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Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 21:31

20.171 In the context of the request to mount an arrest operation and the order to do so, it is in our view plain that Colonel Wilford was being given permission to launch a scoop-up operation by sending one company through Barrier 14 in an attempt to arrest rioters in the area he had specified, namely William Street/Little James Street, but was being enjoined from chasing rioters south down Rossville Street. To our minds the prohibition was clear, and we therefore reject the meaning suggested by Colonel Steele and his comment that this part of the order could have been better expressed, as well as the meaning Colonel Wilford ascribed to the words in question.

20.172 In view of the way Support Company deployed down Rossville Street, which we discuss in detail elsewhere in this report,1 it also seems to us to be plain that there was a breach of this part of the order. Colonel Wilford did not pass it on to Support Company. The reason he gave for not doing so demonstrates to our minds that he had misunderstood the prohibition, treating the matter, as Colonel Steele observed,2 as a military operation in the field, rather than an arrest operation. Had he appreciated, as in our view he should have done, that he was being told not to chase rioters down Rossville Street in carrying out the arrest operation, rather than simply being advised not to get dangerously “sucked in ”, he should have realised that he could not, consistently with this part of the order, send a second scoop-up force in vehicles through Barrier 12, since by the time of the order there was no prospect of such a force being able to effect a scoop-up without chasing rioters down Rossville Street. As Colonel Wilford said to us, at the time of his request he had in mind the quick use of snatch squads to arrest people close at hand (ie in the immediate area of Barriers 12 and 14) but the opportunity to do so was slipping away as time went by.3 By the time the order finally came, he thought that the situation had changed and that he would have to deploy Support Company in vehicles through Barrier 12 and into the Bogside as an additional scoop-up company if he was to have any chance of effecting arrests.4

1 Chapters 24 and 69

2 Day 267/177
3 Day 315/84-85

4 Day 314/23; Day 314/28; Day 314/34; Day 314/56-59


20.173 This misunderstanding does not of course explain how, in the face of the order to deploy one company through Barrier 14, Colonel Wilford also deployed another company through Barrier 12. Colonel Wilford insisted throughout his evidence that the order permitted him to do this, but in our view he realised or should have realised that it did not. If it was the former, it may be that he felt that since it was essential in the circumstances to deploy in vehicles a second scoop-up company, and to do so without the further delay that would result from explaining to Brigade why and seeking permission, he should mount the operation, and seek to persuade Brigade later that this was the right course to take. It is equally possible that in the heat of the moment Colonel Wilford simply failed to realise that the order did not give him carte blanche, but limited his scoop-up operation to one company through Barrier 14. Whichever it was, on the basis of our analysis of the evidence, Colonel Wilford failed to comply with the Brigade order, firstly by deploying a second company through Barrier 12 as part of the scoop-up operation and secondly by failing to ensure that his soldiers did not chase rioters down Rossville Street.

20.174 It follows from the basis of this analysis that in our view much of the evidence on this topic given to the Widgery Inquiry by Brigadier MacLellan, Colonel Steele and Colonel Wilford was inaccurate and misleading.

20.175 We are not persuaded that Brigadier MacLellan deliberately gave misleading evidence to the Widgery Inquiry, though it does seem to us that he was less than careful in giving some of his answers. He was not taken through the detail of the logs and other material, as he was when he gave evidence to us. He seems to have been labouring under the false impression that the reason why 1 PARA had gone a substantial distance into the Bogside was because they had been fired on. It seems to us that at the time of the Widgery Inquiry Brigadier MacLellan had somehow convinced himself that there had been no breach of his orders to 1 PARA.1It should be noted that Colonel Steele was responsible for preparing the first draft of Brigadier MacLellan’s written statement for the Widgery Inquiry.2

1 Day 265/48-49 2B1279.014-022; Day 266/47

20.176 Colonel Steele denied to us that he had given inaccurate evidence to the Widgery Inquiry and insisted that he had told that Inquiry “entirely the truth ”. He further denied that he had realised at the time that his evidence was inaccurate.1We have found it impossible to accept the first of these denials and his insistence that he told the Widgery Inquiry the entire truth. As to the second, it is possible that Colonel Steele, like Brigadier MacLellan, had somehow come to believe in what he had said to the Widgery Inquiry, but though this may well be the case by the time Colonel Steele came to give evidence to us, we find it difficult to accept that it could have been the case only a few weeks after Bloody Sunday.

1 Day 268/185-186

20.177 So far as Colonel Wilford is concerned, we have no means of telling whether he deliberately gave misleading evidence to the Widgery Inquiry or believed throughout that the order allowed him to deploy Support Company as he did. Colonel Wilford told us that he was anxious to mount the arrest operation and that the delay in Brigade giving an order after he had made his request led him to believe that the best opportunity to make arrests was slipping away. He described the order from Brigade as “long delayed ” and thought that his deployment should have taken place some ten minutes earlier. In his anxiety to conduct an effective scoop-up operation, in what he appears to us to have considered was unwarranted delay by Brigade in giving an order, and in his realisation that the situation had changed and that it had become necessary to deploy a second scoop-up company in vehicles without delay if he was going to make significant arrests, he either chose to ignore the order in the belief that Brigade would afterwards sanction what he had done, or failed to realise (as in our view he should have done) that the order only allowed him to do what he had previously asked to do; and expressly prohibited him from chasing rioters south down Rossville Street.1

1 B1110.031-032; Day 314/23; Day 315/16; Day 315/84-88

The appropriateness of Brigadier MacLellan’s arrest order

20.178 Three further questions arise in relation to the order given by Brigadier MacLellan for “1 sub unit of 1 PARA to do scoop up OP through barrier 14. Not to conduct running battle down Rossville St .”.1These are:

1. whether it was appropriate to give the order in the light of the situation on the ground, as understood by the Brigade Commander and his Brigade Major, particularly concerning the separation between rioters and others;

2. whether that understanding accurately reflected what the situation in fact was on the ground; and

3. whether in the circumstances, apart from the question of separation, the situation on the ground was such that no proper purpose was or was likely to be served by ordering an arrest or scoop-up operation at all.

1 W47 serial 159

20.179 We now turn to consider these questions.

20.180 Brigadier MacLellan was criticised at this Inquiry for launching the scoop-up operation at a stage when there was no or insufficient separation between the civil rights marchers and those rioting.1 It was also submitted that his evidence that he regarded such separation as a vital precondition to any scoop-up operation should be rejected.2
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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 21:37

20.181 In our view many of these submissions failed to distinguish between the order that Brigadier MacLellan gave, ie for an operation using one company through Barrier 14 with a prohibition on conducting a running battle down Rossville Street; and the operation as it was in fact conducted on the ground.

20.182 As we have already indicated, we are satisfied that on the day Brigadier MacLellan was anxious to ensure that the civil rights marchers and the rioters were sufficiently separated before ordering any form of arrest operation. Apart from his own evidence and that of Chief Superintendent Lagan and Colonel Steele1 there is no other explanation for his waiting for some 12 minutes after Colonel Wilford’s request before giving the order.

