall at the corner of a building on the south side of William Street. That man was dragged away by his comrades.1 His oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry was to much the same effect.2

1 B2219 2 WT12.8

18.152 Neither in his Diary of Operations nor in his evidence to the Widgery Inquiry did Major Loden record that either he or anyone else had heard nail bombs exploding in the area of the waste ground adjacent to Abbey Taxis and the Presbyterian church. In his oral evidence to this Inquiry Major Loden said that he had not heard a nail bomb, but pointed out that from his personal experience it was possible not to hear an explosion if one was very close to it.1

1 Day 345/48-51

18.153 We are satisfied that Major Loden was in radio contact with Machine Gun Platoon, whose Commander Sergeant INQ 441, while still in Abbey Taxis, reported the shooting of a nail bomber.1 It also seems to be the case that Private B had reported the shooting soon after the event to Sergeant INQ 441, while they were still in Abbey Taxis.2 It is possible that Corporal A also reported his shooting at the same time, though this is not certain.

1 B2220 2 WT12.57

18.154 We are also satisfied that after he had received the Warning Order to deploy Support Company through Barrier 12 at about 1600 hours, Major Loden learned from Machine Gun Platoon, through the radio link, that they could not extricate themselves from Abbey Taxis because the high walls prevented them from returning, and accordingly ordered them by radio to remain where they were and told them that he would send their vehicles to them.1

1 B2220; B2222

18.155 It was submitted, however, that the evidence of Major Loden’s communications with Machine Gun Platoon was false and given in an attempt to give the impression that he and the Platoon Commander (Sergeant INQ 441) were in control of the situation.1 Three grounds were put forward in support of this submission.

1 FS1.1005

18.156 The first is that there was no radio log of these communications between Machine Gun Platoon and Major Loden.1 In fact there was no radio log for any radio communications within Support Company (or indeed within any other company) so that the premise upon which this suggestion is made is false.

1 FS1.1006

18.157 The second ground for the suggestion was that Major Loden was wrong in his recollection that he ordered Private 017 to take two empty APCs to extricate Machine Gun Platoon.1 This suggestion is made because it is said that this soldier told us in his written statement to this Inquiry2 that he did not do this and thought it was more likely that “Major Loden indicated to me that he wanted to get the Machine Gun Platoon extricated using two empty Pigs and that I then found soldiers to carry out this order ”.

1 FS1.1006 2B2111.017

18.158 In fact the soldier in question was not Private 017, but Warrant Officer Class II 202, Company Sergeant Major Lewis. In our view the Company Sergeant Major’s evidence does not begin to suggest that Major Loden made any false assertion in this regard. When an officer gives an order of the kind in question to a Company Sergeant Major, it would be natural for the latter to instruct others to carry out the task on his behalf.

18.159 The third ground is based upon the fact that Major Loden appears to have made no report of the shooting of a nail bomber to battalion HQ at the time.1 There is no entry in the 1 PARA log recording any such report, nor any such report from the Gin Palace to Brigade HQ. However, Corporal INQ 1094 recalled that he was the radio operator for Major Nichols, second in command of 1 PARA, and was in a Land Rover in front of the Presbyterian church. He told us that he heard a shot hit a drainpipe on the side of the church and reported this on either the battalion or the company net.2 Corporal INQ 1094’s recollection may be at fault, but if he is right, this is another case where no record of a shot appears in the 1 PARA log, nor did the Gin Palace make any report to Brigade HQ. We consider this shot in detail below, but the point here is that it occurred at about the same time as the shooting by Machine Gun Platoon. Thus we cannot rule out the possibility that both events were reported but for some reason the Gin Palace neither recorded nor passed them on. As will be seen, there are other cases where the 1 PARA log does not appear to be as complete as it might have been and also cases where material information does not appear to have been passed on.

1 FS1.1004 2 C1094.3; Day 349/10

18.160 Major Loden accepted in his oral evidence to us that it was his responsibility to report the shooting by Machine Gun Platoon to the Gin Palace.1 He clearly had no recollection of why (if such was the case) he failed to inform battalion HQ, though he thought that this might have happened because at about this time he received the Warning Order to deploy through Barrier 12 and started to be engaged in moving his soldiers.2

1 Day 342/37 2 Day 345/53-54

18.161 The representatives of the majority of the families submitted that no soldier had reported the sighting of a nail bomber or the firing of live rounds. They submitted that the presence of a nail bomber and the use of live fire “could have had a dramatic influence upon any decision that the company commander had to make in relation to the deployment of other platoons and/or companies”.1 They contended that the reason for the absence of any report was that there had been no nail bombs. We do not accept that submission. We have found that a report was made over the radio to Major Loden. It is far from clear that no report was made to the Gin Palace. Furthermore, the submission assumes either that both Corporal A and Private B had admitted straight away that their firing was unjustified, or that the others in Abbey Taxis somehow knew that this was the case; and that because the firing was unjustified it was then decided not even to report that soldiers had fired. We have found no evidential basis for any of these assumptions.

1 FS1.1004-1006

18.162 We accept Major Loden’s evidence that he was in radio contact with Machine Gun Platoon. It is likely that if this shooting was not reported to the Gin Palace, that was because the Warning Order to deploy his troops through Barrier 12 diverted Major Loden’s attention.

18.163 Neither Colonel Wilford nor anyone else in his Observation Post reported or recalled seeing or hearing nail bombs in the area of Abbey Taxis at or about the time in question. The same applies to members of Mortar Platoon, and those in the Echo OP at the Embassy Ballroom, though this evidence is not particularly strong, since they also do not appear to have heard the shots fired by Corporal A or Private B. There was, of course, a lot of other noise and commotion at or about the time, including the firing of baton rounds.

18.164 There were also soldiers from 22 Lt AD Regt in a building called Harrison’s Garage on William Street. This was between 80 and 100 yards west of Abbey Taxis and can be seen on the following photograph, marked by Tony McCourt.1
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 18:43




18.165 It seems that these soldiers had been positioned there to observe the march, to provide sniper cover if necessary and to protect a building a few yards further east on William Street that had previously been a prime target for arsonists.1 It is most unlikely that they were aware that Machine Gun Platoon had moved forward to Abbey Taxis.2

1 B1883; B1885.1; B1747 2 Day 299/120

18.166 One of these soldiers, Gunner INQ 480, in written evidence to this Inquiry, told us that while in the building he had heard two or three cracks from a high velocity weapon and in his oral evidence accepted that these could have been the shots fired by Corporal A and Private B.1 Neither in statements made in 1972 nor in evidence to us was there anything to suggest that any of the soldiers in Harrison’s Garage had heard nail bombs exploding in the area of the waste ground to the south of the Presbyterian church, though again it is a feature of much of the evidence that people did not necessarily hear everything that was going on.

1 Day 303/133/1-5; Day 303/142/1-21

Conclusions on the shooting of Damien Donaghey and John Johnston

18.167 Our consideration of all the evidence has led us to the following conclusions.

18.168 In the first place we have no doubt that Corporal A fired two shots and Private B three more or less simultaneously, that it was one of the shots of Corporal A or Private B that hit Damien Donaghey and one or more that struck John Johnston; that all the shots fired by Corporal A and Private B were aimed at Damien Donaghey; and that John Johnston was hit by accident through a ricocheting or fragmented bullet or bullets aimed at Damien Donaghey. We accept the evidence of Corporal A and Private B that they did not realise that a second person had been shot until well after the event. This in our view was because John Johnston did not fall when he was shot and was soon surrounded by people coming to his aid.

18.169 We are also sure that neither Damien Donaghey nor anyone else had thrown or was about to throw a nail or gelignite bomb or similar device and that he and John Johnston were the only people hit by gunfire from Corporal A or Private B. This was the tenor of the civilian evidence, and is supported by the evidence of Major Loden, who heard no nail bombs and saw only one person carried away. In our view his point that one can be very close to an explosion and not hear it is unlikely to have applied to his position, for nail bombs exploding in the waste ground beside Abbey Taxis would have been some 40 or so yards from where he was and in our view he could not have failed to hear those.

18.170 In these circumstances it follows that the shooting of Damien Donaghey and John Johnston cannot be justified on the basis that the former was in fact posing a threat of causing death or serious injury to Corporal A or Private B or any of their colleagues. We should add that we have found no evidence that suggests to us that either Corporal A or Private B targeted somebody other than Damien Donaghey. In our view, therefore, there was no justification for this shooting. However, the question remains as to whether either or both of these soldiers fired in the mistaken belief that the person they aimed at was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury.

Corporal A’s and Private B’s state of mind

18.171 It will be appreciated that at one extreme a soldier may fire in the mistaken belief that his target is posing a threat of causing death or serious injury, while at the other extreme he may believe that his target is posing no such threat at all. Between these two extremes, however, lie other possible states of mind, such as only suspecting that the target might be a legitimate one, or simply not caring one way or the other.

18.172 It was urged upon us that Corporal A and Private B had colluded in making up a fictitious account of the circumstances in which they opened fire, when in truth they had deliberately targeted someone who they knew to be posing no threat that justified their shooting.1

1 FS1.1061-1062

18.173 We are sure that Corporal A and Private B did discuss what had happened, probably very soon after the event. Indeed it would have been odd had they not done so. But there is a fundamental difference between discussing what had happened and conspiring together to put forward a false account.

18.174 It was suggested that the fact that in their RMP statements1 both soldiers said that they had moved “across roof tops ” rather than over walls to get to Abbey Taxis, and the fact that the maps attached to their RMP statements both showed the same error in their positions and that of their target,2 demonstrated that they had agreed to give a false account, on the grounds that “For people to get accounts identically right may mean that they are accurate but when they get them identically wrong it gives rise to enquiries ”.3

1 B1; B21 3 FS1.1007

2 B3; B23

18.175 However, it is quite possible that the soldiers did have to climb over roofs as well as walls to get to Abbey Taxis. The same interviewer took their RMP statements within ten minutes of each other, which could well explain the use of similar phraseology and similar annotations on the RMP maps attached to their statements. As observed above, these maps were not annotated by Corporal A or Private B and were of small scale and misleading. In our view these matters do not demonstrate that there was any wrongful collusion between Corporal A and Private B.

18.176 As we have observed above, it is reasonably clear that Damien Donaghey was wearing a light-coloured jacket of some kind. Thus it is the case that in his RMP statement,1 Private B misdescribed the colour of the windcheater jacket worn by Damien Donaghey as “dark coloured ”, though he changed his description to “light coloured ” when he gave oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry.2

1 B21 2 WT12.51

18.177 It was not suggested to either soldier that this misdescription was part of any conspiracy to give false evidence. It is difficult to see how misdescribing the target could have assisted either soldier in seeking to justify unjustifiable shooting. The description that Private B originally gave could in theory be an indication that his target was not Damien Donaghey, but since to our minds there is no doubt that he was the person both soldiers shot at (and one hit), this cannot be so; and the likely explanation is that Private B was simply mistaken in his recollection, perhaps confusing the dark colour of Damien Donaghey’s jumper with his creamy coloured jerkin. Corporal A’s description in his RMP statement1 was that the man that he shot at was wearing “a blue cardigan or windcheater ”, and (as noted above) some civilian witnesses gave differing descriptions of Damien Donaghey’s clothing and its colour. As to Corporal A’s description of the man’s hair as fair,2 this too in our view must simply be a mistake.