1 G128.849-50; B1234; JL1.43; Day 267/18-19; B1315.008

20.183 There is no doubt that Brigadier MacLellan was correct in not acceding to Colonel Wilford’s request when it was made at about 1555 hours. As noted above, at about 1554 hours Colonel Welsh had reported from the helicopter that the crowd was stretching between Aggro Corner and about 100 yards past the Rossville Flats.1,2 Thus even deploying one company through Barrier 14 “round the back ” to scoop up rioters in the area of William Street/Little James Street at that time would inevitably have involved the soldiers coming into close contact with many of the civil rights marchers.

1 W126 serial 338 2 W46 serial 146

20.184 The position of the crowd in Rossville Street is shown in a series of photographs taken by Derrik Tucker Senior from his home in Block 2 of the Rossville Flats. Derrik Tucker Senior’s son, Derrik Tucker Junior, gave evidence to this Inquiry and marked on a photograph, reproduced below, the location of the family home.1

1 AT15.12

20.185 These photographs were examined by Dr Steven Bell of HM Nautical Almanac Office, and we accept his report on the probable timing and sequence of them.1

1 E26.4

20.186 The first of these photographs shows a large crowd in Rossville Street and in the waste ground to the north of the Rossville Flats at about 1546 hours plus or minus five minutes


20.187 The following photographs were taken over the next seven or eight minutes, very probably in the order shown below.









20.188 Although we cannot be certain that the later photographs depict the situation at precisely 1555 hours (when Colonel Wilford made his request) they do corroborate the position as reported by Colonel Welsh at about this time and reinforce our view that there was then insufficient separation to order the operation.

20.189 We have already recorded that at about 1559 hours Colonel Welsh reported that the “General crowd movement now is down into the Lecky Road from the area of the Flats. It seems as though a lot of people feel they’ve made their protest and are now returning back to their homes ”.1 As acknowledged by Brigadier MacLellan, this did not indicate what the situation was between the Rossville Flats and Aggro Corner,2 though Colonel Steele said that this message painted a picture for him that “the march was over and that people had moved away from beyond the Flats ”.3

1 W127 serial 348 3 Day 268/174-176

2 Day 362/50

20.190 At about 1603–1604 hours 22 Lt AD Regt reported to Brigade:1

“Hello Zero, this is 90A. There is now a crowd of about 500 on Fox’s Corner being addressed from a loudspeaker van. These appear to be normal civil rights people. There’s still a crowd of about 150 hooligans at junction Rossville Street/William Street. Over. ”
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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 21:38

20.191 This was recorded as two messages in the Brigade log. The first was “500 at Foxes Corner [Free Derry Corner] being addressed from van ” and the second “150 hooligans at Aggro corner ”.1

1 W47 serials 155 and 156

20.192 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry, Brigadier MacLellan recorded that at 1604 hours the number of hooligans at the junction William Street/Rossville Street was reported as 150: “I was now told that the separation of the hooligans was now complete – 150 were in William Street, while the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association meeting was 300 metres away at Foxes Corner. ”1

1 B1234

20.193 In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry, Brigadier MacLellan said:1

“There was one other message to [the] helicopters. At about 16.04 we got through to Colonel Welsh – I do not know if it is [in] the log – for I asked for confirmation and was told that the tail of the marching crowd had passed the Rossville Flats. I remember that.

Q. It is not in the log.

A. Certainly it happened.

Q. You remember that?

A. Yes.

Q. The tail of the crowd had passed the Rossville flats.

A. Yes ... I confirmed with Colonel Welsh the separation was complete, as I have just mentioned. Then I decided an arrest operation was necessary. ”


1 WT11.14

20.194 Colonel Welsh told the Widgery Inquiry that he “reported when the tail of the crowd had passed the north end of [the] Rossville Flats ”, and that there was a gap separating the crowd between the Rossville Flats and Aggro Corner.1

1 B1334; WT10.55-56

20.195 As was pointed out to Colonel Welsh at this Inquiry, there is no record in any log or on the Porter tapes of any such reports.1 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Colonel Welsh accepted that on the basis of the absence of any record, he had not reported that the crowd had passed the northern end of the Rossville Flats or that there was a gap between the Rossville Flats and Aggro Corner and he agreed that at no stage had he reported in terms that there was now separation between marchers and rioters.2

1 W124-131 2Day 282/44-52; Day 283/14-16

20.196 In our view it is clear that the oral evidence Brigadier MacLellan gave to the Widgery Inquiry about reports from the helicopter was wrong, as was the written and oral evidence of Colonel Steele, since even if such reports had not been recorded in the Brigade log (itself unlikely) they would have appeared on the Porter tapes. Furthermore, it should be noted that in his written statement dated 31st January 1972,1 Brigadier MacLellan recorded that “At 1607 hrs when it was confirmed by the troops on the ground that the hooligans in William St had become isolated from the NICRA Marchers, who were moving and slowly dispersing 300 metres away down Rossville St, I gave orders that the preplanned hooligan Arrest Operation should be launched ”. Neither this written statement nor his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry2 refers to obtaining information from the helicopter.

1 B1222 2B1234

20.197 Colonel Welsh was unable to explain how he had come to give different evidence to the Widgery Inquiry. He said he could not remember, but that he must have believed at the time that he had sent such reports.1

1 Day 282/49-52; Day 283/48-49

20.198 Brigadier MacLellan told us that in 1972 he was firmly of the impression that there had been a message from Colonel Welsh in the helicopter at about 1604 hours and that “the check had been made finally with the helicopter about separation ”.1 He also said that 30 years later he still had “the impression that I asked the brigade major if separation was complete and was assured it was ”.2 Though the former impression is wrong, as appears hereafter the latter is almost certainly right. As the Brigade Major pointed out, Brigadier MacLellan had the same information as he had, as both could hear communications on the Brigade net,3 but it was in our view prudent for the Brigadier to seek his senior staff officer’s assessment of the position rather than simply relying on his own. In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Brigadier MacLellan said that he worked on a combination of what he had heard on the Ulsternet and what Colonel Steele was telling him.4

1 Day 262/68-69

2 Day 262/71
3 Day 267/66-68

4 Day 262/57


20.199 In his written statement to this Inquiry, Colonel Steele told us that he remembered going into Brigadier MacLellan’s office at about 1604 hours and giving him a situation report:1

“... I expect that report included the message from Lieutenant Colonel Welsh as to separation [ie Serial 3482] and also the information we had about the levels of violence, the location of the hooligans and the numbers meeting at Foxes Corner…

46. When I went back to Brigadier MacLellan’s office, we knew that the end of the march had passed beyond the Rossville Flats towards Free Derry Corner, that a number of people were going home and that rioting was still going on in the William Street/Chamberlain Street/Rossville Street area. I remember that Brigadier MacLellan asked me specifically to confirm that Lieutenant Colonel Welsh was clear that separation had taken place. I gave Brigadier MacLellan that confirmation while standing in this office and I repeated what Lieutenant Colonel Welsh had reported at 15.59 [ie Serial 348]. I left Brigadier MacLellan and went back to my office. ”


1 B1315.009 2 W127 serial 348

20.200 We do not believe that Brigadier MacLellan deliberately gave false evidence to the Widgery Inquiry about receiving confirmation of separation from the helicopter. In our view it is more likely that he had confused the message from the helicopter at 1559 hours1 with the message from 22 Lt AD Regt2 a few minutes later, and had accepted Colonel Steele’s advice that the information that they had received confirmed that there was the desired separation between rioters and marchers. It is clear from the oral evidence of Colonel Steele to this Inquiry that he was relying on the Brigade net messages set out above to give that advice3 and that he was particularly influenced by the message from Colonel Welsh at 1559 hours4 when advising Brigadier MacLellan:5

“Q. Did you not think it important to find out whether there were still people in the area between Aggro Corner and Free Derry Corner?