1 B1 2 B1

18.178 We are also sure that Corporal A was wrong in his evidence that he saw and heard nail bombs and Private B that he heard two explode. This could indicate that they had invented this part of their evidence to bolster their false account of seeing a nail bomber shortly afterwards. In our view, Corporal A may well have embroidered his testimony by describing the objects as “smoking ”1 or with “lighted fuses ”.2 However, to our minds it does not necessarily follow that if he, let alone Private B, did so he knew that no nail bombs had been thrown. We consider that it is more likely than not that Corporal A did shout a warning about nail bombs, which he would hardly have done unless he thought (or at least suspected) that bombs had been thrown. Although both soldiers said that they would not have confused nail bomb explosions with the sound of baton guns being fired, we are of the view that this was likely to have occurred, since rioters had been throwing stones and bottles towards them and had been met with baton rounds fired from their position. Despite the fact that we did not find much assistance in the evidence of Private INQ 1919 as to what happened on the day, we accept his evidence that a baton gun fired in a derelict building would make a much bigger sounding bang than if fired in the open. He agreed with the suggestion that it would be “The sort of bang that might be confused or mistaken by a soldier who is unaware of what is happening as to a nail bomb being thrown… ”3

1 WT12.42D 3 Day 296/44

2 B5

18.179 It must also be borne in mind that the soldiers in Abbey Taxis were in an exposed position and vulnerable to nail bomb attacks. Such attacks were, as described earlier, a regular occurrence in the city at that time. The soldiers were right to be apprehensive of, and on their guard against, the possibility of nail bombs being thrown and may well have thought that this had already occurred. It is a well-known phenomenon that, particularly when under stress or when events are moving fast, people can often honestly but erroneously come to believe that they are or are likely to be hearing or seeing what they were expecting to hear or see.

18.180 As to the shooting itself, it is in our view significant that Corporal A and Private B fired at the same target at more or less the same time but from different positions in Abbey Taxis. Any suggested explanation for their shooting has to take this factor into account.

18.181 In an attempt to explain why this happened it was submitted that because the shooting occurred while the march was still in progress, because the soldiers shot to wound when their training was to shoot to kill, and because they shot from a position of cover, thereby revealing themselves, “The only rational explanation is that these shots were designed to provoke a response from the IRA and thereby to reinforce the justification for subsequent aggressive action ”.1

1 FS4.120

18.182 We reject this submission. It asserts that the march was still in progress, when in truth there were few people still following the march in this part of William Street. It assumes, without suggesting any basis for the assumption, or exploring the point with either soldier, that because Damien Donaghey was wounded and not killed, the shots were intended only to wound. Both soldiers stated in terms that they fired at the centre of the body. It wrongly states that by shooting, the soldiers revealed themselves, when in fact Machine Gun Platoon had already been spotted and had responded to stoning by using baton guns. There is thus no basis for the further implicit assumption either that the two soldiers had decided on their own to seek to draw out the IRA by this means, or had been instructed by someone to do so. We have found no evidence to suggest that this shooting was part of a pre-arranged plan to use lethal gunfire to lure out the IRA, or, as was also suggested, of a plan to teach the Bogsiders a lesson by shooting at them. We are sure that neither Corporal A nor Private B fired for either of these reasons.

18.183 As noted above, the suggestion was made that the soldiers shot because they “were denied the opportunity for either speed or aggression ” and refused to allow themselves “to be categorised as an Aunt Sally or a crap-hat ”.1 Such suggestions can hardly provide an explanation as to how each soldier came to choose the same target and fire at more or less the same time, unless they had made a pre-arranged plan to do so, for which proposition there was no evidence at all. We are sure that neither soldier fired for these reasons.

1 Day 297/145-46

18.184 Despite our rejection of these suggestions, it of course remains possible that Corporal A and Private B, or one or other of them, fired in the knowledge or belief that their target was doing nothing that justified such action.

18.185 There are other possibilities, that one or both of the two soldiers fired in fear or panic, without giving proper thought as to whether his target was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury, or fired at someone while only suspecting that his target might justify such a response. It may of course be the case that one soldier believed that he had identified a legitimate target, while the other did not.

18.186 Our assessment of the matters we have considered above has led us to the conclusion that it is most unlikely that either soldier fired in the knowledge or belief that his target was doing nothing that justified such action. More likely is that they fired either mistakenly believing or suspecting that their target was, or might be, seeking to deploy a nail bomb. It must be borne in mind that, in circumstances (as here) where there is a perceived and real possibility that a nail bomb may be thrown at any moment, there is little opportunity or time to assess the situation; and that these were, as we have said above, the sort of circumstances in which, in the heat of the moment, Corporal A or Private B, or both of them, might have jumped to the erroneous conclusion that they were seeing or might be seeing a man preparing to throw a nail bomb.

18.187 As to whether the soldiers believed that they had identified a target that justified them firing or merely suspected that this might have been the case, it is possible that Damien Donaghey was in fact doing something that did look as if he was or might have been about to throw a nail bomb. This would explain why both soldiers shot at him at the same time from different positions.

18.188 Whether Damien Donaghey was doing something that the soldiers reasonably (though mistakenly) saw as him preparing to throw a nail bomb is something about which we cannot be sure. There is no civilian evidence that this was so, and much to the effect that he was doing nothing that was or could have appeared to be of this nature. However, as we have observed, it is far from certain that any civilian was looking at him at the time he was shot; and it is also the case that there might have been a reluctance on the part of some to come forward with an account that laid any possible blame on Damien Donaghey for what happened.

18.189 In the end, we have concluded that neither soldier fired without any belief that he had or might have identified someone posing a threat of causing death or serious injury. In our view it is 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. We accept that these soldiers did not know that the shots of one or other of them (or possibly both) had also hit John Johnston. We consider it probable that in the heat of the moment neither appreciated that anyone, apart from his target, was in the line of his fire. It is also possible that either or both soldiers fired in fear or panic, giving no proper thought to what they were doing, but in our view this is unlikely.
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 21:05

Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry
- Volume II - Chapter 19


Other shooting in Sector 1
Chapter 19: Other shooting in Sector 1

Contents

Paragraph

The drainpipe shot 19.1

The evidence of OIRA 1 and OIRA 2 19.8

Did OIRA 1 fire the shot that hit the drainpipe? 19.33

Did OIRA 1 fire before or after the Army shots? 19.38

Evidence from others 19.43

Evidence of a confrontation 19.58

Evidence from the soldiers 19.82

The Sayle Report 19.101

The Sunday Press article 19.109

Other evidence of firing in the area 19.113

Other evidence from journalists 19.149

Other evidence of paramilitary activity 19.160

Conclusions on shooting in the area of William Street 19.169

The effect of the drainpipe shot 19.181

The drainpipe shot

19.1 There is convincing evidence from a substantial number of soldiers that some minutes before 1600 hours, a high velocity shot hit and shattered a drainpipe running down the eastern side of the Presbyterian church, just above the heads of members of Mortar Platoon, who were on the boiler house roof adjacent to the church and partly sheltered by the wall to the east of the church. The arrow on the following photograph indicates the position of the drainpipe.

avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 21:05

19.2 According to Major Loden’s Diary of Operations,1 at 1555 hours “One high velocity round was fired from the direction of Rossville Flats at the wire cutting party. The shot struck a drainpipe on the East Wall of the Presbyterian Church approx 4ft above the heads of the wire cutting party. ”

1 B2212

19.3 As already observed, this diary was made up the following day. No note of times was made on the day itself.1 Major Loden was himself on the other side of the church, and though we accept that he heard the shot as it hit the drainpipe, he did not see where it had landed.2 In his written evidence to this Inquiry, Major Loden told us that he could see the drainpipe,3 but we consider his recollection to be mistaken in this regard. In his oral evidence to this Inquiry he agreed that he was on the other side of the Presbyterian church.4 However, it is clear that the shot occurred after Major Loden had ordered Mortar Platoon forward to cut the wire on the wall (at about 1540 hours) and before Mortar Platoon soldiers went back to their vehicles, which must have been very soon after Major Loden received the Warning Order (at about 1600 hours) to deploy his company through Barrier 12.

1 Day 342/35

2 B2219; WT12.7
3 B2283.3-4

4 Day 342/28; Day 342/38


19.4 Several soldiers considered that the shot had come from the direction of the Rossville Flats, which is doubtless why this appears in Major Loden’s Diary of Operations.1 Apart from the fact that there was a clear line of sight from at least the upper floors and roof of those flats to where the shot struck, there was no evidence that suggests to us that the shot had actually been fired from there. It has been noted earlier that Lieutenant N of Mortar Platoon had briefed the soldiers the previous evening that the Rossville Flats were a known sniper point. This may have contributed to their belief that the shot had come from that direction.2

1 B591; B1732.002; C768.2; B1484.002; B1979; B1985
2 B438.033; B575.110


19.5 We are satisfied, however, that during the period in question a member of the Official IRA, known to this Inquiry as OIRA 1, did fire a high velocity shot in the direction of the Presbyterian church from the top floor at the north-eastern end of Columbcille Court. This position would also provide a clear line of sight to where the shot struck and is roughly in the same direction as that of the Rossville Flats. The photograph below shows the relative positions of the Rossville Flats, Columbcille Court and the Presbyterian church.
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 21:06

19.6 The circumstances in which this shot came to be fired are a matter of controversy.

19.7 The principal question we have to consider is whether OIRA 1 fired the shot that hit the drainpipe. There is another question: namely, whether the shot that hit the drainpipe was fired before or after the wounding of Damien Donaghey and John Johnston by Army fire. This latter question was the subject of detailed submissions, on the basis (which we consider below) that it was important to determine whether it was the Army or paramilitaries who fired first in Sector 1.

The evidence of OIRA 1 and OIRA 2

19.8 OIRA 1 and OIRA 2 were members of the Official IRA in Londonderry, on the Command Staff and attached to the Bogside unit.1 They told us that they had come forward to give evidence to the Inquiry at the request of the families of those who were killed or wounded on Bloody Sunday.2

1 Day 395/10; Day 392/12
2 Day 395/158; Day 393/130


19.9 In summary, their evidence to this Inquiry was that after dark on Saturday 29th January 1972, having received orders that all weapons were to be taken up to the Creggan area of the city, they had gone to recover a .303in rifle with a defective or missing front sight, which had been hidden in Columbcille Court by another Official IRA volunteer. However, they abandoned this attempt because they thought that there might be undercover soldiers in the area after a shooting incident earlier in the day.

19.10 These witnesses told us that on the following day they drove to Glenfada Park North. They left the car there and made their way on foot to Columbcille Court. There they recovered a rifle from what OIRA 1 described as some sort of bunker or outside shed on the ground floor level of the north-eastern block of Columbcille Court.1 The rifle had ammunition in its magazine. OIRA 2 said he could not remember where the rifle was.2 They then climbed two flights of stairs to the top floor landing (sometimes described as a balcony) at the north-east corner of Columbcille Court, a place where they could dismantle the rifle to enable them to carry it away concealed from view. This landing faced north and on this side there were horizontal, white-painted, wooden slats. The arrow on the following photograph shows the position that they said they reached.

1 Day 395/59
2 Day 393/47-48

avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 21:07

19.11 OIRA 1 told us that after about a minute he heard what he was sure were three high velocity shots and shortly afterwards heard shouting from below that two people had been shot. OIRA 2 said that he did not recall hearing shots but did hear the shouts, though it is not clear from his evidence whether this was before or after they climbed the stairs to the landing. According to their testimony, they looked through the slats across to the Presbyterian church, where they saw a soldier on top of the building in a sniping position behind a low wall, whom they believed had been responsible for the shooting. OIRA 1 then aimed the rifle and fired one shot at this soldier. This happened, according to OIRA 1, a matter of seconds after he had heard the shouts that people had been shot. OIRA 2 thought or assumed that the soldier had been hit, and he and OIRA 1 immediately left the landing and made their way downstairs. As they were coming down the stairs or out of the building they were met by a number of people, some of whom protested at what they had done, while others urged them to continue firing. They then returned to the car in Glenfada Park North, where OIRA 1 put the gun in the boot and locked the car.1

1 AOIRA1.5-8; AOIRA1.26-28; Day 395/68-83, 88-91; Day 396/23-31, 38-45, 53; AOIRA2.3-6; AOIRA2.15-16;
Day 392/73-84, 109; Day 393/46-49, 55-58, 67-71, 75-76, 89-90

19.12 This account, given decades after the event, has similarities with – but also differs in fundamental respects from – an account of what OIRA 1 did written by John Barry of the Sunday Times Insight Team in 1972.1

1 AOIRA1.1

19.13 OIRA 1 denied that he had given any “formal ” interview or made any “formal ” statement to John Barry or any other journalist,1 though he said that he might have spoken to journalists in an informal way. John Barry told us that he had no independent recollection of interviewing OIRA 1 or compiling the notes, but was sure that he had talked to OIRA 1 at the time and had accurately recorded what he had been told.2 OIRA 2 denied that he had told anyone about the firing from Columbcille Court.3

1 AOIRA1.12

2 Day 193/101; Day 194/38; Day 194/93
3 Day 393/85


19.14 According to John Barry’s notes, OIRA 1 had arms stored in the boot of a car in Glenfada Park. He and OIRA 2 had already organised a possible counter-sniping position in Columbcille Court, in one of the areas outside the back door of each flat set aside for washing lines, which was fronted by white, wooden planks giving a slatted effect. OIRA 1 and OIRA 2 had arranged with a woman, the occupant of one of the flats, that she would leave open the gate to her washing area. They were at the junction of William Street and Rossville Street, when they then heard that two “boys ” had been shot by the Army in William Street, so they collected a .303 rifle from the car and went to their counter-sniping positions, where OIRA 1 shot at a soldier on the left-hand side of the church who had been putting his head up very cautiously from time to time. “Twice the man put his head up and OIRA 1 didn’t fire. The third time the man put his head up, OIRA 1 fired. OIRA 2 told him he had hit. ”1 John Barry made a note that OIRA 1 was “actually firing at east side of Church ”.2 We should observe at this point that the word “boys ” is a colloquialism often used in the city to describe men of any age.3

1 AOIRA1.1

2 AOIRA1.1
3 Day 159/68


19.15 John Barry’s notes continued with a description of a violent altercation that then took place on the stairwell or at the entrance to the washing place with three members of the Provisional IRA, one of whom tried to grab the gun and whom OIRA 1 threatened to shoot, but which ended when OIRA 1 agreed that he would not fire again. OIRA 1 then went back to Glenfada Park and put the rifle back in the boot of the car.

19.16 OIRA 1 and OIRA 2 denied in evidence to us that they had arranged a counter-sniping position, that they were at the junction of William Street and Rossville Street when they heard that two people had been shot, that they obtained the weapon from a car in Glenfada Park, or that there were other weapons in the car.

19.17 It was suggested on behalf of OIRA 1 that a number of minor details set out in John Barry’s notes were factually inaccurate.1 This may well be so, and it may be the case that if there were such inaccuracies (for example, that Michael Kelly, one of those killed on Bloody Sunday, was OIRA 1’s cousin), they came from another source. However, we are satisfied that in all essential respects John Barry accurately recorded in his notes what he had been told by OIRA 1 about the latter’s activities on Bloody Sunday. Apart from the fact that we were very impressed by this journalist, the text of the note itself demonstrates, by phrases such as “OIRA 1 says ”, that his source was OIRA 1.2

1 Day 194/91-92
2 AOIRA1.1; Day 194/151


19.18 Furthermore, in an article written by Gerard Kemp and published in the Sunday Telegraph on 23rd April 1972, a somewhat similar account appears. In that article Gerard Kemp wrote that he had interviewed a man in the Official IRA who said to him:1

“I left my car in Glenfada Park and walked over to Columbcille Court waiting for the marchers to come down. A bit of stoning was going on and I then heard two shots. I saw the crowd dragging someone back and knew someone had been hit. It was an old fellow and a young boy. I went back to my car and got my rifle out of the boot. It’s a .303. I walked back to the court and went up to the stairs on the way to the upper storey of the maisonettes. I was behind some vertical white planking and over by the Presbyterian Church I could see two soldiers crouching down behind a small wall. One kept getting up and then I saw him pointing his rifle. I fired one single shot and he jerked backwards. He was wearing a steel helmet with the face guard pushed right back over on to his neck. After I fired that one shot I went back to my car and put the rifle in the boot. ”


1 L210

19.19 In his written statement to this Inquiry, Gerard Kemp told us: “I cannot now remember being told any of this – it was many years ago – but I have no reason to doubt that this was told to me at the time and that the quotation in the article was an accurate record of what he [the sniper] said. I also cannot remember the name of the man or his appearance and would not be able to identify him now. ”1 We have no reason to doubt that the quotation set out in the article was a faithful reproduction of what Gerard Kemp was told. In view of what he recorded, there is little doubt that the person he interviewed was OIRA 1.

1 M47.1-2

19.20 We should note that in March 1972 Reg Tester, the Command Staff Quartermaster of the Official IRA in Londonderry on Bloody Sunday, gave Peter Pringle and Philip Jacobson of the Sunday Times Insight Team an account of the firing by OIRA 1 that was similar to the accounts recorded by John Barry and Gerard Kemp.1

1 S34

19.21 In these circumstances it is clear that OIRA 1 has given us an account of his shooting that is materially different from the accounts he gave soon after the event to John Barry and Gerard Kemp. The differences are such that they cannot be attributed to the dimming or distortion of memory through the passage of time, but must arise from some other reason, and must indeed entail that part at least of the accounts that OIRA 1 has given of this incident are untrue.

19.22 We reject the account given by OIRA 1 and OIRA 2 of making an attempt to recover the rifle on the evening of Saturday 29th January 1972. The reason they gave was that there had been an order that all weapons were to be taken up to the Creggan before the march. In his written statement to this Inquiry, prepared by his solicitors,1 Johnny White, the Officer Commanding the Official IRA in Londonderry on Bloody Sunday,2 told us that this had been the order. Johnny White became too ill to give oral evidence and so could not be questioned about this assertion.

1 AOIRA3.10
2 This witness was also known to the Inquiry as OIRA 3, but the Tribunal withdrew his anonymity in October 2004 after he had spoken to the Press about Bloody Sunday, using his own name.


19.23 However, we do accept the oral evidence of Reg Tester, who as Command Staff Quartermaster could be expected to know about the disposition of the few weapons held by the Official IRA in Londonderry. He told the Sunday Times in March 1972 that there were to be no weapons in the Bogside except for those held by the Bogside Official Unit, and these were to be kept in several safe dumps.1 He told this Inquiry that the rifle in question had gone to the Bogside unit at some time before Bloody Sunday and “would have stayed with the unit until such time as they either no longer needed it or the situation changed altogether”.2

1 S34 2 Day 414.40

19.24 In addition to the fact that it was not necessary to get the rifle up to the Creggan, the whole account of abandoning an attempt to get the weapon in the dark on the previous evening, because of the feared presence of the security forces, yet going back the next day in broad daylight to do so when there undoubtedly were many soldiers in the area, seemed to us to be so far-fetched as to be unbelievable. We were reinforced in this view by the manner in which OIRA 1 and OIRA 2 sought to answer questions about this topic when they gave oral evidence to us.1

1 Day 395/50-55; Day 395/85-87; Day 395/182-189; Day 396/1-8; Day 392/63-64; Day 392/87-93; Day 393/49-53

19.25 In these circumstances, we do not accept the evidence of OIRA 1 and OIRA 2 that their purpose in going to Columbcille Court on the afternoon of Bloody Sunday was to collect the rifle and take it up to the Creggan.

19.26 The next question is whether, as OIRA 1 told John Barry and Gerard Kemp, on Bloody Sunday they went to Glenfada Park to collect the rifle from the boot of a car in Glenfada Park, or whether they got the weapon from the shed or bunker at Columbcille Court.

19.27 In 1972, OIRA 1 would have had a motive for saying to a journalist that he had gone back to Glenfada Park to obtain a rifle after hearing that the Army had shot two people, for to admit that there was a loaded weapon hidden close to a pre-arranged counter-sniping position would have indicated that members of the Official IRA had prepared themselves in advance to shoot at the Army, rather than keeping their weapons in safe mobile dumps. The public line initially being advanced by the Official IRA at the time was not to admit to any shooting at the Army on Bloody Sunday, so as to avoid giving the Army any possible justification for firing.1 In a press conference called by the Official IRA on the night of Bloody Sunday, their spokesman said that “he could not speak for the Provisionals but to the best of his knowledge there was no shooting at all against the Army in the William Street-Rossville Flats area ”.2 OIRA 2, speaking at a rally in Kilburn in London on 5th February 1972, said that the IRA had not fired back until the firing had been going on for 20 minutes. In his evidence to us, OIRA 2 sought to explain this by saying that when speaking at the rally he might have used what he described as “a wee bit of poetic licence ”.3

1 Day 395/157; AT6.13

2 ED12.4-5
3 Day 392/123-124


19.28 The policy of not admitting to any shooting at all seems to have been abandoned, modified or ignored at an early stage, perhaps because there was widespread knowledge in the city that paramilitaries had fired on the day and some explanation had to be given. Perhaps OIRA 1 could not resist boasting of what he had done, by giving to John Barry and Gerard Kemp the information to which we have referred.