A. I was using, in the advice that I was giving to the Brigade Commander, I was using the message from the helicopter at a minute to 4 in which he was saying that people were drifting away home, the march was over and people were drifting away home and we had the earlier report about going down the Lecky Road. So I felt confident that I could advise the Brigade Commander that he had the separation between the marchers and the hooligans that he was seeking. Now, it was never, it was never in my mind that in between those two, Rossville Street would be empty because Rossville Street, of course, was a main thoroughfare within the Bogside and people would be moving up and down it.

So it would not have been a perfect situation whereby we had 150 hooligans at one end and 500 marchers at the other. Nevertheless it was my assessment and my advice to the Brigade Commander that he had the separation that he required between the marchers and the hooligans if he wanted to mount the operation.

Now, I did not use it in those terms. All I was saying was, explaining to him what the situation report was; it was up to the Brigade Commander to make the decision as to whether or not he should use that information to mount an arrest operation. ”
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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 21:40

20.201 Brigadier MacLellan did not immediately give an order. Colonel Steele recalled that he went into the Brigadier’s office soon after receiving the report from 22 Lt AD Regt at about 1604 hours,1 gave his assessment and then left the Brigadier’s office without Brigadier MacLellan having expressed a view on separation or the advice he had given. Colonel Steele told us that after a minute or so Brigadier MacLellan walked into his office and said that it was time to launch the arrest operation; and stood by him as he gave the order to 1 PARA over the secure net. According to the Brigade log he gave the order at 1607 hours.2 We have no reason to doubt this sequence of events.

1 W128 serial 365 2Day 267/83-84

20.202 As we have said, the scoop-up operation ordered by Brigadier MacLellan was in our view as set out in the Brigade log: “Orders given to 1 PARA at 1607 hrs for 1 sub unit of 1 PARA to do scoop up OP through barrier 14. Not to conduct running battle down Rossville St. ”1

1 W47 serial 159

20.203 This order, had it been obeyed, would have limited C Company to endeavouring to trap rioters in the area indicated by Colonel Wilford in his request, namely the William Street/Little James Street area, and precluded the soldiers from chasing rioters (or anyone else) south down Rossville Street. In our view, based on the information that Brigadier MacLellan had and the assessment made by his Brigade Major, the situation as understood by Brigade at the time the order was given was such that Brigadier MacLellan could reasonably have concluded (as in our view he did) that a limited operation of this kind would not have involved, to any or any significant extent, a clash between the civil rights marchers and the company conducting the scoop-up.

20.204 Colonel Steele could not explain why he had not asked Colonel Welsh for a further report before advising Brigadier MacLellan that there was sufficient separation.1However, if, as we consider was the case, the order being contemplated was for the limited one company operation requested by Colonel Wilford, then in our view a further report was not necessary. It is only if, contrary to our view, the order being contemplated was to send soldiers down Rossville Street that such a report would have been vital. Colonel Steele’s inability to explain why he had not sought a further report appears to us to arise from the fact that he was, in our view wrongly, asserting that the order being contemplated did allow soldiers to go down Rossville Street.

1 Day 268/26

20.205 At this point we should note that both General Ford and Brigadier MacLellan had independently told the journalist Desmond Hamill in the early 1980s that after Colonel Wilford had made his request to mount a scoop operation, General Ford had sent a message to Brigadier MacLellan on the secure radio link suggesting it was time to send the scoop-up force in or asking why it had not been sent in.1 However, these in our view were false memories. General Ford did not have access to a secure radio link and it now seems clear that no such message was sent by the secure means or otherwise.2 General Ford had been at or close to Barrier 14 between about 1540 and 1610 hours.3 We describe elsewhere in this report4 what he did there, but in our view during the afternoon he played no part in deciding when any arrest operation should be launched or what form it should take. Since these were matters for the Brigadier and not the General, we consider that this was the correct thing for General Ford to do.

1 B1208.003.017; B1279.003.006

2 Day 255/30; Day 267/58
3 B1124-6

4 Paragraph 20.230; Chapter 169


20.206 We now turn to consider the situation on the ground. At this stage it is convenient to give details of the dispositions and orders within 1 PARA in the period leading up to and immediately after the order from Brigade to 1 PARA and the orders given by Colonel Wilford to his soldiers.

1 PARA dispositions and orders

20.207 The following map indicates the principal points relating to the dispositions and orders.


A Company

20.208 As we have noted above, it is probable that soon after Colonel Wilford ordered C Company and Support Company to deploy he ordered A Company to move forward from Barrier 11 into Lower Road and then to turn left into William Street “to assist Sp Coy in their task of arresting rioters at the William St/Rossville St junction ”. This quotation comes from the Diary of Operations1of the Commander of A Company (Major INQ 10) who also recorded that from 1612–1715 hours he had gone “firm in the posn [sic] William St/Creggan St junction and 100 m East ”. This company made five arrests at a later stage (to which we refer later in this report2) but was not involved in the shooting. It is therefore unnecessary to go into any greater detail on the movements and activities of A Company at and immediately after Colonel Wilford gave his order.

1 B1341
2 Chapter 158


C Company

20.209 According to the Diary of Operations prepared by Major 221A (the Commander of C Company) and dated 31st January 1972,1at 1516 hours C Company had received orders to move from its Forming Up Position (FUP) in the Foyle College car park to an Assault Position in Princes Street behind A Company. Then at 1530 hours this company was “ordered to be prepared to move through barrier 14 on left flank of Sp Coy ”. The Diary of Operations records that at 1545 hours C Company was concentrated at Waterloo Place, with two platoons prepared for an assault on foot and one platoon to remain mounted. The next entry is timed 1610 hours, “Ordered to asslt rioters in East end of William St ”. This Diary does not record that C Company received any other orders between 1530 and 1610 hours.

1 B2166

20.210 In his first written statement, which was provided for the Widgery Inquiry,1Colonel Wilford recorded that at about the time of the Presbyterian church shot (discussed earlier in this report2), ie at or about 1555 hours, he warned Support Company to be ready to put two platoons through Barrier 12 “and C Company to prepare to move through Barrier 14 ”, having previously, at about 1535 hours, warned for forward deployment A Company to Princes Street, Support Company to Queen’s Street and C Company to Waterloo Place.3
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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 21:40

20.211 In our view Colonel Wilford’s recollection of events, at least so far as C Company is concerned, is not correct. The order for forward deployment (ie to move from Forming Up Positions to Assault Positions) is recorded as being given at 1516 hours not only in Major 221A’s Diary of Operations but also in the Diary of Operations of A Company and Support Company.1The same time for this is given in the 1 PARA log2though there the order is recorded as requiring the move “in 15 mins ”. Both the 1 PARA log and Major 221A’s Diary of Operations record this order as requiring C Company to move to Princes Street, not to Waterloo Place. According to Major 221A C Company had received a Warning Order to be prepared to go through Barrier 14 at 1530 hours, ie some 15 minutes after the company was ordered to move forward from the Foyle College car to Princes Street and some 30 minutes earlier than Colonel Wilford recalled that he had given this Warning Order. There would seem to be no good reason for Colonel Wilford to repeat the Warning Order to C Company.

1 B2166; B1341; B2212 2W90 serial 23

20.212 For these reasons it seems to us that the true sequence of events was that at about 1516 hours C Company was told that it was to move from the Foyle College car park to Princes Street. At about 1530 hours Major 221A was given a Warning Order to be prepared to move through Barrier 14 on the left flank of Support Company. As a result C Company moved from Princes Street to Waterloo Place, where they were in position at about 1545 hours.

20.213 The next order to C Company came at the launch of the arrest operation. The actual wording was, as Colonel Wilford said, probably a brief instruction along the lines of “Hello … 3, go, go, go ”1and in view of the Warning Order was correctly understood as an order to move through Barrier 14. At about the same time the Gin Palace made the request of 22 Lt AD Regt to lift Barrier 14 “where our call sign will be coming through ”.2Major INQ 2079 (in charge of this barrier) told us that this message was received by his second in command from 22 Lt AD Regt and passed to him.3

1 B1110.033; Day 313/47

2 W128 serial 370
3 Day 300/104-105


20.214 Major 221A (the Commander of C Company) gave written1and oral evidence to this Inquiry, though it became apparent during the latter that he had little independent recollection of events.2However, he did say that he recalled that so far as he was concerned, the arrest operation he prepared for was to confront the rioters, disperse them by making them run away and catch as many as they could; and was not an operation to encircle the rioters, draw them back to the barriers and arrest them in that way.3It seems therefore that the Commander of C Company was not made aware of Colonel Wilford’s ideas about getting behind and trapping the rioters in a pincer movement.

1 B2168.001

2 Day 294/96-225
3 Day 294/182-183


20.215 In his written evidence to this Inquiry, Major 221A stated that at the time he received the order to deploy he had arranged his men in vehicles, ready to move through Barrier 14. However, he became aware of a delay at the barrier, and approached the officer in command of the troops manning the position. Major 221A recalled that this officer was reluctant to move the barricade as he thought that this would expose his men to rioting. As a result, Major 221A told us he decided to deploy at least the first part of C Company on foot.1

1 B2168.003

20.216 During his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Major 221A was shown his 1972 Diary of Operations,1 in which he had recorded that by 1545 hours two of his platoons were prepared for an assault on foot while one remained mounted. Major 221A stressed that he was unsure in his recollection of the events in question, but thought that it was possible that the altercation with the officer at the barrier described above had in fact occurred earlier in the day, before 1545 hours.2

1 B2166 2Day 294/150-151; Day 294/189-194

20.217 Barrier 14 was manned by A Company of 2 RGJ. As we have already observed, this company was under the command of 22 Lt AD Regt. The Officer Commanding A Company, Major INQ 2079, told this Inquiry that he had no recollection of any such conversation at any stage, and believed that had he been asked to open the barrier at the time when the Paras wanted to go through, he would not have objected that this would expose his men as by that time the rioting was less heavy than earlier.1

1 Day 300/107-108

20.218 On the basis of this evidence, it seems to us that even if Major 221A had originally contemplated using vehicles, by 1545 hours at the latest he had decided to send at least most of his soldiers in on foot.

20.219 As we have described earlier, soldiers had deployed the water cannon at Barrier 14 for the second time at about 1605 hours, which had had the effect of temporarily driving back the rioters, many of whom took shelter in Chamberlain Street.

20.220 At about 1609 hours, some two minutes after the Brigade order had been given, 22 Lt AD Regt reported to Brigade, “People at the moment are advancing on the House Martin – wrong, on serial 14, using a corrugated iron shield. Have you any idea yet what time it was 65 [1 PARA] was going in? ”1Brigade acknowledged the first part of this message and as to the second told 22 Lt AD Regt to “leave that for the moment ”.2The journalist David Phillips, who was behind Barrier 14, told the Widgery Inquiry that the corrugated iron shield was used after the second use of the water cannon.3
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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

Post  Guest on Wed 16 Jun - 21:47

20.221 The group of rioters advancing on Barrier 14 behind a corrugated iron shield is shown in the following photographs taken by the French photojournalist Gilles Peress, though it is not clear whether this depicts the scene after the second use of the water cannon.1

1 M65.1.1; M65.20; Day 212/183-190


20.222 At about this time, Colonel Welsh reported, among other things, that “The crowd as I see it now is about 70 in Chamberlain Street ”.1There is a photograph showing something like this number at the corner where Chamberlain Street runs into William Street, though again we do not know for sure exactly when it was taken.

1 W128 serial 375

20.223 The position immediately before C Company started to approach Barrier 14 and could be seen from the other side is not entirely clear, with some witnesses recalling a resumption of serious rioting involving many dozens after the second use of the water cannon, while others thought that the rioting was dying down. These witnesses included Sergeant INQ 1832,1William Anderson,2Patrick Long,3Willie Healey,4Noel Doherty,5William Hunter6and Major INQ 2079.7Our assessment of the situation is that there was a resumption of rioting, including the use of corrugated iron as a shield, that probably there were some dozens involved or watching, but that the rioting was not nearly as serious as it had been earlier.

1 Day 276/26-28

2 Day 408/13-14

3 Day 68/99; Day 68/120-121

4 Day 78/90-91
5 Day 82/6-8; AD91.3

6 M44.1

7 Day 300/107-108


20.224 As we have already noted, at about 1609 hours 1 PARA radioed 22 Lt AD Regt “Can you lift barrier 14, where our call sign will be coming through? ”.1,2

1 W128 serial 370 2W96 serial 56

20.225 Although Major 221A’s Diary of Operations refers to one platoon remaining mounted when his company reached Waterloo Place, it seems that in the event the majority of soldiers from all three platoons moved on foot to Barrier 14.1

1 WT11.41

20.226 The first to arrive was 7 Platoon, who got there before the 2 RGJ soldiers had managed to open the barrier.1This led some of the C Company soldiers to climb over the barrier knife rests in order to deploy more quickly.