19.29 There might have been further reasons for saying shortly after Bloody Sunday that the rifle was taken from a car rather than from a place in Columbcille Court. At the time in question, there was fierce rivalry between the Official and Provisional wings of the IRA, the latter being only too ready to seize the weapons of the former.1 It seems to us that to disclose an unguarded place where a rifle was kept would invite the loss of that weapon, unless that place was never used again. In addition, to tell a journalist where the rifle had been kept (other than in the back of a car) would, in our view, run the risk of the security forces mounting a search of the area.

1 AT6.1

19.30 The fact that there might have been reasons for saying to the journalists that the rifle had been taken from a car in Glenfada Park does not, of course, of itself mean that what was said was untrue. However, OIRA 1 and OIRA 2 were insistent that this did not happen, and that they got the rifle from a place very close to where it was fired.1
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 21:07

19.31 By the time of this Inquiry, and given (though we do not accept this) OIRA 1 and OIRA 2’s assertion that they went to Columbcille Court simply to retrieve the weapon, concerns about revealing a place where a rifle had been hidden no longer existed. It is therefore possible that what OIRA 1 and OIRA 2 told this Inquiry is correct and that they indeed did retrieve the rifle from its hiding place in Columbcille Court, rather than from a car in Glenfada Park. If this is so, then it follows that OIRA 1 lied to the journalists about this.

19.32 Whether OIRA 1 and OIRA 2 collected the rifle from a car in Glenfada Park or from a bunker or shed in Columbcille Court, and whether or not the rifle had a defective or missing front sight, we are sure (despite their denials in evidence to us) that the real reason why they climbed to the top floor landing with a loaded rifle was not to find a place to dismantle it, but instead to get into a pre-arranged sniping position in order to shoot at soldiers if an opportunity presented itself. Although OIRA 2 suggested that it would not have been safe to shoot from there, since the only protection was wooden slats, he agreed that the slats helped to conceal them.1 His evidence does not alter our view that they went to a sniping position. Neither he nor OIRA 1 could to our minds provide any other satisfactory explanation for going to the top floor of Columbcille Court with a loaded rifle. In his oral evidence OIRA 2 somewhat reluctantly admitted that OIRA 1 was “probably ” a sniper.2

1 Day 392/071; Day 393/051 2 Day 393/014-15

Did OIRA 1 fire the shot that hit the drainpipe?

19.33 In his statement to this Inquiry, OIRA 1 told us:1

“I have heard talk of a shot hitting the drainpipe to the Presbyterian Church, which I understand may be to the east of the church. This is not the direction in which I fired. I am not aware of my round hitting a drainpipe. If it did hit a drainpipe to the east of the church I cannot explain why I missed the soldier I was aiming at so badly, unless this was down to a ricochet, or the defective sight. ”


1 AOIRA1.27

19.34 The drawing he attached to this statement shows the area at which he fired to be on the western side of the waste ground to the south of the Presbyterian church.1 In his oral evidence OIRA 1 said that he had aimed at the left-hand side of the church as he looked at it and that the direction in which he fired was to the south and west of the church.2 Though he did concede the possibility that he had hit the drainpipe that was on the other side of the church, his evidence as a whole indicated to us that he was maintaining that it was not his shot that hit the drainpipe.3 In his oral evidence, however, OIRA 2 said that it was probable that OIRA 1’s shot was the drainpipe shot.4

1 AOIRA1.48

2 Day 395/81-82; Day 396/78-79
3 Day 396/37-38

4 Day 392/83


19.35 OIRA 1 also told John Barry that he fired at the left-hand side of the church, though this reporter put in brackets in his notes “(OIRA 1 actually firing at east side of church) ”.1 This observation may have been made because John Barry was assuming that this shot was the one that hit the drainpipe.

1 AOIRA1.1

19.36 In our view, John Barry was correct in his assumption and OIRA 1 did fire the shot that hit the drainpipe on the eastern side of the Presbyterian church.

19.37 We consider that OIRA 1 is incorrect in his assertion that he aimed and fired to the western side of the Presbyterian church. There is nothing to suggest that there were soldiers on that side of the church who were presenting the sort of target described by OIRA 1 and OIRA 2, nor is there any Army evidence of an incoming shot on that side. Furthermore, we discount the possibility that he could have been aiming at the western side of the church but hit the eastern side, for even with a defective gun sight he could hardly have missed his intended target by the width of the church, some 40 feet, at a firing distance of some 120 yards. In our view, OIRA 1 aimed and fired at one of the soldiers of Mortar Platoon who were on the eastern side of the church, but missed and hit the drainpipe above their heads.

Did OIRA 1 fire before or after the Army shots?

19.38 We now turn to the question whether OIRA 1 fired the drainpipe shot before or after Damien Donaghey and John Johnston were wounded by Army gunfire.

19.39 In our view, the importance of this question must not be overemphasised. The drainpipe shot injured no-one. If it occurred after the wounding of Damien Donaghey and John Johnston by Army gunfire, it obviously could have had no relevance to that event, as far as the soldiers who fired were concerned. If it occurred before, the same applies, as there is nothing to suggest that the soldiers who fired from Abbey Taxis were aware of that shot or that it influenced them in any way. We consider later in this report1 what effect the shot may have had on other soldiers, but again, there is nothing to suggest that their reactions were in any way influenced by any belief as to whether the shot had followed or preceded the wounding of Damien Donaghey and John Johnston.

1 Paragraph 19.181

19.40 OIRA 1 has maintained throughout that he fired at the soldier he believed was responsible for wounding Damien Donaghey and John Johnston. However, OIRA 1 in our view untruthfully denied to us that he provided the information recorded by John Barry and Gerard Kemp, gave a false account to us or to John Barry and Gerard Kemp about where he obtained the rifle, lied to us about attempting to collect the weapon the night before and the reasons for doing so, and lied to us about his purpose in going to the top landing in Columbcille Court. In these circumstances we can place no reliance on his evidence as to why he fired.
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 21:08

19.41 OIRA 2 told us in his first written statement to this Inquiry (given to his solicitors),1 that he was in the Columbcille Court area when he heard a number of high velocity shots and then shouts from below to the effect that two people had been shot by the Army. In his written statement subsequently taken by the solicitors to this Inquiry, he told us that he could not honestly say he heard the Army shots himself, but only someone in the crowd shouting, “Two boys have been shot ”, after he and OIRA 1 had reached the top floor landing in Columbcille Court.2 In his oral evidence to us he said on more than one occasion that his recollection of events was very poor, and when asked why they had collected the weapon and then gone to the top floor of Columbcille Court, he said that his “best guess ” was that it was in response to the two individuals having been shot earlier, though he could not remember “the exact detail ”.3 OIRA 2 also said that the incident occurred before the main body of the march had arrived in William Street and when it was put to him (correctly) that Damien Donaghey and John Johnston had not been shot at this time said: “It has always been my assumption that they were actually shot – I do not know the exact timing – it has always been my assumption that they were shot before the main body of the march arrived. ”4

1 AOIRA2.3

2 AOIRA2.15
3 Day 393/48-49

4 Day 393/77


19.42 In our view, OIRA 2 now has little or no clear memory of the sequence of events, though he did maintain throughout his evidence to us that OIRA 1’s shot was in reprisal for the Army shots. However, since we take the view that he has failed to tell us the truth about going to Columbcille Court the previous evening and why he and OIRA 1 went to Columbcille Court on Bloody Sunday, we consider that we cannot rely on his evidence that the shot was by way of reprisal, unless there is other material to support this assertion.

Evidence from others

19.43 In his account to Peter Pringle of the Sunday Times Insight Team, Anthony Martin said that, while on the top floor of Kells Walk, he had heard two high velocity shots from the Presbyterian church/Richardson’s factory area and “A few seconds later ” a .303in shot fired from the corner of Columbcille Court, which he thought it was a “racing cert.” was a reply to the first two shots. He then saw an altercation between the gunman and some Provisionals who were trying to disarm the man.1 His evidence to this Inquiry was that he heard two SLR shots from the area of the Presbyterian church, that he cleared people off the Kells Walk balcony in order to protect them and that he then heard a .303in rifle shot fired from south to north.2 In his oral evidence he was unable to give any reliable estimate of the time that had elapsed between the first shots and the .303in shot, or the shots and the confrontation with the gunman. He said that he did not see a gun at all.3“There was two shots. There was a further shot. There were two shots and then there was some shouting about, asking a cameraman to come over, and then there was a shot and then there was an argument. ”4 He did not mention this latter shot or the altercation with members of the Provisional IRA in his NICRA statement.5

1 AM24.3

2 AM24.11

3 Day 176/64
4 Day 176/109

5 AM24.1


19.44 On the basis that Anthony Martin’s account to the Sunday Times of only “A few seconds ” passing before he heard the .303in shot is literally correct, and assuming it to be more accurate than his recollection 30 years later, the evidence of this witness supports OIRA 1’s present account that he fired by way of reprisal very soon after he had heard firing and learned that the Army had shot two people. However, this timescale would not fit with OIRA 1’s account given to the journalists, since much more than a few seconds would have passed if that account were accurate. Of course, the opposite is the case if Anthony Martin’s present recollection is to be preferred. However, we should not read too much into these apparently varying estimates of time, since expressions such as “a few seconds ” are often used not with their literal meaning, but only as indicating a short but otherwise undefined interval.

19.45 We have no reason to suppose that Anthony Martin’s evidence was given other than in good faith, though we bear in mind that in an urban environment, it may be difficult – if not impossible – to identify from the sound the type of weapon being used and from where the shot has been fired.1 In addition, as appears later in this report, we are unable to accept his evidence on a number of matters, including his account that later in the day he came under fire from a low velocity weapon like a Sterling sub-machine gun or a pistol, which to our minds casts further doubt over his identification of the weapons fired in the incident under consideration. In view of this, although Anthony Martin’s evidence provides some support for the proposition that there was a shot following those fired by the soldiers, we cannot treat it as alone establishing this proposition.