1 B1366.3; B1545.2; C488.2




20.227 The moment C Company was seen approaching Barrier 14 the situation rapidly changed, with the rioters fleeing from the immediate area of the barrier. At the time C Company actually started going through the barrier, the street immediately in front of them, from where the rioters had been throwing stones, was clear or virtually clear.1BBC and ITN film footage taken as soldiers went through or over Barrier 14 certainly shows that the rioters had cleared the immediate area, though it must be borne in mind that it is not clear whether this footage depicts the first soldiers to advance or those following.2

1 M11.3-4; M39.1 2Vid 3 04.31

20.228 7 Platoon continued along William Street to the junction with Rossville Street, followed by 9 Platoon. 8 Platoon turned left and subsequently went down Chamberlain Street.1

1 B1726.4; C1910.4-5; B1545.2; Vid 1 03.56



20.229 Once the barrier had been opened enough to allow their passage, a number of vehicles of C Company were brought forward.1This is shown on some of the film footage from the day.2

1 WT2.11; WT3.53-54
2 Vid 1 04.13; Vid 3 04.59


20.230 General Ford was present at Barrier 14 from approximately 1540 hours until the arrest operation was launched.1As C Company went through the barrier, he said “Go on 1 Para, go and get them and good luck ”,2words that were overheard and reported, at least in part, by the Times journalist Brian Cashinella.3
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20.231 General Ford told the Widgery Inquiry that by “‘get them’ ” he meant “‘arrest them’, in accordance with their orders ”. He considered these to be “suitable words for a General Officer to make to troops about to undertake an unpleasant task ”.1He gave similar evidence to this Inquiry.2In our view no valid criticism can be made of General Ford for speaking to the soldiers in this way.

1 B1154 2B1208.046

20.232 We deal in detail later in this report1with what C Company did after going through Barrier 14.

1 Chapter 65

Support Company

20.233 We have already dealt with the question of when Support Company was given a Warning Order to deploy through Barrier 12 rather than through the Presbyterian church route and concluded that this was at about 1600 hours, as recorded in Major Loden’s Diary of Operations.1

1 B2213

20.234 On receipt of this order Major Loden instructed his soldiers to return to their vehicles in Queen’s Street, where they had been parked following the order at 1516 hours to move from their FUP in Clarence Avenue.1However, as already described, because Machine Gun Platoon could not extricate itself from Abbey Taxis Major Loden told the Commander of that platoon that it should remain there.2

1 B2212; W90 serial 23
2 B2213


20.235 In his evidence to this Inquiry, Major Loden indicated that he had no independent recollection of the moment he received the Warning Order or of the following minutes.1

1 B2283.4

20.236 In view of the evidence of Colonel Wilford that he had only finally decided to use vehicles after his request to Brigade at 1555 hours, it seems likely that the Warning Order included an instruction to Major Loden to use vehicles.1In any event it is clear that from the time he was given the Warning Order at the latest Major Loden acted on the basis that he would go through Barrier 12 in vehicles.

1 Day 314/23; Day 314/28; Day 314/34; Day 314/56-61; Day 314/67-68; Day 342/42-43; Day 344/50-53; Day 345/27-28; Day 345/69-74

20.237 Major Loden told us, and we accept, that he had not seen the Brigade order for controlling the march and thus was unaware that it stated, “It is expected that the arrest operation will be conducted on foot ”.1 Colonel Wilford, however, had seen the Brigade order.2This order did not prohibit the use of vehicles, so that, other things being equal, Colonel Wilford’s decision to do so would not in itself have been in breach of the Brigade order.

1 G95.570; Day 342/41; Day 345/69 2Day 312/17; B110.022

20.238 Major Loden’s Diary of Operations records that he received the order to go at 1612 hours.1In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry he gave the time as 1610 hours.2His Diary of Operations3gives 1615 hours as the time when the company was able to move after regrouping, though in his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry, Major Loden put the time two minutes earlier.4

1 B2213

2 B2220
3 B2213

4 B2220


20.239 In our view the earlier timings are probably the more accurate, though even they may put the sequence of events rather later than was actually the case. Colonel Wilford’s order is likely to have been earlier rather than later in view of his anxiety to launch the operation and so might have been much closer to 1607 hours, the time the Brigade log records for Brigadier MacLellan’s order to 1 PARA.1Furthermore, at about 1612 hours Colonel Welsh in the helicopter reported the appearance of Army vehicles in Rossville Street,2and the following photograph shows that, according to the Guildhall clock, by about 1610 hours soldiers of Support Company were present in the Bogside.

1 W47 serial 159



20.240 As we have already observed, the order not to conduct a running battle down Rossville Street was not passed on by Colonel Wilford to Major Loden.1It is possible that Support Company’s signallers picked up the radio message from the Gin Palace transmitting the order on the battalion net to Colonel Wilford,2but even if they did there is nothing to indicate that it was passed on to Major Loden.3

1 B2283.011; B1110.032; Day 267/181

2 W90 serial 31
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20.241 The vehicles moved from Queen’s Street to Little James Street and lined up behind Barrier 12. Here a delay occurred.

20.242 We have already noted that at about the same time as Colonel Wilford gave the order to go, the Gin Palace had radioed a request to 22 Lt AD Regt to lift Barrier 14.1,2 There is no record of any similar request to those manning Barrier 12. The last message about this barrier had been some 30 minutes earlier, when the request to 22 Lt AD Regt was to “be prepared to lift your barriers 12 and 14 should we require to push through them to disperse these crowds ”.3

1 W128 serial 370

2 W96 serial 56
3 W123 serial 286


20.243 Barriers 12 and 13 were manned by 11 Battery, 22 Lt AD Regt, under the command of Major INQ 1326. In his written statement to this Inquiry1he told us that he remembered receiving an order to open Barrier 12 and assumed that it had come over the radio, as he certainly did not remember it being delivered by anyone in person. He recalled that his soldiers were in the course of undoing the wire securing the barrier when some Army vehicles came round the corner. He also recalled that there was a delay of only a “few seconds ” before the vehicles went through. In his oral evidence to us he was unsure of the exact duration of the delay but said it was much shorter than three minutes.2He also said that he really had no precise recollection as to how he received an order to lift the barrier and that his assumption that it was by radio could be incorrect.3

1 C1326.3-4

2 Day 301/113
3 Day 301/127-128


20.244 On the basis of the logs and the Porter tapes, we are satisfied that 22 Lt AD Regt was not requested by radio to open Barrier 12. Furthermore, Major INQ 1326 could not have been given an order to open Barrier 12 by 1 PARA, who had no right to give orders to an officer of another battalion, which is why 22 Lt AD Regt was requested (not ordered) to open Barrier 14. Accordingly it seems to us that Major INQ 1326’s recollection as to receiving an order is mistaken. In our view it is more likely that this officer was requested to open Barrier 12 as the Support Company vehicles arrived, or that at this time the request was first made by Major Loden of Lieutenant 109 (in charge of the platoon manning the barrier) who then had to get permission from Major INQ 1326.1

1 B1723.005; Day 360/74

20.245 In view of the fact that 22 Lt AD Regt did not receive a request in advance to lift Barrier 12, it is not surprising that when Support Company arrived behind this barrier it was to find it still closed.1

1 B2213; WT12.63

20.246 According to Major Loden’s written statement for the Widgery Inquiry, there was then a delay of about half a minute before the barrier was lifted and the vehicles were able to go through.1Lieutenant N was Commander of Mortar Platoon and in the leading vehicle. In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry, he recorded that opening the barrier took “a moment or two ”.2However, in his oral evidence to that Inquiry, he said that when he arrived at the barrier “It was still closed, and there was a line of soldiers behind the shields facing the crowds ” and that it was “A good minute ” before he could drive through.3Private Q (also in the leading vehicle) told the Widgery Inquiry that the delay was 2–3 minutes4and Colonel Wilford, though not at the barrier himself, supposed that there was a delay there of about three minutes.5

1 B2220

2 B398

3 WT12.63
4 WT12.85

5 WT11.43


20.247 In his written and oral evidence to this Inquiry, Major Loden recalled that there was some surprise on the part of those manning the barrier when his company arrived to go through and a certain reluctance to open the barrier. He said that he had had to remonstrate with an officer before the barrier was opened.1

1 B2283.004; Day 342/47-48

20.248 The fact that 22 Lt AD Regt had not been requested to open Barrier 12 until the vehicles had arrived there suggests that the Gin Palace had somehow failed to appreciate that Support Company was going to go through that barrier, a suggestion which in turn is supported by the inaccurate information they later gave to Brigade,1to which we have already referred.2The fact that the request was not made until a late stage also in our view supports our conclusion that the Brigadier’s order was limited to Barrier 14.