1 B1363.002; B1363.007; Day 298/70-72; paragraphs 65.182–187

19.46 In his NICRA statement, Frank Hone recorded that he had heard shots that he knew by their tone to be Army shots and which, as far as he could guess, came from Abbey Taxis or the church roof. He then heard of two civilians having been hit and, about three minutes later, heard a heavier shot fired from a location very close to him in Kells Walk.1 In his written statement to this Inquiry he said that he could not recall hearing of these civilians being hit or hearing the heavier shot. He did not refer in his written statement to this Inquiry to any early Army shots. Referring to his NICRA statement, he commented, “I cannot be sure now how much of the evidence is what I saw and how much is what I had heard other people saying or what I wanted to say I saw ”.2

1 AH80.1 2 AH80.5

19.47 On the basis of what Frank Hone recorded soon after the event, it would appear that there was an interval of minutes between what he believed to have been Army shots and a shot from a location close to him, though again this time estimate cannot necessarily be taken at face value. On his own admission, much – if not all – of his evidence may have been a second-hand account and perhaps of doubtful accuracy.

19.48 Thomas Mullarkey made a written statement, which he signed on 15th February 1972 and gave to the Sunday Times Insight Team.1 In this statement he recorded that he had been in the area of Abbey Taxis, had heard “a new crackle of fire ” after the firing of rubber bullets, saw a young lad fall over and shout that he had been shot, saw another bullet kick up dust along the ground going towards Kells Walk and a soldier in “Stevensons ” (by which it seems to us he was referring to Abbey Taxis) withdraw a rifle. “I estimate 4 to 5 shots were fired at this time. A little later I heard a single shot, loud, a revolver, but could not place where it came from. The people still around were stunned for a minute before anyone came to pick up the young lad… ” In his oral evidence Thomas Mullarkey said that he could not now recall this shot, but had been a member of his university rifle club and so was used to the sound of rifle and revolver shots. He thought that if he had reported it, he must have been certain that it was a revolver shot.2 We found Thomas Mullarkey to be an impressive witness and have no doubt that he was doing his best to assist the Inquiry. However, his evidence that he was certain that it was a revolver shot that he heard, though given in good faith, again cannot be treated as conclusive, for the same reasons as apply to the evidence of Anthony Martin. Thus his evidence may either support the proposition that OIRA 1’s shot followed those of the soldiers, or be evidence of another shot altogether.

1 AM452.15; AM452.6 2 Day 69/57

19.49 Bernard Gillespie told us, in his written statement to this Inquiry, that he was on the waste ground near the Nook Bar1 and that the first live shot that he heard that day was the one that hit a young boy. A second shot was fired shortly afterwards, hitting a middle-aged man who fell to the ground. As he walked away from the waste ground, he saw a row going on in the corner of Columbcille Court between a man armed with a rifle, who was standing behind the slats of a drying area, and a group of seven to eight men who were telling the armed man to go away.2 He made a NICRA statement in which he recorded, “I heard another shot just as the young fellow was been [sic] carried away and just then a man was carried into the same house. He also had been shot. ” He did not refer to the civilian gunman in his NICRA statement.3

1 AG32.3

2 AG32.4
3 AG32.1


19.50 Bernard Gillespie’s current recollection of hearing a second shot that hit a middle-aged man who fell to the ground is in our view a false memory, since in our view John Johnston did not fall when he was shot. Bernard Gillespie’s NICRA account may be explicable on the grounds that he heard more than one of the shots fired by Machine Gun Platoon from Abbey Taxis but ascribed this to a slightly later time than was in fact the case. However, it seems to us more likely that the second shot he heard was either the shot fired by OIRA 1 or another shot altogether.
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 21:08

19.51 Joe Carlin did not co-operate with the Inquiry, which was unable to obtain any statement from him as he lives outside the jurisdiction. He is recorded as having told the Sunday Times in 1972 that he saw Damien Donaghey fall (although he did not hear the shot that hit him), saw him being carried into a house and “immediately afterwards ” heard a shot from an upstairs window of the house to which Damien Donaghey had been taken.1 His account of this shot appears to support OIRA 1’s claim that he shot after the Army shooting. He also told the Sunday Times that, before the shooting of Damien Donaghey, he had heard a single high velocity shot, though this came from the direction of Great James Street, not the direction of the Bogside.2 We return to Joe Carlin’s account of this earlier shot below.

1 AC150.3 2 AC150.1

19.52 David Capper was based in Belfast as a regional reporter for the BBC. In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry, he recorded that while he was at the corner of William Street and Rossville Street, he heard two much louder reports among the sounds of the rubber bullet guns and went up to see what had happened. After some five minutes a man told him that the Army had shot two men. The man asked him to come and see them. As they approached some maisonettes, David Capper saw and joined up with a BBC television crew. He also recalled a fight breaking out and the cameraman, who had been in the middle of the crowd, making a run for it. He then said, “I was jostled in the crowd when suddenly a very loud report sounded in my ears … My impression was that someone close to me had fired a shot, presumably at the soldiers about 60 yards away. ”1

1 M9.1

19.53 In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry, David Capper said that he thought the two louder reports had been rifle fire, that on his way to the maisonettes he saw two soldiers in a derelict building to the north of William Street,1 and that the very loud report he had heard later was fired about four or five feet from him and which “I would have thought it was a revolver, may be a .38 or a .45 ” and “I took it to be a shot fired from amongst a crowd that I was with… ”2 Later in his oral evidence he agreed that this report could well have been from something else, though he added “The only reason I base that on is that I have experience with a .38 starting pistol and the report was as loud as you would get from one of those. ”3

1 WT2.68

2 WT2.68-69
3 WT2.75


19.54 In his written evidence to this Inquiry, David Capper stated that he saw one man fire one round from a pistol towards some soldiers who were in a derelict building near the Presbyterian church on the other side of William Street.1 However, in his oral evidence to this Inquiry, David Capper said that after hearing the bang he looked round and saw a man putting a gun back in his pocket. The man was at ground level,2 facing in the direction of the Presbyterian church.3 He explained that he had not regarded it as diplomatic to say in his evidence to the Widgery Inquiry that he had actually seen the gunman.4 He seemed to agree that his position at the time was probably somewhat to the east of Ma Shiels’ house (where Damien Donaghey and John Johnston had been taken), and he agreed that from what he saw the shot did not provoke any response from the Army by way of gunfire.5 His recollection was that the crowd scattered at the sound of the shot and that there was no altercation between any of them and the gunman that he saw.6

1 M9.17

2 Day 73/123

3 Day 73/11
4 Day 73/65

5 Day 73/68-69

6 Day 73/124


19.55 If David Capper was mistaken in his impression that the “very loud report ” that he said he had heard was from a revolver (and we have already commented on the fact that it may be difficult in an urban environment to distinguish the sound made by different weapons), and since it appears that he did not actually see the man with a revolver fire, it seems to us that what he might have heard was the shot from OIRA 1. If that is so, his account supports OIRA 1’s assertion that he fired after the Army shots. Again, however, the possibility remains that David Capper was describing another shot altogether.

19.56 At this point we should note that David Capper was using his tape recorder that afternoon and that on the recording he made the sound of bangs can be heard, some of which are louder than others. However, in the end, despite considerable efforts (including technical analysis),1 we did not find it possible to draw any conclusions from this recording on the matters under discussion.

1 E9.0143-0145; E3.0075-0090

19.57 We consider the possibility that Thomas Mullarkey and David Capper heard a revolver shot rather than OIRA 1’s high velocity rifle shot, when we have considered other evidence bearing on the question under consideration.

Evidence of a confrontation

19.58 As already noted, Anthony Martin spoke in his account of events of an altercation between a gunman and some members of the Provisional IRA, after the shot he said he had heard fired from Columbcille Court.

19.59 As also described above, John Barry recorded in his note of his interview with OIRA 11 that OIRA 1 had told him that after his shot there was a violent altercation on the stairwell or at the entrance to the Columbcille Court washing area with three members of the Provisional IRA, whose names are recorded in the note. The Inquiry has received evidence from these individuals, each of whom has said that he had taken part in an altercation with OIRA 1.

1 AOIRA1.1

19.60 PIRA 1 told us that he was at the time a member of the Provisional IRA. This witness told us in his written evidence to this Inquiry that he had heard from someone that the Army had shot two people, though he had heard no shots himself.1 He stated that he then did hear a shot and ran up the stairs and saw two members of the Official IRA. He asked them what they thought they were doing firing a rifle with the march going on. He told us the man with the rifle defended his decision to fire a shot by referring to the fact that the Army had already shot two people. In his oral evidence, PIRA 1 said that he had gone up the stairs “very soon ” after hearing the shot.2
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 21:08

19.61 This evidence supports the proposition that OIRA 1 fired after the wounding of Damien Donaghey and John Johnston. It also supports the proposition that the shot was by way of reprisal for the shooting of Damien Donaghey and John Johnston, though there is nothing in this evidence to support OIRA 1’s claim that he fired at the soldier he believed was responsible.

19.62 RM 1 (who described himself as a republican) said in his evidence that while he was in the Kells Walk area of Rossville Street or in Columbcille Court, he heard a shot from a stairwell behind him, ran up the stairs, found two men there and grabbed the rifle held by one of them. He told us that he did this because he was very angry that someone would fire with all the crowd about. He said that he pushed the man down the stairs and threw the rifle down after him. He told us that he went up the stairs on his own, though when he came down there were others about. He said that he was not listening to what the man was saying, though later he agreed that if either of the men had said they had just shot a soldier who had shot two civilians, he thought he would have remembered this.1

1 ARM1.2; Day 424/1-20

19.63 Apart from this, RM 1 said nothing about the shooting of Damien Donaghey and John Johnston. He told us that he left the scene quickly.1 His evidence, therefore, is only that he accosted OIRA 1 very soon after hearing the shot and does not provide any help on the question whether this shot preceded or followed the shooting of Damien Donaghey and John Johnston.

1 ARM1.2-3

19.64 Sean Keenan Junior was a member of the Provisional IRA at the time. In his written statement to this Inquiry he agreed that he had been involved in this incident. He told us that he was in Rossville Street when he was approached by a woman who told him that there were two or three boys with a rifle in a house; and who took him and his companions to an area in Columbcille Court. He also told us that he did not know whether or not the rifle had been fired: “When the incident occurred, I was not aware that anybody had been shot by the army or that any shot had been fired by the Officials. ” He said that while there was a heated exchange, no-one tried to grab the rifle nor did OIRA 1 threaten to shoot them, and the argument ended with the Officials just going away with the weapon.1 Sean Keenan was too unwell to give oral evidence to the Inquiry. On the basis of Sean Keenan’s evidence, it would appear that neither OIRA 1 nor OIRA 2 said anything in his hearing about firing by way of reprisal for the shooting of Damien Donaghey and John Johnston.