1 W129 serial 383 2Paragraphs 20.125–132

20.249 So far as the position south of Barrier 12 is concerned, we have already described the use of CS gas by 22 Lt AD Regt on at least two occasions, the latter being at about 1554 hours. As we have observed, although the use of CS gas had had the effect of driving most of the crowd further from this barrier (and Barrier 13), rioters remained or returned, some using a corrugated iron shield. At about 1602 hours 22 Lt AD Regt confirmed to 1 PARA that there was still a hooligan element in the area William Street/Little James Street (and around Barrier 14)1 and some two minutes later reported to Brigade that there was “still a crowd of about 150 hooligans at junction Rossville Street/William Street ”.2 These were the last two messages dealing specifically with the rioters in this area heard by Brigade before Brigadier MacLellan gave his order.

1 W127 serials 353-358 2W128 serial 365

20.250 At about 1610 hours, about three minutes after the order had been given to 1 PARA, and as or moments before Support Company went through Barrier 12, Colonel Welsh reported from the helicopter that “The people on Aggro Corner have been driven away by the last fusillade of gas cartridges, are moving down towards the meeting [at Free Derry Corner] ”. It was in this message that he also referred to a crowd of about 70 in Chamberlain Street.1
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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

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20.251 The reference to the “last fusillade of gas cartridges ” might be a reference to the second use of gas by 22 Lt AD Regt, though this seems very unlikely, as it had happened some 15 minutes earlier. It might refer to the fact that there could have been further intermittent use of CS gas in addition to the first and second volleys that we have described. It is also possible that what Colonel Welsh had in fact observed was the movement of people south when they saw the Support Company vehicles arriving behind Barrier 12, or saw that barrier being opened.

20.252 Although the situation is not entirely clear our assessment of the position immediately before people saw the vehicles or the barrier opening is that there were still a number of rioters in the William Street/Little James Street area and a crowd of people slightly further south around Aggro Corner.

20.253 The delay at Barrier 12 gave those rioters who still remained in the immediate vicinity the opportunity to see the arrival of the vehicles and to run away before they came through the barrier. When Support Company did advance there were, in Major Loden’s words, only “Very few ” people left.1

1 Day 342/48

20.254 The delay was significant in the sense that it meant that the opportunity of making any or any significant arrests in the Little James Street/William Street area had to all intents and purposes disappeared. It is possible, however, that even without any delay the opening of the barrier might have had much the same effect.

20.255 The effect of using Barrier 12 was accordingly to drive any remaining rioters away from the Little James Street/William Street area and thus to remove any possibility of C Company making any arrests in that area.

20.256 Major Loden told the Widgery Inquiry that he did not give his Platoon Commanders any orders as to how they should deploy once they had passed through the barrier, or how far they should go, though he pointed out that he could have given them orders on the company net if he thought that they were going too far.1

1 WT12.36

20.257 Support Company travelled through Barrier 12 in the following order. First were two Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) that belonged to Mortar Platoon. These were followed by Major Loden’s Command Vehicle, and a Ferret scout car with a mounted Browning machine gun.1Next came the two empty APCs of Machine Gun Platoon, and then two soft-sided four-ton lorries containing Composite Platoon (Guinness Force). The two APCs of Anti-Tank Platoon brought up the rear. Major Loden had designated this order when the company formed up in Clarence Avenue before moving to Queen’s Street.2

1 WT11.76 2WT12.36; B2220

20.258 We have already noted that the APCs are sometimes referred to in the evidence as Saracens. They were in fact Humber armoured cars.1

1 WT11.41

20.259 Despite the delay to the vehicles at Barrier 12, there is evidence from a number of civilians in William Street that what caused them to run away down Chamberlain Street was the sight of Army vehicles moving across the junction of Little James Street and William Street into Rossville Street, rather than soldiers coming through Barrier 14. Hugh O’Donnell stated in his written evidence to this Inquiry1 that he was standing near Quinn’s fish shop in William Street (which was a few yards west of Chamberlain Street) when he heard the noise of the engines of Army vehicles behind him to his west. He turned round and caught a glimpse of a vehicle moving south from Little James Street into Rossville Street. He then looked to see whether soldiers were coming through Barrier 14, but “there was no movement there ”. He confirmed this in his oral evidence.2

1 AO31.2 2 Day 79/138

20.260 Jeffrey Morris (a Daily Mail newspaper photographer), Gilles Peress (another professional photographer covering the events of the day), Eamonn Baker and Mitchel McLaughlin also gave evidence to much the same effect.1
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20.261 In view of this evidence it seems to us that Support Company in vehicles moved into the Bogside before soldiers from C Company came through Barrier 14.

20.262 Later in this report1we consider in detail what happened when Support Company drove into the Bogside. However, it is appropriate to point out at this stage that so far as Lieutenant N (the Commander of Mortar Platoon and in the leading APC that went into the Bogside) was concerned, he regarded himself not as engaged in some form of scoop-up operation, where soldiers sought to trap rioters in a concerted pincer-type movement, but instead as seeking to overtake and get among the fleeing crowd and there effect arrests. In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, there was the following exchange between Counsel to the Inquiry and Lieutenant N:2

“Q. Can we go back to paragraph 34 of your statement at B438.007. You describe in paragraph 34, the fourth line, how you moved through the barrier, the crowd saw you coming and turned and ran away. Did they only do that when the Pigs came through the barrier, or had they in fact begun to do that when you were stationary at the barrier?

A. No, when we were stationary they were still throwing things.

Q. You say that the plan was to perform an arrest operation, and that meant using your vehicles to get close to the rioters: ‘We therefore followed the majority of the crowd without actually knowing where this would lead us.’ Does that mean that when your Pig moved down Little James Street and then into Rossville Street, and turned left, that it was in a sense just an instinctive move towards where people were?

A. That is correct, yes.

Q. We know that the Pig behind, which was being driven by Sergeant O, went further forward and ended up at the mouth of the car park to the Rossville Flats. What determined where Sergeant O drove his Pig?

A. He would have made that decision in response to where I stopped. It was quite normal: he would have chosen the best position for him to go to.

Q. What would determine what was the best position for him to go to?

A. His – his appreciation of all the – the immediate circumstances. You would have to ask him why he chose that specific spot on that particular occasion.