1 AK46.2-3

19.65 We should note that the person known to us as OIRA 7 told this Inquiry that he was a member of the Official IRA at the time. He said that he was in the area and, though he could not say that he had heard the shots fired by soldiers, he learned that the Army had shot someone. He said that he heard a single high velocity shot, which he was sure followed learning that “Bubbles ” Donaghey had been shot. He then told us that he witnessed an altercation at the bottom of a stairwell in Columbcille Court and recognised OIRA 1 and OIRA 2, the former with a rifle.1 It is to be noted, however, that neither OIRA 1 nor OIRA 2 recalled the presence of OIRA 7 and they did not say to the journalists that he had been there. We remain unconvinced that OIRA 7 was present.

1 AOIRA7.7-8; Day 398/36-41; Day 398/144-150

19.66 The evidence from RM 1 and PIRA 1 is to the effect that the confrontation with OIRA 1 took place shortly after OIRA 1 had fired. This is consistent with and supports the account given by OIRA 1 and OIRA 2. OIRA 1 stated that having fired the shot, he and OIRA 2 “decided we needed to leave the area as quickly as possible ”.1 OIRA 2 stated that after OIRA 1 had fired, “we didn’t hang around for long... ”.2

1 AOIRA1.7; AOIRA1.28 2AOIRA2.16

19.67 OIRA 1 stated that he and OIRA 2 were still on the stairs when they were met by people coming up towards them.1 OIRA 2 stated that the confrontation took place as they reached the bottom of the stairs.2

1 AOIRA1.28 2 OIRA2.16

19.68 There is evidence from others of an altercation in this area.

19.69 Peter Mullan told John Barry of the Sunday Times Insight Team in 1972 that he witnessed the shooting of Damien Donaghey and sought to prevent a fight at the Shiels’ house between those assisting Damien Donaghey and John Johnston and a television crew.1 He then heard someone say that people should “Get clear ” because “someone here wants to get into action ”. He witnessed an altercation between a number of people, one of whom, he told this Inquiry, was Sean Keenan Senior2 and another a man with a rifle, whom he identified to the Inquiry as OIRA 1.3 The armed man expressed anger at the shooting of a little boy and an old man and said, “Those bastards cant get away with that ”. In his written statement to this Inquiry, Peter Mullan told us that he heard a rifle shot and saw Damien Donaghey fall.4 A few minutes later he was aware of a second rifle shot. He looked round and saw an elderly man on the ground.5

1 AM450.1-2

2 On Day 152/205-6 Peter Mullan wrote down the name of someone whom he said he had recognised. The name was not disclosed publicly at the time but was that of Sean Keenan Senior.
3 AM450.8

4 AM450.6

5 AM450.7


19.70 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Peter Mullan reverted to his Sunday Times account and said that he did not hear a second shot.1 He stated that he did not hear any further shots and thought that he would have heard a rifle shot had one been fired in the vicinity.2
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 21:09

19.71 Peter Mullan told the Sunday Times that he thought that OIRA 1 was approaching, rather than leaving, the Columbcille Court sniping position1 and said to us that he had no impression that OIRA 1 had already fired.2

1 AM450.7 2Day 152/203

19.72 Peter Mullan’s identification of one of those concerned as Sean Keenan Senior must be wrong, as Sean Keenan Senior had been interned.1, 2 However, we have no reason to doubt his identification of OIRA 1 as the man with the rifle. Peter Mullan’s evidence of the altercation suggests that this took place some time after Damien Donaghey and John Johnston had been injured by Army gunfire; though of course it is possible that his evidence refers to some other altercation altogether.

1 Raymond McClean, The Road to Bloody Sunday, Dublin: Ward River Press, 1983, p112.
2 Sean Keenan Senior was the father of the Sean Keenan to whom we have referred above.


19.73 Eamonn Gallagher is recorded as having told John Barry that he was in Rossville Street and heard three rifle shots that he thought could have been fired from Great James Street or from Little Diamond: “There were three – bang-bang-bang (regularly spaced, half second intervals). ”1 According to this account, he heard a woman in the Columbcille Court area cry out that two men had been shot. He saw the wounded being carried away and saw a television crew. A man carrying a rifle then appeared, coming, as far as Eamonn Gallagher could tell, from the direction of the Shiels’ house. The armed man said that he wanted to go onto the roof and shoot because other people had been shot. The crowd pleaded with him and there was a tug of war with the gun. The man went towards the Rossville Street end of the block and disappeared. In his written statement to this Inquiry, Eamonn Gallagher told us that he saw the man with the rifle and witnessed an altercation, in the course of which the rifle was dismantled, before hearing any shots at all.2

1 AG8.6 2AG8.2

19.74 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Eamonn Gallagher denied that the Sunday Times account was accurate. He said that he did not recall seeing anyone wounded in the area of Columbcille Court.1

1 Day 66/87

19.75 We are sure that John Barry did correctly record what Eamonn Gallagher told him and that the latter’s 1972 account is to be preferred to his recollection decades later. As with Peter Mullan, his evidence suggests that a confrontation with a gunman took place some time after the wounding of Damien Donaghey and John Johnston. This could have been the altercation with OIRA 1 or some other altercation altogether.

19.76 William Burke, in his NICRA statement,1 recorded that while he was at Aggro Corner he heard five high velocity shots. A group of people gathered; he later learned that two people had been injured. He walked towards Kells Walk and about this time he heard three or four shots and saw people persuading three men to move on and “break off firing back at the soldiers because of the risk to innocent people around ”. In his written statement to this Inquiry,2 he told us that he was on the march and heard shooting while he was in the area of the Presbyterian church. He assumed it was IRA fire but did not know where the shots had come from. He then saw a boy being carried away. He made his way to Columbcille Court and saw a group, including women, arguing with two to three men whom he believed to be members of the IRA. The women were saying that they did not want the IRA to be present. He saw no weapons. The Inquiry lost contact with this witness and he did not give oral evidence.

1 AB105.1 2AB105.3

19.77 William Burke’s account of hearing three to four shots does not tally with the single shot that OIRA 1 told us he had fired. William Burke may have been mistaken about the number, though it is also possible that he heard other firing altogether, or that one of the shots was that of OIRA 1 and that others were fired at about the same time. Again, however, his account suggests that the altercation he said he witnessed occurred some minutes after the shooting of Damien Donaghey and John Johnston.

19.78 Thomas Columba Doherty told us in his written statement to this Inquiry1 that, while standing on the eastern side of Kells Walk, he heard one or two high velocity shots. He did not know the direction from which the shots had come. He heard that two people had been shot. He then saw a man with a shotgun or rifle in a doorway, which he thought was in the northern end of Kells Walk. He gave a similar account in his oral evidence to this Inquiry.2 According to this, the gunman was accosted by a group of men, who told him there was to be “no shooting today ”, and the gunman was pushed back into the house. Thomas Columba Doherty made a NICRA statement in which he did not refer to seeing a civilian gunman accosted by a group of men.3

1 AD106.1

2 Day 67/115
3 AD106.7


19.79 Thomas Columba Doherty’s evidence suggests that there was an altercation between a gunman and other men after Damien Donaghey and John Johnston had been shot. Again, however, it is possible that this was another altercation.

19.80 On the evidence we have considered, we are satisfied that there was an altercation involving OIRA 1 and OIRA 2 and others, after OIRA 1 had fired the shot that hit the drainpipe. We should add at this point that we do not accept Vinnie Coyle’s assertion to John Barry that the “bloke who fired ” was not an Official but a freelance.1 If, as PIRA 1 and RM 1 have stated, this altercation took place soon after OIRA 1’s shot, then in view of the other evidence that indicates that the altercation occurred quite a time after the shooting of Damien Donaghey and John Johnston, there is support for the proposition that OIRA 1’s shot followed that shooting. At the same time, it could be said that if this had been the sequence of events, both RM 1 and Sean Keenan Junior would have learned that Damien Donaghey and John Johnston had been shot when they arrived on the scene.
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 21:09

19.81 We now turn to consider other evidence about the sequence of the shots by the Army and the shot fired by OIRA 1.

Evidence from the soldiers

19.82 As far as the soldiers’ evidence is concerned, Major Loden’s Diary of Operations recorded that the drainpipe shot occurred “a few moments ” before the firing by Machine Gun Platoon.1 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry,2 Major Loden recorded that he heard the crack of a shot that he believed had been fired at the Mortar Platoon wire cutting party and that “a few minutes later ” he heard several shots from Machine Gun Platoon and turned and saw one man fall. In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry, Major Loden said that it was “very shortly ” after hearing the incoming shot that his attention was drawn to firing from Abbey Taxis.3

1 B2212

2 B2219
3 WT12.7


19.83 It is noteworthy that while Anthony Martin, whose evidence we discuss above, said initially that it was “a few seconds ” after Damien Donaghey and John Johnston were shot that he heard a shot in reply, Major Loden said that it was “A few moments ” before, and both later gave evidence that extended the time interval. In neither case does it seem to us that this alone devalues their testimony, since, as we have said above, expressions such as these are often not used in their literal sense but rather as indicating a short but otherwise undefined period of time.

19.84 In his written evidence to this Inquiry, Major Loden told us that he recalled the drainpipe shot, but that he did not now remember seeing the shooting of a civilian by Machine Gun Platoon.1 In his oral evidence he repeated that he had no recollection of seeing a man fall, but was emphatic that the firing by Machine Gun Platoon followed the drainpipe shot.2 It was suggested to Major Loden that he had not heard, but had only been told of, the drainpipe shot, but Major Loden rejected this suggestion.3 We accept his evidence on this point.

1 B2283.003; B2283.010

2 Day 342/35; Day 348/65
3 Day 347/39


19.85 Captain 200 was the Commander of Composite Platoon (Guinness Force). In his written statement to this Inquiry he told us that some time in the days immediately following Bloody Sunday, he wrote a report of everything material that he had witnessed on that day, which was typed up on an RMP statement form. In this report Captain 200 described the drainpipe shot as following a warning by his lookout that there was a lot of movement in the top storey stairway at the north end of the Rossville Flats.1 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry,2 he recorded that access to William Street from the Presbyterian church was difficult. “There was an 8 foot drop down to which there was only narrow exits and above it there was a strong wire fence. At the bottom there was a coil of dannaert [sic] wire. While work to improve access was going on I was standing just behind the gap of a small building – perhaps a boiler house – when a high velocity round hit the church. ” He added that he was certain that it was a high velocity shot from the noise of the round passing overhead, though he did not hear the discharge of the rifle.