Q. What was the aim? What were you trying to achieve in selecting the most appropriate spot to go to?

A. I chose my spot because I had the opportunity, as the space opened up to the left from the street, um, to cut off some of the – some of the running crowd, which would – we had effectively got amongst them, which meant we were in a much better position to make arrests.

Q. Is the relevant consideration whether or not you can cut people off and effect arrests?

A. Yes.

Q. Can we have a look, please, at what you say at the end of paragraph 34. You say this: ‘The usual considerations applied: we needed to get as close as possible to the crowd, without being drawn into a confined area, before commencing the arrest operation. We always had to make sure that arrests were carried out in an area where there was sufficient opportunity for people to escape. It was dangerous to get into a situation where rioters were boxed in, as this was likely to result in a direct conflict.’ How had these considerations been specified or laid down?

A. That was part of the standard Army training.

Q. Some of the evidence to the Tribunal has suggested what might appear to be the exact opposite, namely that, if you want to arrest people, particularly if you want to arrest as many people as possible, you should seal off routes of escape and drive rioters towards some form of stop line so that you can catch as many of them without their escaping. Was that ever an approach that was adopted?

A. What do you mean by ‘some form of stop line’?

Q. A line of troops towards which another set of troops could drive people in an area from which they could not escape, save into the arms of those who would arrest them.

A. That is – if I may suggest, that is not at conflict to what I am describing; that is a different type of operation, which is conceivable: pre-planned, set up well in advance, where a cordon is put into position. What I am describing here is: without that pre-planning, without that style of operation, the last thing you want is to box rioters in where they have got no choice but to come back at – at yourselves. It is – you are then vastly out-numbered, and that could be very dangerous.

Q. May we have, please, paragraphs 35 and 36. You describe in paragraph 35 driving down Rossville Street, turning to the left into what you now know as Eden Place, and stopping. You say that during that drive you would have directed the driver, and you say that it is very difficult to estimate but you would say that there were hundreds of people in this crowd. Were you able to tell where this crowd had come from?

A. They were the people who were running from in front of us. Um, no, I could not say specifically, but they were – they were running away from us, they were running –

Q. Is it fair to say that a substantial number of people who were on the wasteland into which your Pig turned may well have been people who were not rioting at barrier 12, but simply people who were already on the wasteland with whom your Pig caught up when you drove down Little James Street and Rossville Street and turned left into the wasteland?

A. We would not have caught up if they were standing there, but it is conceivable that there were people standing in addition to those who were running from us through ... ”


1 Chapters 24 and 69 2Day 322/36

20.263 After showing Lieutenant N photographs of the two Mortar Platoon APCs going down Rossville Street, Counsel to the Inquiry pointed out that these appeared to show Lieutenant N’s vehicle getting in between quite a sizeable number of people. He then asked Lieutenant N:1

“Q. Would you agree that that would appear to indicate the truth of the proposition that I was putting to you a moment ago: that you must have driven into – I do not mean so as to hit – a body of people, many of whom were simply people who had been on the wasteground, rather than rioting at barrier 12?

A. Yes, I cannot disagree with the proposition. I – my attention was taken up by those who had been running away from us, um, and there is not a very clear view from inside one of those Pigs through – when you are wearing a respirator as well. ”


1 Day 322/41

20.264 Later in his oral evidence to this Inquiry Lieutenant N’s attention was drawn to what the Adjutant of 1 PARA (Captain Mike Jackson) had stated to this Inquiry:1

“When you say in the same paragraph ‘We always had to make sure that arrests were carried out in an area where there was sufficient opportunity for people to escape,’ that was specifically in your mind, was it, not that they should be encircled; far from it, quite the contrary?

A. Yes.

Q. So if finally we look, please, at the statement of another soldier who was present, CJ1.3, please, paragraph 21: ‘The type of operation envisaged was a snatch operation and one that we did all the time. The tactic of going in behind a crowd or coming in at the flank was well-used and well-proven. If you wanted to carry out an arrest operation you would have to stop people running away and effectively put a cork in the bottle. If you got this sort of operation right it would cut off the crowd and you could then carry out arrests.’ That was not the tactic, as far as you were concerned, that was employed on the day?

A. That is correct.

Q. This is the statement of the adjutant who was present. If that is what he envisaged, he has it wrong, has he?

A. With respect, I would suggest here he is making a general statement about different ways of carrying out this sort of operation.

Q. And this was not one of them, the cork in the bottle or anything of that kind or encircling; that was not one of those envisaged on the day, was it?

A. If I understand you correctly: there was no concept of this cork in a bottle, of driving people into a corner, um – ”


1 Day 322/125

20.265 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry Sergeant O, who was Lieutenant N’s Platoon Sergeant and in command of the second APC to go into the Bogside, was asked about the operation as it turned out to be:1

“Q. Whatever else in fact happened, as the result of going in through barrier 12 – I think you did say this this morning, I want you to confirm it – there was not the pincer movement that had been envisaged, was there?

A. No, sir.

Q. There was, what I might call, a frontal assault on the rioters?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Which resulted in them running away?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. When they ran away, the effect was, if you were to conduct the arrest operation, that you had to chase them?

A. Yes, sir. ”


1 Day 335/136-137

20.266 In the context of an arrest operation, it seems to us that what Lieutenant N and Sergeant O perceived as their objective, and what indeed they did, which we discuss in more detail when considering the events of Sector 2, was to conduct a running battle down Rossville Street; they did not set out to engage in the sort of encircling or bottling operation described by the Adjutant or indeed other senior officers.

20.267 Major Loden himself told us that when he got to Barrier 12 and saw the people running away, any idea of a pincer movement between Support Company and C Company “went out of the window ”.1

1 Day 348/72-73

20.268 Major 221A, the Commander of C Company, was also asked whether he understood that there was a plan to encircle rioters and arrest them:1

“Q. Was there any concept, as you understood it, that companies of the Parachute Battalion would encircle rioters and arrest them in that way?

A. Not encircle them, but possibly two companies working, co-ordinated together, pushing – I mean, it was never the case to encircle people so that there is nowhere for them to disperse. The whole point about riot control or dispersing a riot situation is that there should be somewhere for the people to disperse to. ”


1 Day 294/182

20.269 Second Lieutenant 026, the Commander of 8 Platoon of C Company, who went through Barrier 14 and then along Chamberlain Street, as we describe later in this report,1also told us that he did not understand that he was involved in any sort of pincer movement:2

“Q. Is it right you had never any understanding of being involved in any kind of pincer movement?