1 B1979 2 B1984-5

19.86 Captain 200 also prepared a handwritten document, in which he set out a “Sequence of Events ”.1 Under the heading “Church ”, Captain 200 wrote:

“a. Access

b. HV shot (Warned by K)

c. MG Pl

d. Return to vehs. ”


1 B2022.060

19.87 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Captain 200 agreed that the phrase “Warned by K ” could have been a reference to the warning his lookout had given him about activity in the Rossville Flats, and that the use of the cipher “K ” indicated that this document had been prepared after the Widgery Inquiry had assigned ciphers to soldiers.1 He also agreed that the reference to Machine Gun Platoon could be a reference to firing by that platoon.2

1 Day 367/72 2 Day 367/71

19.88 Captain 200 gave oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry, during the course of which he said that he recalled hearing only one SLR shot from Machine Gun Platoon in Abbey Taxis, but before that he had heard a high velocity shot while he was with the wire cutting party.1

1 WT15.50

19.89 Although Captain 200 gave oral evidence to this Inquiry, he was unable to add anything further on the question of the sequence of shots.

19.90 We have no grounds for supposing that the testimony of Major Loden and INQ 200 on this matter was given other than in good faith, but once again it cannot be treated as conclusive. Major Loden’s Diary of Operations was composed on the following day and Captain 200’s note made days or weeks after that. It must be borne in mind that the drainpipe shot was of very little consequence indeed in comparison to the events that followed when 1 PARA went into the Bogside a few minutes later. In these circumstances it could be that Major Loden and Captain 200 were mistaken in thinking that the drainpipe shot occurred before the shooting by Machine Gun Platoon when, after the day, they sought to recollect the order of events at the Presbyterian church.
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 21:10

19.91 Corporal A, in his written statement to this Inquiry,1 told us that before he moved forward to Abbey Taxis, he was aware, having heard them or having been told of them, that one or possibly two shots had been fired. However, he had not previously mentioned hearing these shots and there is no military evidence to suggest that any shot or shots had been fired in the direction of the Presbyterian church by this stage.

1 B20.002

19.92 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry,1 Corporal P recorded that he was on top of the boiler house (the building on the eastern side of the Presbyterian church) when he came under fire from a high velocity rifle from the area of the Rossville Flats. He said this was at around 1530–1540 hours, but in our view this timing is unlikely to be correct, as we are satisfied that it was not until about 1540 hours that he and the other soldiers were deployed forward to the Presbyterian church. In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry he identified this shot as the drainpipe shot and agreed that he could not put a time on it with any accuracy.2 He also said that he assumed that the shot had come from the area of the Rossville Flats.3 Then in reply to a somewhat leading question he said that he had also heard five shots very close together, and that he knew where they had come from and that it was not the Rossville Street area. The matter was not pursued at the time and Corporal P told this Inquiry that he now had no recollection of events.4

1 B591

2 WT13.44
3 WT13.53

4 Day 353/9


19.93 Private 112 recorded the drainpipe shot in his RMP statement.1 In his written evidence to this Inquiry he told us that he had climbed onto a flat roof with a baton gun and that Corporal P was behind him carrying a rifle to give him cover. He estimated that he had fired about eight to ten baton rounds at rioters in front of him and that after an interval (about five minutes, though he was not sure of the exact time) witnessed the drainpipe shot. He said that after this shot he carried on firing baton rounds. He recalled that after Lieutenant N had climbed up to enquire whether any soldier had fired a shot Private 112 stayed for a period of time (“possibly 5 minutes ”) before being ordered to get down from the roof. He said he could not remember whether, before he got down, he had heard any further gunfire or whether there were any explosions. “There was a lot going on and whilst I do recall hearing a number of loud bangs, I cannot say whether these were baton rounds or blast bombs as they both sound very similar. ”2 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry Private 112 said that he did not know that Machine Gun Platoon had deployed forward to Abbey Taxis but that he had heard various shots fired, although he could not tell what sort they were.3 It is right to note that Private 112 told us that he was an alcoholic and that a lot of his memory was blurred.4

1 B1730

2 B1732.003
3 Day 320/94

4 Day 320/86


19.94 As we have observed earlier, there were many soldiers in the area of the Presbyterian church who heard the drainpipe shot, but apart from Major Loden, Captain 200, Corporal P and possibly Private 112, none apparently heard or recalled any of the shots fired by Machine Gun Platoon. Some in their RMP statements recorded that at about 1600 hours they were located in the forecourt of the Presbyterian church and had been in this location for about five minutes when they heard the drainpipe shot,1 but in our view it would be wrong to accept this evidence as indicating that the drainpipe shot was fired at about 1605 hours, since in our view the starting time of 1600 hours is almost certainly wrong and it is much more likely that these soldiers were in or near the forecourt of the Presbyterian church some 20 minutes earlier. Private 024 recorded in his RMP statement that it was about 15 minutes after he had witnessed the drainpipe shot from the yard of the Presbyterian church that Guinness Force got into their vehicles.2 In our view the latter event must have been very soon after Major Loden had received the Warning Order to redeploy his company through Barrier 12, which was at about 1600 hours.

1 Lance Corporal 018 B1485; Sergeant 014 B1409; Private 032 B1613; and Sergeant 035 B1625
2 B1526


19.95 In his RMP statement dated 4th January 1972 (which must be a mistake for 4th February 1972), Lance Corporal 010 recorded that during the approximate half-hour period he was in front of the Presbyterian church “one bullet hit the church and I heard another pass some way from [sic]. I did not see who fired these shots but estimate that they were fired from the direction of William Street. ”1 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Lance Corporal 010 said he thought that both these shots had come from the same direction, but that he had heard no SLR fire at all.2

1 B1393
2 Day 355/85


19.96 Lance Corporal INQ 627, in his written evidence to this Inquiry,1 told us he recalled two shots in quick succession, one of which hit the drainpipe.

1 C627.3

19.97 In view of the preponderance of Army evidence that there was only one shot at or about the time when the drainpipe was hit, it seems likely that Lance Corporal INQ 627 was mistaken in his recollection of two shots in quick succession. It is possible, though, that Lance Corporal 010 did hear two shots, separated in time, one of which hit the drainpipe.

19.98 Sergeant K, in his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry, recorded that the drainpipe shot occurred while attempts were being made to breach a gap in the fence behind the church.1 Private INQ 24 told us the same in his written statement to this Inquiry and that his officer immediately told the wire cutting party to get down; though it must be borne in mind that this witness made no statement in 1972 and was seeking to recall an incident from many years before.2 The same is the case with Lance Corporal INQ 768, who recalled being on the roof with Corporal P when he witnessed the drainpipe shot, and quickly got down.3

1 B297

2 C24.1-C24.2
3 C768.2; Day 323/137


19.99 We have considered the evidence of a number of other soldiers who gave evidence about the drainpipe shot, but in our view they add nothing material to the evidence that we have summarised above.

19.100 On the basis of the timing in Major Loden’s Diary of Operations,1 his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry, and the fact that at about 1600 hours he received the Warning Order and would in our view have immediately deployed his soldiers back to their vehicles, we consider that the drainpipe shot was probably fired at about 1555 hours.
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 21:10

19.101 Harold Evans was editor of the Sunday Times newspaper in January 1972. 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. Philip Jacobson, another member of the Insight Team, was sent to Belfast but he then travelled to Londonderry. Later that week Murray Sayle, Derek Humphry and 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 whether the sources had been exposed to close enough scrutiny. They were strongly against publishing as it stood what came to be known as the Sayle Report. The second consideration in Harold Evans’ mind about the Sayle Report was that Lord Widgery, the Lord Chief Justice, 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 “parallel ” investigation, using the Sunday Times Insight Team, led by John Barry.1

1 M24.2-4

19.102 In the typed-up version of the Sayle Report, dated 3rd February 1972,1 Murray Sayle and Derek Humphry, having referred to the shooting of Damien Donaghey, wrote:2

“One official IRA man was, however, nearby in a burned out building opposite Richardson’s factory. He had been posted there as an observer and was armed with a .38 pistol – although his orders were that he was to be unarmed. After Damien Donaghy was shot he says he fired a single round at the soldiers on the GPO sorting office roof. We make the range 50 yeards [sic] – an impossible range for accurate shooting with a pistol. This is the only Official IRA shot we can trace during the afternoon.



The spirit of mutual help is strong in the Bogside; Johnson was one of a score or more of demonstrators who ran towards the wounded boy. Another shot rang out and Johnson was hit in the leg. Seconds later there was another shot and Johnson was hit in the shoulder by what Dr McLean says was a ricochet. We have no doubt the Army fired both these rounds. ”


1 M71.21 2 M71.26

19.103 There is a note by Peter Pringle and Philip Jacobson made on or about 3rd February 1972, which contains a similar account:1

“We have established beyond doubt that a member of the official IRA fired a single shot from a decimal .45 pistol at an army sniper on the roof of the post office sorting building in William Street (map). The IRA man was in a burnt out house on the corner of William Street and Rossville Street. He believes he hit the soldier but we have been unable to confirm this from the army. The range, almost 100 yards, was extreme for an accurate pistol shot. The action of the lone official gunman was, therefore, unauthorised, but the officials claim nevertheless that it conformed with standing orders on retaliation. According to an eye witness (we know him but can not name him) the soldier who was fired at was the man who, some ten minutes earlier, had shot the 16 year old boy hit in the leg (map) and then shot and wounded Mr. Johnson (map). The official is said to have waited until the soldier showed himself again and then fired. Immediately afterwards he was involved in an angry confrontation with half a dozen civilians, some of whom we know were provisionals, and the official gunman then left the area. This part of the Bogside is strong provisional territory. ”


1 ED20.31

19.104 Peter Pringle told us that he thought that he had contributed the account that appeared in the Sayle Report and that the source was Reg Tester, the Command Staff Quartermaster of the Official IRA in Londonderry.1 However, Derek Humphry thought that he (Derek Humphry) had spoken not to Reg Tester but to the gunman. The drafting material from the unpublished report indicates that Derek Humphry and Murray Sayle added the section on this gunman to the report on 4th February 1972, the day following the date of the Pringle/Jacobson note.2

1 Day 190/15 2 S25

19.105 In our view it is likely that material from the note was used in the Sayle Report. However, there are inconsistencies between the details in the note and those contained in the Sayle Report. For example, the interview note records that the gunman fired with a .45 pistol from a building on the corner of William Street and Rossville Street. The Sayle Report states that the gunman used a .38 pistol from a building opposite Richardson’s factory. We think that the most likely explanation for these differences is that the Sayle Report drew on two separate sources. Derek Humphry is probably correct in his recollection that he interviewed the gunman, who provided the information that does not appear in the Pringle/Jacobson note.

19.106 The Sayle Report contains further inconsistencies with the materials subsequently collected and the conclusions reached by the Sunday Times Insight Team. Peter Pringle and Philip Jacobson both told us that many of these inconsistencies were the result of confusion arising from the first interview with Reg Tester; and that incorrect information provided or recorded in the first interview was superseded by the second account that he gave them.1 Reg Tester was interviewed by Peter Pringle and Philip Jacobson on 3rd February 1972 and again on 15th March 1972.