A. To the best of my knowledge, I was not involved in any pincer movement. As I said, I was given – by the time I arrived – bear in mind I was the very last one to arrive there – by the time I arrived, a lot had already happened and I was given orders by Major 221A to take my platoon down Chamberlain Street and, as I understood it, to secure the battalion’s left flank. The rest of the battalion, I was well aware, was off to the right. ”


1 Chapter 65 2Day 315/155

The situation on the ground at the time of the Brigade order

20.270 Our assessment of the situation on the ground is that at the time of the Brigade order to 1 PARA, there would in fact have been sufficient separation between rioters and marchers had the scoop-up operation been as ordered. This would have involved C Company moving up or parallel to William Street so as to turn northwards in an attempt to trap rioters in the William Street/Little James Street area. At this time, though there were still undoubtedly numbers of non-rioters in the waste ground north of the Rossville Flats and on Rossville Street south of Aggro Corner, it seems to us that the chances of any significant clashes between soldiers and non-rioters in the area contemplated for the arrests were minimal, so long as the former complied with the order not to conduct a running battle down Rossville Street. Whether such an operation would have resulted in any substantial arrests of rioters or was otherwise appropriate is a matter that we consider below.
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20.271 As we have noted, neither those leading the vehicles into the Bogside (Lieutenant N and Sergeant O) nor the Commander of C Company (Major 221A) saw their task as the kind of encircling or scoop-up operation envisaged by more senior officers, including Colonel Wilford, but primarily to disperse the crowd. It follows that when Colonel Wilford told us that he did not give any specific instructions to his soldiers, because they knew what to do, he was in error if he thought that they knew that their task was not to disperse the crowd, but to encircle and arrest as many rioters as possible.

Was any arrest or scoop-up order appropriate?

20.272 There remains the third of the questions identified above, namely whether in the circumstances, apart from the question of separation, the situation on the ground was such that no proper purpose was or was likely to be served by ordering any scoop-up operation at all.

20.273 The Brigade order (Operation Forecast) indicated that no action was to be taken against the marchers unless they tried to break through the barriers or used violence against the security forces.1As we have already described, there had been violence at Barriers 12, 13 and 14 and in the area of Abbey Taxis. In the minutes before Brigadier MacLellan gave the order he was told (in our view accurately) that there were still rioters at Aggro Corner and in the area of Barrier 14.2,3 His decision to launch a scoop-up operation, therefore, did not amount to a change to Operation Forecast.

1 G95.567 3W128 serial 365

2 W127 serial 356

20.274 At the time when the soldiers actually went through the barriers, there were only at most a few rioters left in the area north of Aggro Corner and few if any close to Barrier 14 in William Street, though there may have been some dozens of rioters and onlookers in Chamberlain Street at the junction with William Street. Had Support Company not deployed to Barrier 12 to be seen by the rioters and others and had the scoop-up operation as ordered by Brigadier MacLellan been launched through Barrier 14 alone, we consider that there might have been an opportunity to arrest some (but probably only a few) rioters in the William Street/Little James Street area without the soldiers going down Rossville Street or clashing to any or any significant degree with civil rights marchers.

20.275 As it was, with the deployment of Support Company through Barrier 12 in vehicles down Rossville Street chasing rioters and others (as we describe in more detail hereafter in our consideration of the events of Sector 2), the soldiers inevitably came into close contact with people who had not been rioting as well as fleeing rioters. One immediate consequence was, as can be seen from the excerpt from Lieutenant N’s evidence to this Inquiry set out above, that it became impossible or virtually impossible for any soldier to be able to distinguish between rioters and non-rioters and thus to arrest only the former, a difficulty that does not appear to have occurred to Colonel Wilford,1probably because in our view he paid scant regard to the need for separation and drew little distinction between civil rights marchers and rioters.2

1 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry Colonel Wilford suggested that those with dye on them from the water cannon could be identified as rioters (Day 312/66) but many who were marked in this way had not been rioting.
2 WT11.55; B1075-1076; X1.35.32-36; X1.35.54;
X3.6.2-4; Day 312/59-67; Day 316/8; Day 320/53-80;
Day 321/44-51


20.276 It could be said that there was really little purpose in Brigadier MacLellan ordering the limited scoop-up operation he did, since the soldiers at the barriers had been successfully controlling the rioting, which appeared to be dying down and which might simply have petered out. However, there had been little success in arresting rioters in previous months and their activities, as the Commanding Officer of 1 CG pointed out, had reduced much of William Street to ruins.1Furthermore, an arrest operation at this time, if successful, could reasonably have been thought to help to reduce the risk or severity of renewed rioting later on.2Brigadier MacLellan knew that his senior commander General Ford, the originator and enthusiastic supporter of the plan for a large-scale scoop-up operation, was in the city, but we are not persuaded that this influenced the Brigadier to take a course of action that he would otherwise have refrained from taking.

1 Day 272/24 2WT11.33

20.277 In the circumstances we do not criticise Brigadier MacLellan for ordering, at 1607 hours, a limited scoop-up operation.

20.278 In our view, however, Colonel Wilford was at fault. He failed to obey the Brigadier’s order by deploying Support Company as he did; he failed to pass on to his soldiers the injunction against conducting a running battle (ie chasing the crowd) down Rossville Street; and he failed to give his soldiers instructions that their task was to seek to arrest rioters rather than to disperse the crowd. What we consider he should have done was to inform Brigade that his original request had been overtaken by events and (assuming that his intention was still to arrest rioters rather than to chase the crowd away) that in his view the only opportunity to make any significant number of arrests was now to send his soldiers down Rossville Street in vehicles. Had he done so, it seems to us that Brigadier MacLellan might well have called off the arrest operation altogether, on the grounds that this deployment would not have provided sufficient separation between rioters and civil rights marchers.

20.279 The failure of Colonel Wilford to comply with the orders from Brigade meant that soldiers of Support Company did chase people down Rossville Street and into the Bogside.

20.280 In the following parts of this report we discuss in detail what then happened. As we have already indicated,1 for the purposes of this Inquiry we divided into five sectors the parts of Londonderry with which we were principally concerned. Having considered the events of Sector 1, it is convenient to remind the reader at this stage of our division of the remaining four sectors.
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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry volume 2

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Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry
- Volume II - Chapter 21


Sectors 2 to 5
21.1 For convenience, we set out again the map showing the five sectors.



21.2 Sectors 2 to 5 are concerned with what happened after Support Company had travelled in vehicles through Barrier 12 and C Company had gone on foot through Barrier 14. All these sectors lay within the Bogside area of the city.

21.3 Sector 2 deals with what happened in the car park area of the Rossville Flats and in the waste ground which abutted Rossville Street and lay to the north of the car park area. It also covers what happened in Chamberlain Street.

21.4 Sector 3 covers what happened in Rossville Street itself and an area to the west of that street and north of Glenfada Park.

21.5 Sector 4 covers what happened in Glenfada Park North and Abbey Park, both of which lay to the west of Rossville Street.

21.6 Sector 5 covers what happened at the front (ie the south side) of the Rossville Flats.

21.7 As we have already observed, there is necessarily a degree of overlap between these sectors, both in terms of chronology and in terms of geography, particularly in the case of Sectors 2 and 3. Much of what happened in Sectors 2 and 3 occurred at or about the same time, while in general terms Sector 4 occurred after most (but not all) of the events of Sectors 2 and 3. Sector 5 similarly followed Sector 4 but was in turn followed by other incidents of firing in Sector 3.

21.8 As we discuss in detail in the course of considering the events of these sectors, people there were shot and killed or injured by Army rifle fire. Although soldiers of C Company went into the Bogside from Barrier 14, all the Army firing in the Bogside came from soldiers of Support Company.
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