1 Day 190/19; M45.7

19.107 In his second interview Reg Tester did not refer to a man with a pistol firing from William Street, but, as we have pointed out above, gave an account similar to that given to the Sunday Times Insight Team by OIRA 1.

19.108 In these circumstances we are of the view that the Sayle Report, though doubtless based on what the reporters were told, contained an inaccurate account of the shot fired by OIRA 1 from Columbcille Court.

The Sunday Press article

19.109 In an article in the Sunday Press newspaper of 6th February 1972, Vincent Browne wrote:1

“When the second volley of British gunfire occurred the four members of the active service unit were immediately alerted. Two of them had, in fact, to return to a maisonette in the Bogside to collect a couple of rifles – there is some dissension in the Official I.R.A. on this point, for the local North West Command is annoyed that arms were not near to hand.

Meanwhile, the two other members of the unit moved into what they described as ‘sniping positions’ but what in fact were only street corners. Both of these were armed only with short arms, .38 revolvers.



After the second burst of army gunfire, the Officials took up positions and one shot was fired by one of the men with the short arms at a soldier in William St, but it missed. No other shot was fired then by anybody until the actual murderous assault on the Bogside by the paratroopers. ”


1 L171

19.110 According to the article, the Active Service Unit was that of the Official IRA.
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 21:10

19.111 Vincent Browne was unable to recall the sources for his article, but assumed he had spoken to members of the Provisional and Official IRA.1

1 M8.1

19.112 We have found no evidence from any source that suggests to us that there were two volleys of Army gunfire before soldiers entered the Bogside, though it seems to us that this is probably a reference to accounts (in our view mistaken) that Damien Donaghey and John Johnston were wounded in two Army firing incidents separated in time. The Sayle Report was to the same effect. In these circumstances it seems to us that, like the Sayle Report, the Sunday Press article contained an inaccurate account of the shot fired by OIRA 1.

Other evidence of firing in the area

19.113 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry,1 Ciaran Donnelly, an Irish Times newspaper photographer, described being overcome by gas in William Street, moving back and photographing stone-throwing in Little James Street and then walking up William Street. “I then saw a crowd throwing stones at a derelict house near Tanner’s Row in which some soldiers were posted. One man from the crowd fired a single pistol shot at the soldiers. No fire was returned. ” Ciaran Donnelly then described returning to Little James Street and then moving south along Rossville Street.

1 M22.1

19.114 In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry, Ciaran Donnelly said that he had not seen the gunman, but had heard “from somewhere nearby ” a loud bang which appeared to be a revolver shot and which he assumed had come from within the crowd. He told the Widgery Inquiry that “most of the people, not wanting to be connected with a gunman, ran away ”, as he did.1

1 WT2.79

19.115 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Ciaran Donnelly told us that he had seen a gunman firing a shot from a small handgun or possibly a starting pistol at a derelict building. He described this man as aged 40 to 50, about five feet six inches tall with dark hair, wearing a blue suit jacket, dark trousers and a white, open-necked shirt. “This was the only shot I saw fired by a civilian all day. ”

1 M22.20

19.116 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Ciaran Donnelly first said that he did not see the man fire but only heard the shot; that people gathered round the man and were “sort of hustling him away ”; and that when he asked what had happened “they said so and so had fired a shot or something ”.1 However, later in his oral evidence, after being reminded of his written statement, Ciaran Donnelly told us that he had “maybe ” seen the gun.2

1 Day 71/16 2Day 71/70

19.117 In his evidence to this Inquiry, Ciaran Donnelly told us that the gunman appeared to be drunk.1

1 M22.20; Day 71/15

19.118 We are of the view that the derelict house to which Ciaran Donnelly referred was probably the Abbey Taxis building. This could be described as near Tanner’s Row, which was an alleyway which was west of Aggro Corner, led north off William Street and then turned westwards towards the waste ground south of the Presbyterian church. We have no evidence of any other derelict building occupied by soldiers and at which people were throwing stones.

19.119 In view of his changing evidence, we cannot be sure whether Ciaran Donnelly actually saw a gunman fire, but on balance it does seem to us that he did see a man with a handgun fire at the soldiers in Abbey Taxis, though neither they nor any other soldiers appear to have noticed this shot. We consider that this shot must have been fired before the soldiers had wounded Damien Donaghey and John Johnston, for there is no evidence that suggests that people were continuing to throw stones after that event. We should add that in our view this was not the Presbyterian church drainpipe shot, as we are sure that this was a high velocity shot that could not have been fired from a handgun.

19.120 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry, Cyril Cave (the BBC cameraman) said that he was with Jim Deeney (his sound recordist) and on the Rossville Street waste ground when they heard shots that seemed to come from the William Street area.1 They ran into William Street and met a crowd opposite the City Cabs office who told them that two men had been shot and that they would take them to see the men. Cyril Cave and Jim Deeney were taken to a house in Columbcille Court, but there met a very hostile reception and were jostled by the crowd. They moved back towards Rossville Street, and as they did so a shot rang out which chipped the wall of the maisonettes facing towards William Street. Cyril Cave stated that the shot appeared to come from the other side of William Street.2
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 21:11

19.121 In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry, Cyril Cave said that the shot that rang out (which sounded very close to him) buried itself “in the wall up Kells Walk ”. There was then this exchange:1

“Q. How far away were you?

A. A few feet.

Q. Did you see where that [shot] came from?

A. I did not see where it came from.

Q. Did you hear where it came from then? Could you judge from where it came?

A. It sounded very close. ”


1 WT1.62

19.122 When asked whether anyone else was around, Cyril Cave said, “Just myself and my sound recordist. ”1

1 WT1.62

19.123 In his evidence to this Inquiry, Cyril Cave said he thought it was a high velocity shot that came from an elevated position among some derelict buildings on the north side of William Street and hit a garden wall beside him. He recalled that splinters of concrete hit his clothing, though he could not place where this had happened on the maps and images provided by the Inquiry.1

1 M13.25; Day 141/84

19.124 In view of his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry, we are of the view that Cyril Cave was mistaken in thinking that the shot had come from the north side of William Street; and that in fact he knew no more than that it sounded and landed close to him. We have no reason to doubt that a shot did land close to where he was, and though it is not clear from his evidence exactly where this was, it is probable that this was somewhere near Kells Walk.

19.125 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry, Jim Deeney recalled being on the Rossville Street waste ground with Cyril Cave and going to William Street in front of the City Cabs office, where they were told that two men had been shot. Unlike Cyril Cave, he did not suggest that it was hearing shots that caused them to go into William Street. He also recalled the hostile reception they received when they got to Columbcille Court. He said that on the way back to Rossville Street they heard two or three single rifle shots that appeared to come from the area of the bakery north of William Street and that they struck buildings in Columbcille Court.1 Jim Deeney did not give oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry.

1 M20.2

19.126 In his written evidence to this Inquiry, Jim Deeney said that as he and Cyril Cave were walking back from the house in Columbcille Court “along a path to the rear of Kells Walk ”, someone fired a shot at them. “I heard a bullet whistle past us and hit a wall. ”1 He made no mention of hearing two or three rifle shots. He did not give oral evidence to this Inquiry.

1 M20.6

19.127 We are not persuaded that Jim Deeney heard two or three shots as he and Cyril Cave made their way back from the house in Columbcille Court. Had this happened, we consider that Cyril Cave could not have failed to notice such firing. To our minds it is more likely that Jim Deeney had got the order of events wrong and had transposed in time the shots that Cyril Cave said had caused them to go towards William Street. In his written evidence to this Inquiry, Jim Deeney recalled1 that it was after paratroopers had gone through Barrier 14, that he and Cyril Cave had gone to Columbcille Court. This is another example of getting the order of events wrong, since we have no doubt (as Cyril Cave told the Widgery Inquiry2) that the paratroopers went in after Cyril Cave and Jim Deeney had been to Columbcille Court and returned to Rossville Street and then Chamberlain Street. In these circumstances, though we have no doubt that Jim Deeney was doing his best to help us, we cannot place much reliance on his evidence of the events under consideration.

1 M20.5-6 2 M13.3

19.128 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry,1 John Bierman (a BBC reporter) stated that he was with Cyril Cave and Jim Deeney. He described being with them at the junction of William Street and Chamberlain Street when CS gas drifted their way, which he said affected him and made him “not perfectly clear ” about what happened in the next four or five minutes. However, he recalled that not long after the CS gas was thrown, he heard sounds of firing, which after he had recovered from the gas he was satisfied was “ball ammunition, and not baton rounds ” and that the sound of firing seemed to be coming from their left, from down William Street. He stated that he was a little vague about the route they then took, but that at some point along William Street they were told by a group of people that two members of the Bogside community had been shot in the leg. He also recalled the hostile reception of which his colleagues had spoken.2 He said nothing in this statement or in his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry3 about hearing a shot or shots as he made his way back to the Rossville Street waste ground. In his written evidence to this Inquiry,4 John Bierman recalled that during the incident with the hostile crowd, he had got separated from Cyril Cave and Jim Deeney, respectively his cameraman and his sound recordist. The fact that John Bierman did not mention hearing any shots may be explicable on the basis that he had become separated from the others by this stage.

1 M6.1 3M6.9

2 M6.4 4M6.26

19.129 John William Porter was at the time a Company Quartermaster Sergeant in the Irish Army. In his Keville interview1 he is recorded as saying that when he was standing at the corner of Kells Wells [sic] he heard people saying that two people had been shot at the back of burned-out buildings on the side of William Street and “Kells Court I think you call it ”. He said that he went up there to investigate and saw a British camera crew enquiring about these people. He then said that a girl came up and told the crew that if they wanted the evidence, they could film people who were shot in the flat. He said he followed the crew and a girl came out with a handkerchief full of blood. “While we were standing there a high velocity bullet was fired from the SLR in the direction of William – between Stevensons Bakery and Rossville Street flats … this shot was fired embedded on the sides of the – you know the – aluminium strips, goes around the side of the flats here in Kells Court, that bullet embedded in there. I pulled round the side of Kells Flats and er – at this stage there were two people shot earlier… ”

1 AP11.24

19.130 In his NICRA statement,1 John Porter recorded that on Bloody Sunday he had made his way to the Kells Walk–Columbcille Court area, after hearing that two men had been injured. There he saw a TV film crew and a woman holding a bloody handkerchief, before being (verbally) stopped by a young man from the surrounding crowd. In his NICRA statement, he stated that as he stood in this area he “heard the crack of a high-velocity bullet … and the sound of the bullet striking something metal at that side of Columbcille Court. I looked up and saw the strips of galvanised sheet metal covering the fronts of these houses. This shot came from the army line from Stevenson’s Bakery to Little James Street from an elevated position. ”2 John Porter stated that he subsequently moved from this area towards Glenfada Park.
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 6 of 8 Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum