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Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 3

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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 3

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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 3

Post  Guest on Thu 17 Jun - 23:02

43.33 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Sergeant O was disposed to accept that the head wound visible in the photograph of William John Doherty taken at Fort George was the result of the blow that he inflicted.1 For the reasons that we have given above, we are of the view that this was probably the case.

1 Day 335/34

43.34 The same photograph shows a substantial area of discolouration around William John Doherty’s left eye. The photograph also shows what looks like a sticking plaster across the bridge of his nose. Sergeant O told us that William John Doherty was bleeding from the left forehead and face when he saw him at Fort George.1The other and earlier photograph of William John Doherty, which in our view was taken in an RMP Land Rover, does not show the same degree of discolouration around his left eye, but we consider that this was due to the fact that the bruising had not then fully developed.

1 Day 336/142

43.35 According to his NICRA statement,1William John Doherty’s wounds were stitched by an Army doctor at Fort George. Later in this statement he described his injuries, a description which we have no reason to regard as otherwise than reasonably accurate:

“I have been examined by Dr Hegarty of Pump St, Londonderry. My injuries have also been witnessed by John Hume MP. They are severe bruising of the left arm, severe facial bruising down the left side of my face, and lacerations of the bridge of my nose, bruising on my left leg, and cuts to my left upper leg and knee. ”


1 AD113.2

43.36 It was submitted by the representatives of the majority of the represented soldiers that while the arrest photograph of Duncan Clark reveals “possibly some bleeding to the right of the nose ” it shows no other facial injuries “demonstrably consistent ” with him being hit on the head with a rifle butt or having a baton round discharged in his face from close range.1

1 FR7.518

43.37 We do not accept this submission. In our view the photograph does not demonstrate that Duncan Clark was exaggerating or wrong when he recorded in his NICRA statement that his injuries required two stitches in his head and five in his nose from the Army doctor at Fort George. We have no reason to doubt the accuracy of this part of his account.1
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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 3

Post  Guest on Thu 17 Jun - 23:03

Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry
- Volume III - Chapter 44


Conclusions on the treatment of those arrested in Sector 2

Chapter 44: Conclusions on the treatment of those arrested in Sector 2

44.1 On the basis of the evidence we have considered, there were instances where soldiers used excessive force when arresting people in the Eden Place waste ground, as well as seriously assaulting them for no good reason while in their custody. We consider such conduct to be unjustifiable. It suggests to us, rather than that a few individuals overstepped the mark in isolated cases, that such behaviour was closer to the norm than the exception among soldiers of 1 PARA. To our minds this view is reinforced not only by what we regard as the unjustified use of baton guns, but also by other instances of the treatment by 1 PARA soldiers of civilians, which we consider elsewhere in this report.1

1 Chapters 66, 160 and 161
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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 3

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Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry
- Volume III - Chapter 45

The situation in the Eden Place waste ground and the car park of the Rossville Flats

Chapter 45: The situation in the Eden Place waste ground and the car park of the Rossville Flats

45.1 We have considered earlier in this report1 the evidence of the soldiers who disembarked from Lieutenant N’s APC that they came under fire as they did so. We consider later in this report2 other evidence given by the soldiers of Mortar Platoon relating to incoming fire, but before doing so, we describe in this chapter the overall situation in the Eden Place waste ground and what was going on in the car park of the Rossville Flats. We examine the evidence that these soldiers gave about the explosion of nail and blast bombs; their evidence concerning petrol and acid bombs and relating to the wearing of respirators (gas masks); and when and why they cocked their self-loading rifles (SLRs).

1 Chapter 26 2Chapter 49

45.2 From the evidence that we have considered above, it is clear that as the two APCs of Mortar Platoon came into the Bogside, some civilians threw stones and bottles and similar missiles at the vehicles. However, as can be seen from the photographs shown and film footage described above, the general reaction of the crowd was to run away. This was also the evidence of the Commander of Composite Platoon, Captain 200.1 This general movement continued as the soldiers disembarked from Lieutenant N’s APC. There then followed the incidents in or near the waste ground, including the arrests of the five civilians discussed above.

1 Day 367/170-171

45.3 Those arrests all occurred within a very short time of the soldiers disembarking from the two APCs. Duncan Clark was arrested at the Eden Place alleyway, but by the time he had been taken back to Lieutenant N’s APC, William John Doherty (who had been arrested by Sergeant O at the south end of the back of the houses in Chamberlain Street) had been taken back and put into the same APC by Corporal 162. James Charles Doherty was arrested by Lance Corporal INQ 627, who had come from Major Loden’s armoured command vehicle, the third vehicle to come into the Bogside. It is not clear to which vehicle on Rossville Street he was taken, but he was in the vehicle when Charles Canning, who was arrested by Private U soon after the latter had disembarked from Sergeant O’s APC, was put into the same vehicle. It seems that William John Dillon was the last civilian to be arrested on the Eden Place waste ground, as Private 006 recalled him being on his own after the initial crowd had dispersed; and as will have been seen from the photographs of his arrest, the area of the waste ground around Pilot Row appears to have been deserted by this time.

45.4 In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry, Sergeant O said that the crowd of about 200 people that had been between the two Mortar Platoon APCs when they stopped dispersed very quickly, “… within a matter of seconds, ten or fifteen or twenty seconds, that sort of thing. They had gone from where we had trapped them. They were still moving across the car park into the Rossville Flats area.”1 His evidence on this point accords with the recollection of David Capper, the BBC reporter, who was standing against the wall at the back of the yards of the Chamberlain Street houses on the Eden Place waste ground when the APCs came in.2

1 WT13.27 2M9.18

45.5 We are satisfied that only five people were arrested in or around the Eden Place waste ground (including William John Doherty, whose arrest occurred in the entrance to the car park of the Rossville Flats near the back of 36 Chamberlain Street). In his first Royal Military Police statement,1 Sergeant O recorded that six arrests were made, but we consider that he was mistaken about this, and he acknowledged in his evidence to us that this could be so.2 In our view, the reason why no more were arrested in this area at this time was that there were no more left to arrest.

1 B440 2Day 336/19. A sixth person (Joseph Lynn) was arrested by soldiers of Composite Platoon in a derelict building on the western side of Rossville Street. We consider the circumstances of this arrest in Chapter 79.

45.6 As can be seen from Colman Doyle’s photographs, the situation soon after the soldiers disembarked was of a substantial number of people in the car park, many making their way through the gap between Blocks 1 and 2 of the Rossville Flats or running round the north end of Block 1 of the Rossville Flats towards Rossville Street. Those photographs are reproduced above, but for convenience we show the last of that sequence again.

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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 3

Post  Guest on Thu 17 Jun - 23:07

Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry
- Volume III - Chapter 46


Rioting in the Rossville Flats car park

Chapter 46: Rioting in the Rossville Flats car park





46.1 Although many people sought to flee from the soldiers through the gaps between Blocks 1 and 2, and 2 and 3, of the Rossville Flats, there is evidence from both soldiers and civilians that at this stage a number stopped or paused to throw stones and bottles at the soldiers. In addition we are satisfied that soon after the soldiers’ arrival in the car park, people on the walkways of the flats threw objects down on the soldiers.

Evidence from the soldiers

Corporal 162

46.2 In his RMP statement,1 Corporal 162 recorded that after disembarking from his (ie Lieutenant N’s) vehicle, he tried to arrest some of the people who were “throwing stones and bottles in Rossville Flats Forecourt ”. However, in his oral evidence to this Inquiry,2 he said that he had been referring to “the open ground which eventually would lead to the forecourt ” (ie to the waste ground as opposed to the car park). He also said that he had not seen people throwing stones and bottles, and that this information must have been given to him by the Royal Military Police (RMP).

1 B1960 2 Day 323/185-187

46.3 In the same statement, Corporal 162 recorded that he took an arrested civilian (William John Doherty) from Sergeant O at the rear wall of 30 Chamberlain Street; and that he did this because Sergeant O was being bottled and stoned.

46.4 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Corporal 162 said that he could not remember the circumstances in which Sergeant O had handed the civilian over to him.

1 B1962.004

46.5 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,1 Corporal 162 said that he could not remember any bottling or stoning taking place when he took charge of the civilian.

1 Day 323/190

46.6 We take the view that it is unlikely that the information about people throwing stones and bottles had been supplied to Corporal 162 by the RMP.

Lance Corporal V

46.7 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry,1 Lance Corporal V recorded that by the time he reached the entrance to the car park, there was a large crowd in front of him on his left, around the end of Chamberlain Street, throwing stones and bottles. He also told the Widgery Inquiry that bottles containing liquid were being thrown from Block 1. He stated2 that after he had fired at a man who had thrown a petrol bomb, he moved behind Private S, who was standing at the corner of the buildings at the end of Chamberlain Street, returning fire towards the passage between Blocks 1 and 2. At this stage, bottles were still coming down from the flats.

1 B801 2B802

46.8 In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry,1 Lance Corporal V said that there were about 100 people in the group at the end of Chamberlain Street. They were throwing stones and bricks. Some were stationary, some were coming forward to throw missiles, and some were generally milling about. He said that when he moved behind Private S, there was “still bottling going on from Block 1 ”.2 The bottling was heavy. The bottles were landing by Sergeant O’s APC and by Lance Corporal V and Private S.

1 WT13.12 2WT13.13

46.9 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Lance Corporal V told us that he had only a recollection of “lots of debris and missiles ” being thrown down from Block 1 at the APC.

1 B821.004

46.10 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,1 Lance Corporal V said that he now had no recollection of a crowd throwing missiles from around the end of Chamberlain Street. He said2 that he no longer recalled bottles coming down from the flats after he had fired at a petrol bomber, as described in his statement for the Widgery Inquiry. He resisted the suggestion3 that the photograph reproduced below, which was taken by Jeffrey Morris of the Daily Mail, and which has been discussed above4 in connection with the arrest of Duncan Clark, showed that his evidence to the Widgery Inquiry about a crowd throwing missiles from the end of Chamberlain Street was false.

1 Day 333/60-61

2 Day 333/80
3 Day 333/122-127

4 Paragraphs 30.8–13



46.11 A similar suggestion was put to Lance Corporal V1 in relation to the following photograph, which was taken from Block 2 of the Rossville Flats by Derrik Tucker Senior. He said that he had no current recollection of the crowd throwing missiles, but would rely on his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry.

1 Day 333/179-182



46.12 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Lance Corporal INQ 768 told us that he did not remember seeing any objects thrown from the flats.

1 C768.5

Private Q

46.13 In his RMP statement,1 Private Q recorded that when he disembarked from his (ie Lieutenant N’s) vehicle, stones and bottles were being thrown towards his position “from where Chamberlain St runs into the forecourt of the Flats ”. (In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,2 he accepted that this would not have been possible, and suggested that he had “got the positions on the ground confused ”.) Another vehicle moved nearer to the Rossville Flats, and Private Q saw that people “on various verandahs ” were dropping bottles onto the soldiers below them. When he moved to the north-east corner of Block 1, these people were still dropping bottles. Private Q saw that the majority of the bottles contained a liquid, and noticed “an acid smell ” from the bottles when they broke. He then saw that youths had gathered in the area between Blocks 2 and 3, and were throwing stones and bottles.

1 B624; B625 2 Day 339/67-69

46.14 In his statement for the Widgery Inquiry,1 and in his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry,2 Private Q said that after disembarking he followed a soldier armed with a baton gun towards the Rossville Flats. In our view, for reasons already given,3 this was Private 013. According to Private Q, that soldier fired his baton gun several times in the direction of the crowd, which included a number of people who were turning and throwing stones in the direction of the soldiers as the civilians retreated into the car park. The stoning was heavy, and so the two soldiers took cover at the north end of Block 1. Private Q moved to the north-west corner of the block and then back to the north-east corner, from where he could see a few youths throwing stones in the direction of Sergeant O’s APC, and at Sergeant O and the troops and vehicles behind him. He saw bottles landing by the APC. When they broke, he saw liquid coming from them and recognised the smell of acid. The stoning from the car park had continued during this time.

1 B636

2 WT12.86-WT12.88
3 Paragraph 26.30


46.15 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Private Q told us that when he disembarked he saw people running away from him. Some of them were stopping, picking up stones and throwing them. He stated2 that when he first went to the north-east corner of Block 1, he and his companion were not being stoned because the stone-throwers were “further left (east) of the flats I was standing near ”.

1 B657.3 2B657.3

46.16 In the same statement,1 Private Q told us that the names of streets in his RMP statement must have been suggested to him, because he did not think that he would have known such details at the time. He told us that he could not now remember from where the stones and bottles described in that statement had been thrown; nor could he remember seeing bottles falling from the Rossville Flats, but believed his RMP statement nor could be accurate. He also told us that he did not now remember seeing the acid bombs being dropped, but recalled the smell of acid.

1 B657.7

46.17 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,1 Private Q said that he did not remember why he had moved to the north end of Block 1, but that his evidence to the Widgery Inquiry that he had done so in order to take cover from stoning was likely to have been correct. He said2 that he did not believe that he personally was being stoned by the time he reached the north end of Block 1, but when it was then put to him that he was not being stoned at all, he said “We were being stoned ”, and said that stones were being thrown from the car park and “All over ”. However, he confirmed3 that his present recollection was that he was not being stoned when he was at the north end of Block 1, although in his evidence to the Widgery Inquiry he had said that he was.

1 Day 339/25-26

2 Day 339/69-70
3 Day 339/96-98


Private S

46.18 In his first RMP statement,1 Private S recorded that when he took up his position at the back of Chamberlain Street, the crowd was throwing bottles and stones at the soldiers.

1 B692

46.19 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry,1 Private S recorded that he saw various missiles being thrown at the soldiers, including acid bombs and a hail of bottles from the upper part of the Rossville Flats. He stated specifically that bottles and other missiles were being thrown from Block 1 during the incident in which he opened fire.2 We discuss his evidence about that incident below.

1 B707 2B708

46.20 In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry,1 Private S said that “a hail of bottles with acid in them, Windolene bottles, more or less every kind of bottles ” descended towards Sergeant O’s APC. He estimated2 that he saw 40 to 50 bottles coming down, including empty and full milk bottles and acid bombs. He said3 that he was aware that there were bottles coming from Block 1 “because they were falling short of me ”. He was not suggesting that people were on the roof of Block 1.
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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 3

Post  Guest on Thu 17 Jun - 23:08

46.21 In his statement to this Inquiry,1 Private S said that he did not now remember any objects being thrown from the Rossville Flats into the car park, but might simply have forgotten about them.

1 B724.005

46.22 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,1 Private S said that although he no longer recalled the experience, he believed from reading the evidence that he had given to the Widgery Inquiry that “we were being bottled all along, basically ”. He said that he had seen objects being thrown, although he conceded that he had not seen any acid bombs.2

1 Day 331/64-65 2Day 332/37

Private 013

46.23 In his RMP statement,1 Private 013 recorded that when he arrived in the car park a crowd was throwing various missiles at the soldiers. He fired his baton gun to move them back. He saw people throwing bottles and acid bombs from a balcony in Block 1.

1 B1406

46.24 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Private 013 told us that rioters were screaming and shouting in the car park. He fired his baton gun to keep them away. He did not describe any objects thrown by these rioters. The riot died down about seven minutes after the soldiers arrived. He stated2 that missiles were thrown from the Rossville Flats. He did not specify the type of missile but expressed the view that the liquid with which Private T was splashed (as we describe below) was probably urine rather than acid.

1 B1408.003 2B1408.006

Private R

46.25 In his first RMP statement,1 Private R recorded that as he moved to catch up with his (ie Sergeant O’s) APC after disembarking from it, people were throwing stones and bottles at him. After he reached the vehicle, the rioters ran past it, throwing stones at him and “the rest of the section who were located at the vehicle ”.

1 B658-B659

46.26 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry,1 Private R recorded that he was hit on the thigh and again on the calf by missiles thrown as he ran to catch up with the APC. When he reached the vehicle, there were a lot of people running in the car park. Some were running away, but “some of the lads were stopping and turning to throw stones before running off ”.

1 B670

46.27 In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry,1 Private R said that he was hit three times as he was running to catch up with his APC, once on the calf, once on the thigh, and once just above the hip, which caused a bruise.

1 WT13.73

46.28 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Private R recorded again that he was struck three times as he ran after the APC, once on the thigh, once on the head and once on the back of the calf.

1 B691.002

46.29 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,1 Private R said that he did not think that he had been hit on the head, and believed that his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry about where he was hit was probably accurate. He was asked why he had said in his statement to this Inquiry that he had been hit on the head, and said that he had been “misinterpreted ”.2 He was then asked why he had not mentioned the bruise above the hip in his statement for the Widgery Inquiry, and said that making that statement had been “rather daunting ”.

1 Day 337/22-24 2Day 337/91-93

46.30 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Private R told us that many objects, including bottles and bricks, were thrown from the Rossville Flats into the car park.
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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 3

Post  Guest on Thu 17 Jun - 23:08

46.31 In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry,1 Private R said that there was a further incident, after he had been splashed by acid (a matter which we discuss separately below), in which a woman threw a full bottle of Windolene which hit Sergeant O’s APC. In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,2 he was asked whether he remembered this incident, and replied that he had “a recollection maybe of the Windolene bottle ”.

1 WT13.84-85 2Day 337/43

Private U

46.32 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Private U told us that he saw bottles and stones being thrown from a high level in Block 1. In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,2 he said that he did not recall seeing anyone on the roof of Block 1.

1 B787.005 2Day 369/46-47

Private 006

46.33 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Private 006 told us that after he had seen soldiers firing towards the rubble barricade, he entered a stairwell in the Rossville Flats, went up one flight of stairs and looked along a balcony. In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,2 he said that he could not remember whether he had seen any missiles lying on the balcony.

1 B1377.006 2Day 334/92

Private 112

46.34 In his RMP statement,1 Private 112 recorded that he fired a number of baton rounds from a corner of Block 1 in order to disperse rioters. He did not describe any objects thrown by these rioters.

1 B1730

46.35 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Private 112 told us that from the north-east corner of Block 1 he had seen a group of civilians in the passage between Blocks 1 and 2. Some of them ran towards him throwing stones, and then began to retreat. He fired an estimated six baton rounds in the direction of the stone-throwers, and in the direction of the passage as they retreated. He could not recall whether he had hit anyone. At about the same time, he saw bottles and also, he thought, bricks being thrown from a window in Block 1 into the car park.

1 B1732.004

46.36 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,1 Private 112 said that he was not aware of anything else that was happening in the car park when he fired baton rounds at this group of stone-throwers.

1 Day 320/106-107

Sergeant O

46.37 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry1 and in his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry,2 Sergeant O described his arrest of a man (William John Doherty) who had thrown an empty bottle at him. In his written statement to this Inquiry,3 Sergeant O said that the bottle hit his APC.

1 B467

2 WT13.27
3 B575.112


46.38 In his first RMP statement,1 Sergeant O recorded that while in the area of the car park, he and his section had stones and bottles thrown at them, and also several acid bombs and petrol bombs. These came “in particular ” from Block 1 of the Rossville Flats. In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry,2 he was asked what assault was made upon the soldiers before shooting broke out, and replied: “Only bottles and stones, the normal sort of thing. ” In his written statement to this Inquiry,3 he told us that at this point all sorts of objects were being thrown from the balconies of the Rossville Flats, including bottles, pieces of rubble and cans of beans. In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,4 he said that these objects were being thrown not only from Block 1 but also from Block 2 and from the car park.

1 B441-B442

2 WT13.27
3 B575.113

4 Day 335/46


46.39 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry,1 Sergeant O recorded that at the stage when shooting broke out, he did not notice any petrol bombs, but the soldiers were subjected to heavy stoning and bottling. In that statement2 and in his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry,3 he said that after he had engaged his second gunman (a matter which we discuss separately below4) there was a lot of stone- and bottle-throwing, especially from the balconies of Block 1 and the end of Chamberlain Street. In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry,5 he said that the bottling continued for quite a while after the shooting was over. Most of the bottles came from Block 1, but some were being thrown from the south end of Chamberlain Street over the houses. However, in his written statement to this Inquiry,6 Sergeant O told us that he thought that Private T’s firing at an acid bomber (a further matter which we discuss separately below7) “probably put an end to all the things being thrown off the balconies ”. He stated that he neither saw nor heard any petrol bombs at any stage.8 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,9 he said that the reference to petrol bombs in his first RMP statement was based on information given to him by members of his platoon.

1 B467

2 B468

3 WT13.32

4 Chapter 51

5 WT13.33
6 B575.118

7 Chapter 51

8 B575.117

9 Day 335/89; Day 336/56


Private T

46.40 In his RMP statement,1 Private T recorded that after assisting in making arrests, he moved back to Sergeant O’s APC. The soldiers there were under a heavy stoning attack from all three blocks of the Rossville Flats. He became aware of people on the balconies of the flats dropping bottles and other missiles onto the soldiers’ position. He noticed that the bottles contained a liquid. At first he thought that they were petrol bombs, but after a couple of them had broken, he realised from the strong smell that they contained acid. There followed the incident, which we consider later in this report,2 in which (according to Private T) he fired at an acid bomber in Block 1. He stated that after that incident, no more bottles or stones were dropped or thrown from the balconies. He recorded nothing in this statement about hearing incoming fire.

1 B725-B726 2Chapter 51
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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 3

Post  Guest on Tue 22 Jun - 0:38

46.41 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry,1 Private T recorded that after he disembarked from the APC, those civilians who had succeeded in running past the vehicles into the car park started to throw stones and other missiles at the vehicles. At about this time, he heard a burst of low velocity fire, and covered Sergeant O while he escorted an arrested civilian. After he had heard the gunfire, he took cover behind the APC. He was watching the windows of the flats on his right to keep a lookout for anyone intending to fire at the soldiers. Bottles started to be thrown from this part of the flats. He noticed that one in particular contained liquid. He thought that it was a petrol bomb but it did not explode. After a few more bottles had been thrown in his direction, he recognised the smell of acid. Until this point he had not seen any of those who were throwing bottles containing acid. There followed the incident in which Private T fired at an acid bomber.

1 B735

46.42 In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry,1 Private T said that after he disembarked there were only a few people in the car park. Most of these people had run away as the vehicles approached. They had picked up stones as they ran, and threw stones and bottles at the soldiers when they deployed. He said that when he moved to the back of the APC, he saw “quite a lot of rubbish coming out of the window – stones, bottles, anything that could be thrown ”.2 He noticed that one of the bottles had a substance inside it. He thought that it was a petrol bomb but it did not explode. A bottle then landed very close to him “on the other side of an armoured door ” and after a time he noticed an acidic smell. There followed the incident in which he fired at an acid bomber.

1 WT13.88 2WT13.88-89

Private INQ 1579

46.43 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Private INQ 1579 told us that when he disembarked from Sergeant O’s vehicle, a big riot was going on. Missiles were being thrown “from all directions from the Rossville Flats above ”. The missiles were coming “from the front, back and top ” of the Rossville Flats. The objects being thrown were “any type of missile at all like bottles and flower pots ”. He did not remember looking up at the Rossville Flats. He was also aware from their smell that acid and petrol bombs were being thrown, but he assumed that the petrol bombs were being thrown on the west side of Block 1 because he did not see any explode. When the shooting stopped, there was a great deal of debris in the car park.

1 C1579.4

46.44 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,1 Private INQ 1579 said that he could recall “looking up at Block 1 occasionally and debris coming down ” but he could not recall seeing people throwing debris or missiles. He said that there seemed to be a lot more debris at the end of the shooting than is shown in the photograph taken by Sam Gillespie of Michael Bridge standing in front of Sergeant O’s APC (which we reproduce below) but that “the missiles were coming towards our direction, so a lot of the debris would be in and around the vehicle and behind it ”. He was asked whether any of the missiles were hitting the vehicle, and said that he would take it that they were. He was asked whether there was visible damage to the vehicle afterwards, and said that he would not have inspected it.

1 Day 336/166-169

46.45 As we discuss later in this report,1 Sam Gillespie took the following photograph of Michael Bridge shortly before the latter was shot in Sector 2.

1 Paragraphs 55.165–174


46.46 Little debris can be seen in this photograph.

46.47 We now turn to consider evidence of rioting given by civilians.

Evidence from civilians

Hugh Barbour

46.48 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Hugh Barbour told us that some of the younger men in the crowd were jeering and taunting the soldiers, and some were throwing stones and bottles. He could see and hear stones bouncing off the APC that had stopped in the entrance to the car park.

1 AB10.2

46.49 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,1 Hugh Barbour said that just after the APC had arrived there were about 250 to 300 people in the car park. Some people were running away, while others confronted the soldiers. Some of the crowd threw stones and bottles at the soldiers. He said that about 15 to 20 people were throwing stones.2 He said that those throwing stones were on the ground; he saw no-one throwing missiles from the balconies or windows of the Rossville Flats.3

1 Day 88/56-58

2 Day 88/96-97
3 Day 88/99-100


Sean Collins

46.50 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Sean Collins told us that he was ten years old at the time of Bloody Sunday. On that afternoon he was in his mother’s and stepfather’s flat at 64 Donagh Place on the top floor of Block 3 of the Rossville Flats. He saw an APC stop in the entrance to the car park. Two soldiers disembarked and stood between the APC and Block 1. He watched “as milk bottles smashed down from Block 1 near where the soldiers were standing ”. He distinctly recalled a milk bottle smashing on the top of the APC. He could not see from precisely where the bottles were thrown. His impression was that the bottles were empty.
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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 3

Post  Guest on Tue 22 Jun - 0:39

46.51 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,1 Sean Collins said that he thought that there had only been one milk bottle. The sound of the impact suggested to him that it had been empty.

1 Day 195/89-90; Day 195/103-104

Francis Dunne

46.52 In his NICRA statement,1 Francis Dunne recorded that he saw two or three military vehicles tearing along Rossville Street. He hurried from the north end of the Rossville Flats “back to the courtyard behind the three blocks ”. There was a lot of confusion there, with the two exits at the junctions of the blocks jammed with fleeing people. There were a few people throwing stones towards “the Chamberlain St. side of the court ”. Francis Dunne looked back and saw three soldiers along the wall at the back of the houses of Chamberlain Street. At this point the shooting started. The soldier at the front of the group was firing from the hip “towards the Fahan St. opening ”. Behind that soldier was another on his knee in an aiming position. Francis Dunne saw a boy fall, whose position he described as “up towards my left ”. A taller man was standing in the middle of the courtyard with his hands up and spread wide, shouting “They are shooting, they are killing ”. This man also went down.

1 AD173.1

46.53 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry,1 Francis Dunne said that he ran first to the alley that gave access to Joseph Place, which was choked with people. He thought that he would head towards the Fahan Street exit from the courtyard. He could see a crowd there too. He turned and saw the soldiers along the wall at the back of the Chamberlain Street houses. At this point the shooting started. The soldier at the front had his rifle at his hip. The soldier behind him was kneeling and aiming. The third soldier’s gun was pointed at the ground. Some of “the boys towards the Fahan Street side ” were throwing stones at the soldiers. One of these boys fell and was dragged back by two or three others. A tallish, fair-haired youth was standing with his arms high in the air, towards the centre of the courtyard, shouting. The soldier at the corner of the wall fired at him from the hip, and he fell.

1 AD173.5

46.54 In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry,1Francis Dunne said that he intended to leave the car park through the passage on the Rossville Street side but found that it was jammed with people. He decided to try the Fahan Street exit. He took about three or four steps and saw that “there were people there and there were also some boys still throwing stones ”. He saw that he could not leave by the Fahan Street exit. He then turned and saw the three soldiers. The firing started at about this stage. The soldier at the front was firing. No-one was attacking the soldiers at the back of the Chamberlain Street houses, but there were “some boys still throwing stones over towards the gable of … the Rossville Street side flats ”. Francis Dunne saw a tall, fair-haired young man slightly to his right, who was shouting “They’re killing, they’re killing, they’re shooting ” and pointing towards the Fahan Street side of the flats, where a young man had fallen. At the time, Francis Dunne thought that the young man who had fallen had probably been hit by a baton round. A couple of boys seemed to be helping him and dragging him. The soldier at the front of the group at the back of Chamberlain Street fired from the hip at the man who was shouting, who fell. Francis Dunne said that the stones were thrown at the soldiers who were “down towards the corner of the Rossville Street Flats, where the Saracens were ”.2

1 WT8.23-WT8.24 2WT8.35-WT8.36

46.55 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Francis Dunne told us that there was such a crowd in the gap between Blocks 1 and 2 of the Rossville Flats that he started to move along in front of the low wall in the car park towards the gap between Blocks 2 and 3. Youngsters were throwing stones into the car park “near the gap ”. He assumed that they were throwing them at soldiers who had disembarked from a vehicle in the entrance to the car park. Francis Dunne saw a tall, fair-haired man shouting and gesturing towards the vehicle. He saw three soldiers in front of the vehicle between Block 1 of the Rossville Flats and the back of the Chamberlain Street houses. One of these soldiers was leaning against the wall of Block 1, holding his rifle at hip level. The tall, fair-haired man suddenly staggered back and fell, clutching his right leg. Francis Dunne had the impression that the man had been shot by the soldier at the wall of Block 1, who had fired his rifle, although Francis Dunne had not seen him fire it. He now believed that the fair-haired man was Michael Bridge. By this time the area between Blocks 1 and 2 had cleared. Francis Dunne was aware of some young men still throwing stones at the soldiers. He was not aware of any other casualties.

1 AD173.26-AD173.27

46.56 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,1 Francis Dunne said that the youngsters who were throwing stones were “up towards the corner between [Blocks] 2 and 3 ”, in the area of the swings in the recreation ground. There were only a few of them. They were throwing stones towards the entrance to the car park. He said that his original account of the position of the three soldiers along the wall at the back of the Chamberlain Street houses was to be preferred to his later recollection that they were in a line between Block 1 and the back of those houses.2 He said that it was his impression that it was the same group of people in the area of the swings who were still throwing stones at the time when Michael Bridge was shot.3 He said that he could not remember when the stone-throwing finished, but that it had been “a very minor thing ”.4 He said that he did not now recall seeing a boy fall before the shooting of Michael Bridge.5

1 Day 90/7-8

2 Day 90/11-12; Day 90/57-74

3 Day 90/13-14
4 Day 90/55-57

5 Day 90/13; Day 90/74-76


Billy Gillespie

46.57 According to a note made by Peter Pringle of the Sunday Times and dated 6th April 1972,1 Billy Gillespie helped to carry the wounded Margaret Deery into 33 Chamberlain Street. He then went with Michael Bridge into the car park of the Rossville Flats and saw “duddy shot ”. He threw some stones at “the soldier on the corner of the flats ” and saw Michael Bridge shouting at the Army and being shot.

1 AG34.17

46.58 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Billy Gillespie said that after helping to carry an injured woman, whom he later heard was Margaret Deery, into a house in Chamberlain Street, he ran into the car park of the Rossville Flats and turned right towards Block 1 of the Rossville Flats. He picked up some stones to throw. He saw Michael Bridge with half a brick in his hand. A soldier came into view at the north-east corner of Block 1. Michael Bridge started shouting “shoot me ” at the soldier and threw the piece of brick at him. Suddenly there was a bang. The soldier had shot Michael Bridge in the leg. Billy Gillespie said that he did not remember speaking to anyone from the Sunday Times.2

1 AG33.2 2AG33.4

46.59 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,1 Billy Gillespie said that there were a few other people throwing stones when he was in the car park. Michael Bridge lifted half a brick. Billy Gillespie threw some stones at the soldier at the corner of Block 1. Michael Bridge threw the piece of brick at the soldier, and shouted at him. The soldier then shot him. Billy Gillespie said that he estimated that perhaps ten to 15 people had been throwing stones and parts of bricks.2 He said that he thought that the number of people was eight to 15, or about a dozen.3 He was throwing whatever missiles he could get his hands on, and assumed that the others had been doing the same.

1 Day 84/149-150; Day 84/164

2 Day 84/167-168
3 Day 84/182-186


Floyd Gilmour

46.60 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Floyd Gilmour told us that he was watching from a window in Block 2 of the Rossville Flats. After the soldiers arrived, he saw and heard bottles and stones being thrown down from the Rossville Flats into the car park. He said that this was completely normal and “would have occurred in any riot situation had the soldiers or police ever come in that far ”.
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46.61 Floyd Gilmour died before he could be called to give oral evidence to this Inquiry.

Frank McCarron

46.62 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Frank McCarron told us that he ran down Chamberlain Street and turned right into the car park of the Rossville Flats around the corner of the last house on the west side of the street. He was part of a crowd, which on his estimate contained 50 to 60 people. They stopped and looked around to see which way to go. It seemed to him that some of the crowd intended to “fight back with bottles and stones ” and that the crowd “still regarded this as a riot situation ”. Out of the corner of his eye he saw someone fall forward while running through the car park. Frank McCarron did not recognise him at the time but heard someone say that he was Jackie Duddy. Frank McCarron moved forward to the end of the wall on the west side of the south end of Chamberlain Street. He took a quick look around the corner and saw soldiers and an APC. This was where people were rioting and throwing “bottles and stuff ”. However, someone then shouted that they should not riot, and they seemed to lose their enthusiasm.

1 AM82.2-AM82.3

46.63 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,1 Frank McCarron marked a photograph2 to show the area in which he saw people throwing stones and bottles, which was at the corner of the garden wall of 36 Chamberlain Street. He said that they were throwing the stones and bottles “over the top towards the Saracen ”. He did not see anyone throwing objects from anywhere else. He thought that the man who shouted that they should not riot was in the crowd at the end of Chamberlain Street. Frank McCarron said that he would probably have thrown a few stones himself.3

1 Day 389/152-155

2 AM82.23
3 Day 389/181-184


James McKinney

46.64 In his NICRA statement,1 James McKinney said that he ran into the car park of the Rossville Flats from Chamberlain Street. He saw a paratrooper behind an APC aim at an unarmed civilian and shoot him in the back. He then saw two paratroopers “running along at the back of the flats ”. Soldiers pointed their guns at some people who were throwing a few bottles from about the third or fourth floor of the flats, but James McKinney was not sure whether the soldiers fired.

1 AM303.7

46.65 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 James McKinney told us that the man who was shot was between 17 and 20 years of age, with short dark hair. After this shooting James McKinney took cover behind the low wall parallel to Block 2 of the Rossville Flats. Two soldiers came around the corner of the north end of Block 1. Stones and bottles were thrown at the soldiers from the balconies of Block 1. No petrol bombs were thrown. While the soldiers were being bombarded, James McKinney began to hear live rounds being fired. The firing seemed to be coming from around Block 1, but he could not tell exactly where.

1 AM303.4-AM303.5

46.66 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,1 James McKinney said that there was a “good continuation ” of stones and bottles thrown from Block 1 when he was behind the low wall. He did not see anything being thrown from the other blocks. The bottles were empty. They smashed when they hit the ground. Some of them hit the ground close to where the soldiers were standing. He said that there were about a dozen people running backwards and forwards on the lower and middle balconies of Block 1 and throwing objects.2 He could not remember whether he had seen any objects thrown from windows.

1 Day 81/115-116 2Day 81/117-119

Neil McLaughlin

46.67 In his interview with John Barry of the Sunday Times,1 Neil McLaughlin is recorded as having said that when the Army vehicles came down Rossville Street, he rushed down Chamberlain Street into the car park of the Rossville Flats. He saw soldiers jumping out of an APC in the car park. An old man, who was being beaten over the head, emerged from behind the APC and was led away to the waste ground. Neil McLaughlin and his group surged forward towards the soldiers. It was “in his mind to have a go ”. According to the interview note, he told John Barry that he was thinking of rescuing the old man, but then added with a grin that this “might be a bit of dressing put on afterwards ”. The soldiers then fired. An Order of Malta Ambulance Corps volunteer fell, though not as a result of being shot, by the back wall of the Chamberlain Street houses. “In other words ”, according to the note, “the crowd running forward had just about cleared the gable end ”. Almost immediately, Margaret Deery was shot. Neil McLaughlin flung himself down “along the gable ”. He saw a crowd clustered around what he took to be another body, but he had not seen the shooting of that casualty. Then Michael Bridge was shot. At some stage Neil McLaughlin and others carried Margaret Deery back to the south end of Chamberlain Street.

1 AM347.12-AM347.13

46.68 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Neil McLaughlin told us that when he reached the car park four or five Army vehicles approached and stopped at the north end of Block 1 of the Rossville Flats. With about 20 others who were not known to him, Neil McLaughlin ran at the vehicles, throwing stones at them. He was pretty sure that he had hit one of them. Soldiers jumped out of the vehicles and started firing. Neil McLaughlin and others around him dropped to the ground by the side wall of the garden of 36 Chamberlain Street. He heard further shots, and turned to see that Michael Bridge and Margaret Deery had been shot. People gathered around them and took them to a house in Chamberlain Street. Neil McLaughlin did not help to carry them to the house. Neil McLaughlin said that he did not remember speaking to anyone from the Sunday Times.2

1 AM347.2-AM347.3 2AM347.4

46.69 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,1 Neil McLaughlin accepted that only one vehicle stopped in the entrance to the car park. He said that he had thrown his stones from the wall of the house at the end of Chamberlain Street. He did not see what was happening in other parts of the car park at this stage, but he said that there would have been perhaps a couple of hundred people in the car park when the soldiers disembarked. He said that apart from the stone-throwers, who were 20 or so in number, those people were trying to make their way out of the car park.2 He said that he had no recollection of seeing the old man or the Order of Malta Ambulance Corps volunteer described in John Barry’s note.3 He said that it was possible that he had seen Margaret Deery fall and helped to carry her to Chamberlain Street but had forgotten that he had done so.4

1 Day 91/4-12; Day 91/52-56

2 Day 91/61-64
3 Day 91/20-27

4 Day 91/43-46; Day 91/59-60


David Capper

46.70 In the tape recording that he made on Bloody Sunday,1 the BBC Radio reporter David Capper said that people in a high block of flats above him had been “firing down missiles of various sorts ” and that the soldiers had been firing back, mostly with baton rounds and CS gas, but that some live rounds had been fired both by the soldiers and, apparently, by some of the civilians.
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46.71 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry,1 David Capper said that there were about four soldiers in “the courtyard of the flats ”. People in the upper storeys were throwing missiles, such as tins and bottles, at them. The soldiers were raising their rifles and firing back, although David Capper thought that they were using them to fire gas grenades.

1 M9.2

46.72 In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry,1 David Capper said that the soldiers were under a hail of missiles, including bottles, bricks and stones, from the upper balconies.

1 WT2.78

46.73 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 David Capper said that he saw debris being thrown down on the soldiers from the “upper floors and roof of the flats ”.

1 M9.18

46.74 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,1 David Capper said that he thought that the reason why he had said on the tape that civilians had apparently fired live rounds had been that he had seen “some of the troops down behind the garden walls taking cover ”. Earlier in his evidence he had said that he had seen soldiers crouching behind low garden walls on the west side of Rossville Street.2 He said that he did not see any petrol bombs or nail bombs being thrown from the Rossville Flats.3 He said that he saw a “general rain of debris ” coming down, consisting of bricks, bottles and cans, which he thought were being thrown from the upper and middle walkways of Blocks 1 and 2 of the Rossville Flats.4 He did not “really remember ” whether there had been anyone on the roof.

1 Day 73/55; Day 73/114-118

2 Day 73/25-27
3 Day 73/90

4 Day 73/131-133


Assessment of the evidence of rioting

46.75 It is clear from the evidence of both soldiers and civilians that the rioting in the car park started as soon as, or immediately after, Sergeant O’s APC had arrived there. It took the form of people both at ground level and from the balconies of Blocks 1 and 2 of the Rossville Flats throwing stones, bottles and similar missiles at the soldiers and at Sergeant O’s APC.

46.76 However, we have concluded that the rioting was not as severe or longlasting as some of the soldiers suggested. It should be borne in mind that in significant respects (and for reasons that we give in the course of this report) we have been unable to accept the evidence given by these soldiers, so that their accounts of the severity of the rioting must be treated with caution.

46.77 Most of the people in the car park were intent simply on getting away, and though some stopped or paused to throw things at the soldiers, not many were involved in this activity. It is difficult to be certain of the numbers involved, but in our view probably not more than about 20 at most threw things at the soldiers, either from ground level or from the balconies of the Rossville Flats.

46.78 After the arrival of the soldiers, the crowd in the Rossville Flats car park rapidly dispersed, though a few people took cover behind the low wall that ran along the northern side of Block 2 of the Rossville Flats; and others behind the wall of the southernmost house on the eastern side of Chamberlain Street. As we describe later in this report,1it was shortly after their arrival in the car park that soldiers opened fire and Jackie Duddy was killed. The car park then rapidly became deserted, except for those tending Jackie Duddy.

1 Paragraphs 55.39–48

46.79 We deal below1in greater detail with the question of acid bombs and the shots fired by Private T.
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Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry
- Volume III - Chapter 47

The question of nail and blast bomb explosions
Chapter 47: The question of nail and blast bomb explosions



47.1 Some soldiers of Mortar Platoon gave accounts of seeing or hearing the explosion of nail or blast bombs when they were in the area of Sector 2. Although much of the evidence relates to the period when the soldiers fired in the area of the Rossville Flats car park, which we discuss in detail below,1 it is convenient to consider at this stage the evidence of all the soldiers of Mortar Platoon on this topic.

1 Chapter 51

Evidence of the soldiers from Lieutenant N’s Armoured Personnel Carrier

Lieutenant N

47.2 In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry,1 Lieutenant N said that he was not aware of hearing the explosion of any nail bomb on Bloody Sunday. According to his accounts, after he had disembarked from his Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC), he had first gone to the Eden Place alleyway, then returned to that vehicle, after which he went to the back of the houses in Chamberlain Street. We describe below2 his accounts of his movements after that, in which he said that he shot a man he believed was a nail bomber and then went forward to Sergeant O’s APC.

1 WT12.75-76 2Chapter 51

Corporal 162

47.3 Corporal 162 said nothing in his Royal Military Police (RMP) account1 about hearing explosions and told us in his written statement to this Inquiry2 that he could not recall hearing any. As we have described earlier in this report,3 Corporal 162 told the RMP that after disembarking from Lieutenant N’s APC he had gone forward beside the wall at the back of the Chamberlain Street houses, and had then taken William John Doherty from Sergeant O back to Lieutenant N’s APC, where he stayed “about 10 minutes ” before taking that vehicle to the end of Block 1 of the Rossville Flats.4

1 B1962.007

2 B1962.004
3 Paragraphs 26.10–13 and 40.2–11

4 B1962.007-008


Private 019

47.4 Private 019 gave no evidence at any stage about hearing explosions.

Lance Corporal INQ 768

47.5 Lance Corporal INQ 768, who gave no evidence in 1972, told us in his written statement that he did not recall hearing any bombs or explosions.1 Although he believed that after disembarking he knelt at the back of Sergeant O’s APC, it seems to us, for the reasons we have given earlier,2 that he was probably mistaken about this and was in fact at the back of Lieutenant N’s APC.

1 C768.5 2Paragraph 24.17

Private INQ 1918

47.6 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Private INQ 1918 told us that he could not recall hearing any explosions that might have been the sounds of nail bombs. He was Lieutenant N’s radio operator and had little recollection of where he went after he was with Lieutenant N at the Eden Place alleyway, though as we have pointed out earlier in this report,2 one of Colman Doyle’s photographs shows him standing by Lieutenant N’s APC after having taken his arrestee back to that vehicle.

1 C1918.3 2Paragraph 33.38

Private S

47.7 We have already described how Private S, according to his account, had moved forward from Lieutenant N’s APC to near the southern end of the back of the houses in Chamberlain Street and, in our view, had been involved with Lance Corporal V in the incident with the Order of Malta Ambulance Corps volunteer Charles McMonagle. We discuss later in this report1the accounts he gave of firing his rifle at what he described as a gunman or gunmen in the car park from a position some yards south of where Charles McMonagle can be seen in Colman Doyle’s photograph.

1 Chapter 51

47.8 Later in this report,1 when discussing the question of incoming fire directed at or towards the soldiers as they disembarked from Lieutenant N’s APC, we draw attention to the fact that whereas in his first and second RMP statements2 he had described nail bombs being thrown down from the Rossville Flats, in his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry3 Private S described these accounts as “not really correct ”. Private S continued: “I heard some distant bangs and I assumed that these were nail bombs. I have heard nail bombs before. I did not at this time see any objects thrown which I could identify as nail bombs, and I did not see or hear close to me the explosion of a bomb. ”

1 Paragraph 49.15

2 B693; B703
3 B707


47.9 We have also earlier1 referred to the fact that in his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Private S said that the claims about nail bombs in his RMP statements were not a deliberate lie but that “I had allowed myself … to make an inaccurate statement ”.2Private S said to us that he was not aware of any nail bombs.3He suggested that it was “a fair assumption ” that the RMP had told him to say that nail bombs had been thrown, but we have found no evidence that such an assumption is justified.4

1 Paragraph 26.42

2 Day 331/65-69
3 Day 332/82

4 Day 332/36-41


Private 013

47.10 Private 013 was the baton gunner who advanced to the north end of Block 1 of the Rossville Flats, followed by Private Q.

47.11 In his written statement to this Inquiry, Private 013 told us that after he disembarked he could hear bangs all around him, and though he did not hear among the bangs anything that he thought was the explosion of a nail bomb, it would have been difficult to tell because of “the environment the acoustics and echoes ”.1 He had made no mention in his RMP statement of hearing nail bombs at any stage.2

1 B1408.004 2B1406

Lance Corporal V

47.12 Earlier in this report1 we considered the accounts Lance Corporal V gave, in his RMP statement2 of hearing shots and two explosions as he disembarked from Lieutenant N’s APC, and in his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry3 of hearing explosions just before he disembarked and shots later. We also drew attention to the fact that in his oral evidence to us he was unable to explain why his RMP statement and his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry contained this difference in the order of events.4As we have described earlier,5 Lance Corporal V had followed Private S and then accosted Charles McMonagle (the Order of Malta Ambulance Corps volunteer) at the wall at the back of the Chamberlain Street houses. We deal below6 with his account of shooting at a person he said had thrown a petrol bomb.

1 Paragraphs 26.14–17

2 B788

3 B801
4 Day 333/103-105

5 Paragraphs 31.1–14

6 Paragraphs 51.79–135 and 52.4–5


Private Q

47.13 In his RMP account,1 Private Q stated that when he was at the north-east corner of Block 1 of the Rossville Flats, nail bombs were being thrown from the area of the passage between Blocks 2 and 3 of the Rossville Flats towards Sergeant O’s APC. He stated that he saw a man throw a nail bomb, which he “saw burst some 10 yards from the APC ”. Private Q fired at this man as he was about to throw another bomb. The man fell and the bomb rolled away.

1 B625

47.14 In his written account for the Widgery Inquiry,1 Private Q stated that the first nail bomb had “exploded in the forecourt near to the houses at the end of Chamberlain Street ”. The second did not explode. His oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry2 was to the same effect. He told the Widgery Inquiry that the first nail bomb “sort of banged ”.3

1 B635-B637

2 WT12.88-89; WT12.96
3 WT12.96


47.15 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Private Q told us that he shot a man who had thrown a nail bomb and was about to throw another. He said that the first bomb was not thrown very far and landed in the car park, but later in his statement he told us that he did not now remember where it had exploded.2

1 B657.4 2B657.8

47.16 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,1 Private Q said that the bomb made a “dull crump ” when it exploded, and that it could have been a blast bomb, not a nail bomb.

1 Day 339/31-32

47.17 Private Q made no mention in his evidence of hearing any other explosions.

47.18 We consider the firing by Private Q later in this report.1

1 Paragraphs 51.138–161 and 52.6

Evidence of the soldiers from Sergeant O’s Armoured Personnel Carrier

47.19 As we have already noted,1 it seems probable that six soldiers disembarked from Sergeant O’s APC when it stopped briefly in Rossville Street. These were Corporal P, Private 017, Private R, Private 006, Private 112 and Private U.

1 Chapter 32

Corporal P and Private 017

47.20 As we have already described,1 these two soldiers went to the west side of Rossville Street after disembarking from Sergeant O’s APC. We consider their accounts of what they saw and did in the course of our consideration of the events of Sector 3. For present purposes it suffices to record that Corporal P told the Widgery Inquiry that he heard no explosions anywhere near the rubble barricade in Rossville Street2 and gave no evidence at any stage about hearing explosions elsewhere. Private 017 told this Inquiry that he did not hear any explosions.3

1 Paragraph 32.3

2 WT13.65
3 B1484.005


Private 006

47.21 As we have described earlier,1 after disembarking Private 006 was involved in the arrest of William John Dillon on the Eden Place waste ground. According to his accounts, after taking this arrestee to a vehicle in Rossville Street with the assistance of Private 037, the driver of Major Loden’s vehicle, Private 006 moved forward to within a few yards of the north end of Block 1 of the Rossville Flats.2

1 Chapter 33 2B1376; B1377.005

47.22 Private 006 told this Tribunal that he did not hear explosions at any time in the car park of the Rossville Flats1 and made no mention at any stage of hearing explosions elsewhere in Sector 2.

1 Day 334/61-63

Private U

47.23 Private U, as we have described earlier,1 was involved in the arrest of Charles Canning. After this, according to his accounts, he made his way to the north end of Block 1 of the Rossville Flats.

1 Chapter 35

47.24 In his written account for the Widgery Inquiry,1 Private U stated that he had heard no explosions. In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry2 he said that he had heard no nail bombs.

1 B769 2WT14.6

Private 112

47.25 For reasons given earlier in this report,1 we are sure that Private 112 (one of the baton gunners) was concerned with Private U in the arrest of Charles Canning. According to his RMP statement, after deploying on the Eden Place waste ground he later took up a position at the corner of Block 1 of the Rossville Flats.2

1 Chapter 35 2B1730

47.26 Private 112 did not refer to any explosions in his RMP statement.

47.27 In his written statement to this Inquiry1 Private 112 told us that he heard loud bangs on disembarking in the area of Pilot Row. These could have been the sounds of baton rounds or blast bombs. He stated that when he was trying to disperse the crowd he heard a lot of noise including some explosions. In his oral evidence to this Inquiry he said that he could not tell what had caused those explosions, and that they could possibly have been baton round discharges.2

1 B1732.004 2Day 320/104

47.28 During the course of his oral evidence Private 112 was asked about an account given by Lance Corporal F of Anti-Tank Platoon, which we consider in the context of Sector 3, of seeing two nail bombs explode about 40m north of the rubble barricade in Rossville Street; and about Private Q’s account, to which we have referred above, of seeing a nail bomb explode in the car park of the Rossville Flats. Private 112 said that he saw none of these explosions. It was then put to him that three nail bombs could not have exploded near his position at the north end of Block 1 of the Rossville Flats without him seeing them. He replied: “I probably heard them, I did not see them. ”1

1 Day 320/154-155

Private R

47.29 Private R, as we have described earlier,1 was, according to his account, detailed to cover Sergeant O’s APC, and so ran after it after he had disembarked in Rossville Street. In his first RMP account,2 Private R stated that when he reached the APC he heard explosions, the location of which he could not determine. This appears to have been at a time when a crowd was “milling about the flats ” and rioters were throwing stones at him and other soldiers near Sergeant O’s APC, and shortly before he noticed a man in the car park of the Rossville Flats who had a fizzing object in his left hand. Private R said that he fired one round at the man, who fell and was carried away. We consider the firing by Private R later in this report.3

1 Paragraph 32.4

2 B659
3 Paragraphs 51.164–207


47.30 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry, Private R gave an account of hearing “a couple of explosions … which I thought were bombs ” from the area around the rubble barricade. Again, on the basis of Private R’s account, this apparently occurred at or about the time when Private R saw the man with an object in his hand, which in this statement was described as smoking. Private R stated that that he did not know what happened to the smoking object after he had fired. He did not hear a bang.1

1 B670-671

47.31 In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry,1 Private R said that he heard “one or two explosions ” and shooting when he had run perhaps ten to 15 yards to catch up with Sergeant O’s vehicle after he had been dropped off in Rossville Street. He pointed out the perceived source of these explosions on the model used at the hearings of the Widgery Inquiry. Lord Widgery described the location indicated by Private R as “the back of the flats ”. Private R said that the explosions were not large and sounded like those of a “hand bomb ”. He was asked to confirm that this happened when he was running after the APC, and replied: “Yes, this was when the crowd was running and then there were explosions and shooting. ” At one stage he appeared to say that he had run about 50 yards when the shooting started,2 and at another that the shooting began “Half way along as I came into the open space of the actual flats itself ”,3 but in neither passage did he comment on the explosions.

1 WT13.73

2 WT13.79
3 WT13.80


47.32 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Private R told us that he heard incoming fire when he disembarked from Sergeant O’s vehicle, but did not mention explosions. On the other hand, he did state that he had heard explosions at the time when he fired at the man holding the smoking object. According to him, the sound of these explosions was different from the sound of baton rounds being fired.2

1 B691.002 2B691.003

47.33 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,1 Private R said that his current recollection was that he heard incoming fire (but not explosions) after disembarking from Sergeant O’s vehicle in Rossville Street and before it moved off. He said that he only heard the explosions after he had reached the APC in the entrance to the car park, and that his evidence to the Widgery Inquiry suggesting that he heard them before then may have been mistaken.2 His attention was drawn to Lord Widgery’s description of the source of the explosions as demonstrated on the model as “the back of the flats ”, but Private R was unable to say whether that had meant the car park area. However, Private R then said that he believed that the explosions had come from “somewhere in the flats ”. He was asked why in that case he had said in his first RMP statement that he could not determine the location of the explosions, and said that he “could not really remember at the time ”, having been awake for more than 24 hours when he made that statement.

1 Day 337/87-90 2Day 337/96-100

47.34 We consider Private R’s accounts of his own firing later in this report.1

1 Paragraphs 51.164–207

47.35 As we have described earlier,1 it seems probable that only three soldiers were left in Sergeant O’s APC to disembark when that vehicle stopped in the Rossville Flats car park. These were Sergeant O, Private T and Private INQ 1579, the driver.

1 Paragraph 37.1

Sergeant O

47.36 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry,1 and in his oral evidence to that Inquiry,2 Sergeant O said that he heard no nail bombs. Sergeant O confirmed this in his written and oral evidence to this Inquiry.3 Sergeant O, though he was involved in the arrest of William John Doherty, had not been far from his APC in the car park from the time he arrived there until after the end of the shooting incidents in Sector 2, when Lieutenant N told him to move his vehicle round the north end of Block 1, after which he went to Altnagelvin Hospital in Lieutenant N’s APC, which was carrying the bodies of three civilians shot at the rubble barricade in Rossville Street.4

1 B469

2 WT13.34
3 B575.117; Day 335/89; Day 336/56

4 B469


Private T

47.37 Private T, who is now dead and so gave no evidence to this Inquiry, recorded in his RMP statement that he had assisted in two arrests and then moved back to Sergeant O’s APC.1 From his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry, it appears that he in fact covered Sergeant O while the latter was making an arrest. He then appears to have stayed close to the APC.2 He told the Widgery Inquiry in his oral evidence that throughout the whole operation in the car park he neither saw anyone throw a nail bomb, nor heard in the car park or elsewhere anything “which I could discern was a nail bomb ”.3

1 B725

2 B735
3 WT13.93


Private INQ 1579

47.38 This soldier gave no evidence in 1972. In his written evidence to this Inquiry1 he stated that he could not recall whether or not he heard explosions after disembarking in the Rossville Flats car park.

1 C1579.2

47.39 It is convenient at this point to summarise the evidence that the soldiers of Mortar Platoon gave relating to the explosion of nail and blast bombs.

Summary of the soldiers’ evidence about the explosion of nail and blast bombs

The soldiers from Lieutenant N’s Armoured Personnel Carrier

Lieutenant N
He heard no bombs.

Corporal 162
He did not recall hearing any bombs.

Private 019
He gave no evidence of hearing bombs.

Lance Corporal INQ 768
He did not recall hearing any bombs.

Private INQ 1918
He did not recall hearing any bombs.

Private S
In his evidence to us he described the accounts that he gave at the time of nail bombs being thrown down from the Rossville Flats as not really correct and said that he neither saw nor heard any near him.

Private 013
He heard nothing that he thought was the explosion of a nail bomb. He had said nothing about nail bombs in his RMP statement.

Lance Corporal V
His accounts were of hearing two explosions just before or as he disembarked.

Private Q
He said that nail or blast bombs, one of which exploded, were thrown from the area of the passageway between Blocks 2 and 3 of the Rossville Flats towards Sergeant O’s APC.


The soldiers from Sergeant O’s Armoured Personnel Carrier who disembarked on Rossville Street

Corporal P
He gave no evidence of hearing explosions.

Private 017
He told us he had heard no explosions.

Private 006
He heard no explosions at any time in the car park and said nothing about hearing any elsewhere.

Private U
He heard no nail bombs.

Private 112
His account was that he heard explosions which may have been baton round discharges.

Private R
He said that he heard explosions, either (according to his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry) as he ran towards Sergeant O’s APC, or (according to his other accounts) after he had reached the APC. In his first RMP statement he said that he could not determine the location of the explosions, but in his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry he said that they were in the area of the rubble barricade, and in his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry he located them at what the Widgery Inquiry described as “the back of the flats ”. He told us that he heard explosions at the time he fired at a man with a smoking object in his hand.


The soldiers from Sergeant O’s Armoured Personnel Carrier who disembarked in the car park

Sergeant O
He heard no nail bombs.

Private T
He heard nothing that he could discern as the explosion of a nail bomb.

Private INQ 1579
He could not recall whether or not he heard explosions.


Evidence of civilians

47.40 We have found no evidence from any civilian witness that suggests to us that nail or blast bombs exploded in the area of Sector 2 on Bloody Sunday. On the contrary, there was a large body of evidence from civilians in the area (much of it given in 1972) to the effect that they neither saw nor heard any such explosions. Some of these witnesses had seen or heard the explosion of these devices on previous occasions, for (as we have described earlier in this report1) they had frequently been used in Londonderry by paramilitaries during the previous months; and so these witnesses can reasonably be supposed to have been able to recognise the sound that they made.

1 Paragraphs 8.63, 8.65, 8.140 and 8.145

Consideration of the evidence relating to the explosion of nail and blast bombs

47.41 Of the 18 men in Mortar Platoon, only four gave any evidence about hearing the explosion of nail bombs. Of these Private S retracted as incorrect the accounts that he gave at the time of nail bombs being thrown down from the Rossville Flats. Lance Corporal V’s account of hearing two explosions, “which were definitely not rubber bullets ”,1 either just before or as he disembarked from Lieutenant N’s APC is not supported by any of the other eight soldiers who disembarked with him, none of whom suggested that bombs had exploded at this stage. As we have already observed, it seems to us that Lance Corporal V may have heard the discharge of baton guns, which occurred very soon after Lieutenant N’s APC had stopped, but we are not persuaded that he heard or might have heard nail or blast bombs.

1 Day 333/103

47.42 We reject Private Q’s account of seeing one of two nail bombs explode when thrown towards Sergeant O’s APC. Had such an event occurred, we have no doubt that Sergeant O and Private T, who were both near the APC for most of the time, would have noticed and reported it. As it is, both gave evidence in 1972 that they did not hear nail bombs. Private R gave evidence of hearing explosions, but as will have been observed, his evidence about where he was when he heard them and where the noise had come from varied significantly in each of the accounts that he gave, to the extent that in our view no reliance can be placed on this aspect of his evidence. We return below1 to consider his evidence in the context of his own firing.

1 Paragraphs 51.138–161

47.43 In our view the weight of the evidence of the soldiers of Mortar Platoon, coupled with the evidence of civilians to which we have referred above, establishes that no nail or blast bombs exploded in Sector 2. We should record at this point that in our view no nail or blast bombs were thrown or exploded in any other sector.

47.44 Later in this report1we consider, and reject, the submission made by the representatives of the majority of represented soldiers,2that wounds sustained by Patrick McDaid and Pius McCarron may have been caused by nail bombs.

1 Paragraphs 55.301–302 and 55.358 2FS7.1534; FS7.1611; FS7.1621

47.45 We consider below the evidence of soldiers of Mortar Platoon of the throwing of nail or blast bombs that according to them did not explode. We also consider below their evidence relating to acid and petrol bombs.
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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 3

Post  Guest on Tue 22 Jun - 0:42

Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry
- Volume III - Chapter 48


The cocking of rifles by Mortar Platoon soldiers
Chapter 48: The cocking of rifles by Mortar Platoon soldiers



48.1 According to Rule 41 of the Yellow Card (the instructions for opening fire in Northern Ireland which we have discussed earlier in this report2): “Your magazine/belt must always be loaded with live ammunition and be fitted to the weapon. Unless you are about to open fire no live round is to be carried in the breech, and the working parts must be forward. Company Commanders and above may, when circumstances in their opinion warrant such action, order weapons to be cocked, with a round in the breech where appropriate, and the safety catch at safe.”

1 ED71.1-2 2Paragraphs 8.121–123

48.2 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Major Loden, the Company Commander of Support Company, told us that he did not give any authority for weapons to be cocked.1 We have no reason to doubt his evidence on this point.

1 Day 347/8

48.3 If the magazine of a 7.62mm self-loading rifle (SLR) is loaded and fitted to the weapon, the action of cocking the rifle puts a round into the breech. If the safety catch is then moved from safe, pulling the trigger will fire the round. Thus cocking the weapon in advance reduces the time required to fire it.

Evidence of the soldiers concerning the cocking
of rifles

Lieutenant N

48.4 Lieutenant N did not in his evidence address the question of when he first cocked his own weapon. However, in his oral evidence to this Inquiry,1 he denied that he had ordered Sergeant O to cock his weapon, or given Sergeant O permission to do so, at or about the time when his platoon moved off to go through Barrier 12. He said that to give such an order or permission would have been wrong because at that stage there was no clear perception of danger or need to use rifles. However, as we explain below, since Sergeant O gave evidence in 1972 that Lieutenant N gave him permission for weapons to be cocked, it seems to us that Lieutenant N is mistaken in his recollection and that he did give such permission.

1 Day 322/141-146

Private INQ 1918

48.5 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,1 Private INQ 1918 said that he could not remember whether his rifle had been cocked when he disembarked from Lieutenant N’s vehicle and arrested a civilian. He said that the safety catch would certainly have been on.2

1 Day 342/108 2Day 342/133

Corporal 162

48.6 This soldier gave no evidence about whether, and if so when, he cocked his rifle.

Lance Corporal V

48.7 In his RMP account,1 Lance Corporal V stated that he cocked his weapon when he heard shots as he disembarked from Lieutenant N’s APC. He also heard two explosions.

1 B788

48.8 According to his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry1 and his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry,2 just before he disembarked he had heard two explosions, and so he cocked his rifle as soon as he disembarked. As he was running forward, he heard single shots and saw spurts from the ground to his right.

1 B801 2WT13.11

48.9 As we have already noted, in his oral evidence to this Inquiry,1 Lance Corporal V said that he could no longer remember hearing the explosions or the single shots, or seeing the spurts from the ground. He said that he could not explain why his RMP statement and his statement for the Widgery Inquiry differed as to the order in which the shots, the explosions and the cocking of his rifle occurred.2

1 Day 333/55-56 2Day 333/103-105

48.10 For reasons given above, we do not accept that Lance Corporal V heard shots when he disembarked from Lieutenant N’s APC. He may have mistaken the sound of baton rounds for explosions and it may have been these sounds that caused him to cock his rifle at this point.

Lance Corporal INQ 768

48.11 In his written account to this Inquiry,1 Lance Corporal INQ 768 stated that after disembarking he went immediately to the rear of his vehicle. Although he had no actual recollection, he believed that he would have had his weapon cocked at this stage.

1 C768.3

Private Q

48.12 Private Q did not say when he cocked his rifle, but he told the Widgery Inquiry that it was not cocked when he disembarked from Lieutenant N’s APC and began to move towards the Rossville Flats.1 We have no grounds for suggesting that Private Q was wrong about this.

1 B636

Private S

48.13 In his RMP account, Private S stated that his weapon was cocked from the time when he took up his position by the wall at the back of the Chamberlain Street houses.1

1 B692

48.14 In his statement for the Widgery Inquiry, Private S recorded that he and the other soldiers in Lieutenant N’s vehicle came under fire as soon as they disembarked, and that he cocked his weapon as soon as he came under fire.1 In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry, he again said that he cocked his weapon as soon as he came under fire.2

1 B707 2WT12.103

48.15 For the reasons we have given earlier in this report,1we are of the view that the soldiers from Lieutenant N’s APC did not come under fire when they disembarked. It follows that we do not accept Private S’s evidence of the reason why he cocked his weapon.

1 Paragraphs 26.44–60

Corporal P

48.16 In his RMP statement,1 Corporal P described moving forward from Little James Street in an APC. In the same paragraph, and before describing his disembarkation, he said that his rifle was cocked with a round in the breech and the safety catch applied. This indicates to us that he cocked the weapon no later than while he was moving into the Bogside in Sergeant O’s vehicle.

1 B576

48.17 In his statement for the Widgery Inquiry,1 Corporal P acknowledged that his earlier statement had given the impression that he had cocked his rifle while he was in the vehicle, but he said that in fact he had cocked it only upon disembarking from the vehicle to make arrests.

1 B592-593

48.18 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Corporal P said that he did not know why there was a difference between the two statements that he made in 1972 on this point. He agreed that he could not now say whether what he had said in his RMP statement about the matter was true or not. He also said that what he had put in his statement for the Widgery Inquiry “was my recollection at the time”, and denied that he had realised or had suggested to him that it would be foolish to admit that his weapon had been cocked while he was still inside the vehicle.1

1 Day 353/15-16; Day 353/64-65; Day 353/83-85

48.19 Warrant Officer Class II Lewis, the Company Sergeant Major of Support Company, recorded in his written statement to this Inquiry1 that as the soldiers of Support Company embarked into their vehicles, he saw a soldier cock his weapon before entering the APC ahead of the command vehicle. He thought that this soldier was Corporal P. Warrant Officer Class II Lewis told us that he was annoyed and decided to speak to the soldier when they returned to barracks, but in the event never did. In his oral evidence,2 Warrant Officer Class II Lewis explained that he had not been in doubt as to the identity of the soldier at the time, but after so many years could not be entirely sure that it had been Corporal P. This paragraph of Warrant Officer Class II Lewis’s statement was put to Corporal P when the latter gave oral evidence.3 Corporal P agreed that he could not now say whether or not, if he was the soldier seen by Warrant Officer Class II Lewis, it was true that he had cocked his rifle before embarkation. He was then asked whether he would have cocked his rifle on instructions or of his own volition. He said that he would have been instructed, but that he could not assist as to whether he had been given any order.

1 B2111.013

2 Day 353/31-32
3 Day 353/65-66


48.20 On the basis of what Corporal P told the RMP, it seems to us that it is more likely than not that he cocked his weapon at some stage before he disembarked from the APC.

Private R

48.21 In his RMP account,1 Private R stated: “We debussed from the Humber and I heard the sound of shots from the flats area. I cocked my weapon. I was detailed to cover the vehicle. The vehicle suddenly drove off and located itself outside No 1 Block Rossville Flats. I moved through the crowd to the vehicle.”

1 B658

48.22 In his written statement for and oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry,1 Private R stated that he cocked his rifle when he heard shooting as he ran across the waste ground to catch up with Sergeant O’s vehicle. He was asked how much time elapsed after he had disembarked before the shooting started, and he replied: “As long as it takes you to run, say 50 yards with my sort of kit on.”2

1 B670; WT13.73 2WT13.79

48.23 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Private R said that when he disembarked from the vehicle he heard incoming fire, which “sounded roughly as if it was coming from the area of the Rossville Flats”. He did not say when he cocked his weapon. It was suggested to Private R in the course of his oral evidence to this Inquiry2 that these accounts were inconsistent. He said that his current recollection was that he heard incoming fire and cocked his weapon after disembarking from Sergeant O’s vehicle but before it moved off.

1 B691.002 2Day 337/87-90

48.24 We do not accept that Private R heard incoming fire. The evidence of those soldiers who preceded him into the Rossville Flats car park does not suggest that at this time there was such fire. It is possible, though in our view unlikely, that he heard either Lieutenant N’s shots up the Eden Place alleyway, or those fired by Corporal P in Sector 3, which we discuss in our consideration of the events of that sector.

Private 006

48.25 This soldier gave no evidence about whether and if so when he cocked his rifle.

Private U

48.26 In his RMP account Private U stated that he cocked his rifle as he jumped out of Sergeant O’s vehicle in Rossville Street.1 However, according to his statement for the Widgery Inquiry,2 he did not cock his rifle until after he had arrested a man and taken him back to the junction of William Street and Rossville Street. On his way back down Rossville Street, Private U saw soldiers at the entrance to the car park of the Rossville Flats firing at a gunman in its far corner, and it was at that point that he cocked his rifle. In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry,3 Private U again stated that he cocked his rifle while moving back down Rossville Street after handing over the arrested man. In this account, he said that he cocked his weapon because he had seen the fall of shots on the waste ground between Eden Place and Pilot Row, and that he had not seen any of the soldiers in the area of the car park firing.

1 B748-749

2 B767
3 WT13.96-97


48.27 In his written account to this Inquiry,1 Private U stated only that he could not remember whether he had cocked his weapon before the incident, which we consider below, in which he opened fire, although he thought that he probably had. In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,2 Private U said that he could not explain the difference between his RMP statement and the evidence that he gave to the Widgery Inquiry on this point. He said that he did not recall whether he had cocked his weapon as he jumped out of Sergeant O’s vehicle, but that he would have had no reason to lie to the RMP about the matter.3

1 B787.006

2 Day 369/45-46
3 Day 369/133


48.28 In our view Private U’s RMP account is to be preferred to what he said later and accordingly it seems to us that at the latest he had cocked his weapon as he disembarked from Sergeant O’s APC.

Sergeant O

48.29 In his first RMP statement1 Sergeant O recorded that his own rifle “had been cocked on moving forward from my position”. It is not clear from this statement to what position he was referring, but in his written account for the Widgery Inquiry,2 he stated that he was “told we could cock our weapons” during a quick briefing that he received from Lieutenant N before deployment. He had his own weapon cocked and ready, but with the safety catch on, from the time he left Little James Street. He said that if his men had heard or seen him cock his weapon, they would have done the same without further orders.

1 B440 2B468

48.30 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Sergeant O confirmed that evidence, adding that although he did not tell his men to cock their weapons, he heard them doing it inside the APC after he had cocked his rifle. His oral evidence to this Inquiry2 was to the same effect, although he explained that he could not say that each of his soldiers had cocked his weapon in the APC, “but I would imagine the people who seen me cock my weapon … would have cocked theirs as a natural response”.

1 B575.110 2Day 335/20-21; Day 336/6-10

Private T

48.31 Private T gave no evidence about the cocking of his weapon.

Private INQ 1579

48.32 In his written account to this Inquiry,1 Private INQ 1579 stated that when he disembarked from Sergeant O’s APC he cocked his weapon with the safety catch on. He said that this was “standard procedure … in this sort of situation”.

1 C1579.4

48.33 From the foregoing it will be seen that many of the soldiers from Mortar Platoon, including Lieutenant N, ignored or contravened the provisions of the Yellow Card as to when they were permitted to cock their weapons.

The relevance of when soldiers cocked their rifles

48.34 It was submitted that the evidence of when the soldiers cocked their weapons demonstrated their willingness and eagerness to fire live rounds on Bloody Sunday.1

1 FS1.605

48.35 We do not accept this submission as a general proposition. In our view on its own the cocking of weapons at an early stage indicates only that soldiers prepared themselves to shoot without delay. Without instructions this was contrary to the Yellow Card, but the soldiers had been told that they were going into an area in which paramilitaries were known to operate. To our minds the cocking of weapons alone does not, even with hindsight, show that soldiers were willing and eager to fire live rounds, but only that they prepared themselves to fire without delay should they come up against paramilitary attack. We accept Sergeant O’s denial that he cocked his weapon so as to be ready to shoot people. “Not ready to shoot people; I cocked my weapon so that I could defend myself if the need arose.”1We have found no assistance in reaching conclusions on why the soldiers fired from what they said about cocking their weapons.
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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 3

Post  Guest on Tue 22 Jun - 11:09

Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry
- Volume III - Chapter 49


<
The question of gunfire directed at the soldiers
Chapter 49: The question of gunfire directed at the soldiers


Consideration of the evidence of incoming gunfire 49.82

49.1 Earlier in this report1 we concluded that the evidence of the soldiers who disembarked from Lieutenant N’s APC did not persuade us that any of them came, or might have come, under fire as – or soon after – they got out of the vehicle.

1 Paragraphs 26.44–60

49.2 We now address the rest of the evidence of the soldiers of Mortar Platoon relating to incoming fire. We first consider their evidence relating to incoming fire generally and then, in the context of examining the evidence of firing by the soldiers, what they said in some cases about firing by their targets.

Evidence of the soldiers from Lieutenant N’s Armoured Personnel Carrier

Lieutenant N

49.3 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry,1 Lieutenant N recorded that during the period in which he was occupied around Eden Place he was aware of firing, but that none of it affected him directly and he could not say exactly when it began or ceased. In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry,2 Lieutenant N said that he had heard no other shots at the stage when he had fired up the Eden Place alleyway or when a little later he had shot at a man he said was a nail bomber at the southern end of the back of the Chamberlain Street houses. In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry,3 he also recorded that in the period after his vehicle had been used to retrieve the bodies from the rubble barricade (an event that occurred after the main firing in Sectors 2, 3, 4 and 5 and which we consider hereafter), he heard several shots that appeared to be fired towards Army vehicles standing outside the Rossville Flats. For reasons given when considering the later events of Sector 3, we are sure that soldiers fired the shots that Lieutenant N heard at this stage.

1 B399

2 WT12.67-69
3 B401


49.4 In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry,1 Lieutenant N also said that the shots fired at the vehicles after the collection of the bodies were the first that he had heard, other than the shot that hit the drainpipe on the Presbyterian church, which we discussed when considering the events of Sector 1.

1 WT12.67; WT12.69; WT12.72; WT12.79

49.5 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,1 Lieutenant N said that he no longer recalled the shots fired at the vehicles after the collection of the bodies. He told us that he had “no aural memory at all of that day ”.2

1 Day 322/114 2Day 323/29

49.6 On any view there was very substantial rifle fire by soldiers after Mortar Platoon had come into the Bogside and before bodies had been retrieved from the rubble barricade. It is difficult to understand how Lieutenant N could have failed to hear at least some of the firing by the soldiers. We considered whether the accounts that he gave at the time of hearing no gunfire were intended by him to relate exclusively to incoming fire, as opposed to firing by soldiers, but though this is a possibility, his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry is couched in terms that would seem to refer to firing from any source.

Corporal 162

49.7 As we have observed above, Corporal 162 made no reference in his RMP statement to incoming fire as he ran from the APC towards the Eden Place alleyway.1 He made no reference to any such gunfire in the rest of that statement, in which he described taking an arrested person from Sergeant O near the southern end of the back of the Chamberlain Street houses, bringing him back to Lieutenant N’s APC and then driving that vehicle to Block 1 of the Rossville Flats. We have described the circumstances of this arrest, which was of William John Doherty, earlier in this report.2

1 B1960 2Chapter 40

49.8 We have already considered1 Corporal 162’s evidence to this Inquiry of hearing what he believed to be automatic fire on disembarking from Lieutenant N’s APC. In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 he described what he then heard as follows:

“I cannot recall hearing any more shots of automatic fire. There were certainly no other specific shots which made me look up or look in any particular direction. I never saw any particular individuals shooting and neither did I see anyone shooting at me. I just remember hearing noises in the background. I heard a number of weapons being fired but I do not know whether they were rubber bullet guns or other weapons. ”


1 Paragraphs 26.10–13 2B1962.003

Lance Corporal V

49.9 We have considered earlier in this report1 Lance Corporal V’s RMP statement of hearing the sound of shots as he disembarked from Lieutenant N’s APC.2 However, as already noted, Lance Corporal V, in his evidence to the Widgery Inquiry, seems to have altered his account, as he told that Inquiry that as he was running forward behind Private S he heard the sound of single shots and saw bullets hitting the ground somewhere to his right, which as far as he could judge were high velocity and had come from the alleyway between Blocks 1 and 2 of the Rossville Flats. He also told the Widgery Inquiry that when Private S was firing towards the passageway between Blocks 1 and 2 (an incident we consider later in this report), he could see flashes coming from that direction, but could not hear shots.3

1 Paragraphs 26.14–17

2 B788
3 B801; WT13.11


49.10 In his RMP statement,1 Lance Corporal V recorded: “Firing was taking place at us from several positions with several different types of weapons. ” After giving a description of firing at a man whom he stated he had seen throw a bottle with a fuse attached (another incident we consider later in this report2), he stated: “The firing still continued from the flats area. ”3

1 B788

2 Paragraphs 51.80–100
3 B789


49.11 Lance Corporal V also told the Widgery Inquiry1 that at a later stage, after Sergeant O’s APC had been moved back to the “other side of the road ” and his snatch squad commander was conducting an ammunition check, “There was still occasional firing of single high velocity shots from the right hand side of the flats ”. It is clear from Lance Corporal V’s oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry2that by “other side of the road ”, he meant the north end of Block 1 of the Rossville Flats.

1 B802 2WT13.14

49.12 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Lance Corporal V told us that after disembarkation from the APC he heard a burst of machine gun fire and saw bullets hit a wall between him and a soldier who was in front of him. He believed that the gunfire came from the area of the Rossville Flats and that it was directed at him. It is not entirely clear from his account when this is said to have happened. However, he had in this account previously described getting out of the APC and approaching a man in uniform who was by a wall. Earlier in this report,2 we have considered that incident, which involved the Order of Malta Ambulance Corps volunteer Charles McMonagle and also Private S; and which took place close to the wire fence that ran along the edge of the Eden Place waste ground. It may be that Lance Corporal V was intending to refer to a time after that incident.

1 B821.003 2Paragraphs 31.1–14

49.13 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,1 Lance Corporal V said that he had no present recollection of hearing single shots and seeing the spurt of bullets hitting the ground, as described in his statement for the Widgery Inquiry. He also said that he did not now have “an actual clear-cut memory ” of automatic fire hitting a wall, as described in his written statement to this Inquiry, but that “what stands out in my mind is the fact that, if the memory is correct, it was orange brick dust that was being bounced out of the walls the round was hitting ”. As to why he did not refer to automatic fire hitting a wall in his statement for the Widgery Inquiry, he accepted that it was possible that his memory was deceiving him, but said that “there was a lot of fire coming at us and maybe I have only just remembered that bit ”. He said that he now had no clear recollection of seeing flashes coming from the direction of the Rossville Flats while Private S was firing.2 He was unable to explain why the account given in his RMP statement of incoming fire from several different positions and weapons was not repeated in his evidence to the Widgery Inquiry.3

1 Day 333/55-59

2 Day 333/80
3 Day 333/109-114


Private S

49.14 As we have described above, in his first RMP statement1 Private S made no mention of coming under fire as he disembarked from Lieutenant N’s APC. He described taking up what he called a defensive position at the back of the last-but-one house at the Rossville Flats end of Chamberlain Street. He made no mention in this or later statements of the incident with the Order of Malta Ambulance Corps volunteer Charles McMonagle, in which he and Lance Corporal V were involved and which took place close to this location. He did, however, give an account of incoming fire at the time when he fired shots, to which we return later in this report.2

1 B692 2Paragraphs 51.44–74

49.15 We have also considered above the accounts that Private S gave in this statement and in his second RMP statement1 of seeing nail bombs thrown from the Rossville Flats, which he retracted as “not really correct ” in his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry.2

1 B703 2B707

49.16 In his second RMP statement,1 Private S recorded that he had seen a gunman fire about six shots from a ground floor window in Block 1 at soldiers deployed around Sergeant O’s APC. However, in his oral evidence to this Inquiry,2 Private S said that we should not rely on this account as accurate. When questioned further about this, he accepted the suggestion that this account was untrue. He told us, as he had about his account of seeing nail bombs, that this part of his RMP statement had probably been inserted for him by the RMP. Again, we have found no evidence to support this assertion, and indeed were left in doubt whether or not Private S was in fact saying that the RMP had done this.3 We return to this part of Private S’s evidence later in this report,4 when we consider the evidence he gave of his own firing.

1 B703

2 Day 331/73-77
3 Day 332/16-20; Day 332/65-74

4 Paragraphs 51.44–74


49.17 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry,1 and in his oral evidence to that Inquiry,2 Private S said that he had seen Sergeant O fire one or two shots towards the south-east corner of the car park. Shortly before this happened, Private S had shouted to Sergeant O that the latter was under fire. Private S indicated on the model used at the Widgery Inquiry the direction from which the incoming fire had come, but his transcribed answer that “some fire came from somewhere over this region here ” does not make clear which direction it was. Private S thought that this incident had taken place in the interval between the final two series of shots he stated he had exchanged with a gunman in the passage between Blocks 1 and 2 of the Rossville Flats.

1 B708 2WT13.3-4

49.18 In his evidence to this Inquiry, in addition to stating that he recalled incoming rounds as he disembarked from Lieutenant N’s APC (which we have considered earlier in this report), Private S referred to incoming fire in the context of the incident in which he opened fire himself and which we return to consider later in this report. He also told us that he remembered seeing Sergeant O apparently engaging a target. He confirmed this in his oral evidence to this Inquiry,1 where he said that he had a vague memory of Sergeant O being under fire. Private S said that he did not think that Sergeant O had been aware that he was under fire.

1 Day 331/76

Lance Corporal INQ 768

49.19 We have already observed that Lance Corporal INQ 768 gave no evidence in 1972 and have considered his evidence of hearing automatic fire when he was at the back of an APC. For the reasons we have given earlier1 we believe that he mistakenly identified the APC as that of Sergeant O. He told us2 that he did not recall hearing any other incoming fire, apart from the shot that had hit the Presbyterian church, which we have considered in our discussion of the events of Sector 1.

1 Paragraphs 24.7–17 2C768.3

Private Q

49.20 We have described earlier in this report1 the evidence that Private Q gave in 1972, of disembarking from Lieutenant N’s APC, following a baton gunner who was running towards what he described as the forecourt of the Rossville Flats and hearing “four or five single low velocity shots ” when he and the baton gunner had reached the north end of the Rossville Flats. He described this firing as taking place about 45 seconds or a minute after he had disembarked from the APC, but said that he could not locate the source of the gunfire and that during the whole of the operation in the Bogside he was not aware of any firing being directed at him or the other soldiers from his APC.2

1 Paragraph 26.23 2B624; B636; WT12.86; WT12.93-95

49.21 We have already rejected the account that Private Q gave us of incoming fire as he ran forward.

Private 013

49.22 Private 013 was the baton gunner whom Private Q followed towards the Rossville Flats.

49.23 As we have noted earlier in this report,1 in his RMP statement2 Private 013 recorded that when he moved into the car park of the Rossville Flats he heard gunfire and saw two or three bullets strike the ground behind him on his right. He could not say from which block of flats the shots came.

1 Paragraphs 26.30–32 2B1406

49.24 In his written statement to this Inquiry, Private 013 told us that after he disembarked he could hear “bangs going off all around me ”, but he did not know their source and said that they “could have been from us ”. Later in the statement he told us: “I cannot say we were shot at but my senses told me that it was a gun battle. ”1

1 B1408.003-004

49.25 Private 013 did not give oral evidence.

Private 019

49.26 Private 019 was the other baton gunner from Lieutenant N’s APC. We have already concluded, for the reasons we have given earlier,1 that we should place no reliance on either the account that he gave at the time or his evidence to us of hearing shots when he was at the Eden Place alleyway. He gave no evidence of hearing incoming shots at any other stage during the events of Sector 2.

1 Chapter 30

Private INQ 1918

49.27 Private INQ 1918 was Lieutenant N’s radio operator. We have discussed earlier1 the incident at the Eden Place alleyway in which he arrested Duncan Clark and took him back with Lieutenant N to their APC. We have also considered2 his evidence to us of hearing high velocity gunfire when he was with Lieutenant N at the Eden Place alleyway and of hearing Thompson sub-machine gun fire at some stage, and concluded that it would be unwise to rely upon his recollections of firing. He himself acknowledged that so far as the Thompson sub-machine gun fire was concerned, his memory could well have been derived from another occasion,3 while we formed the view that his recollection of high velocity shots was probably of those fired by Lieutenant N up the Eden Place alleyway.

1 Paragraphs 30.13–35

2 Paragraphs 26.6–9
3 Day 342/99-102


49.28 We now turn to the evidence relating to incoming fire of those in Sergeant O’s APC.

Evidence of the soldiers from Sergeant O’s Armoured Personnel Carrier

49.29 For the reasons we have given earlier in this report,1 we consider that the six soldiers who disembarked from Sergeant O’s APC when it stopped briefly in Rossville Street were probably Corporal P, Private 017, Private R, Private U, Private 112 and Private 006.

1 Chapters 32 and 34

Corporal P

49.30 As we have described above,1 Corporal P and Private 017 went to the western side of Rossville Street, near Kells Walk, after they disembarked from Sergeant O’s APC.

1 Paragraph 32.3

49.31 In his first RMP statement,1 Corporal P described then coming under “heavy stoning and bottling ” after which the baton gunner with him fired a number of rubber bullets. He then gave an account of firing two shots himself at a nail bomber. He referred to incoming fire only in the context of his account of what happened after these incidents, stating that he and the baton gunner came under fire as they advanced towards the rubble barricade, when he fired four shots at a man behind the barricade who appeared to be holding a pistol. We return to Corporal P’s account when discussing the events of Sector 3.

1 B576-578

49.32 In his statement for the Widgery Inquiry,1 Corporal P described incoming fire at an earlier stage. He said that he and the baton gunner he was with came under fire “from roughly the direction of the barricade ” when they first reached the wall to the south of Kells Walk. Two shots appeared to pass overhead. He thought that these were high velocity shots. He gave a similar account in his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry.2

1 B592 2B597; WT13.46

49.33 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Corporal P told us that he could no longer remember hearing any weapons being fired. In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,2 he said that he did not know why the incoming fire at the earlier stage was not described in his RMP statement, and denied that he had embellished his evidence to the Widgery Inquiry on this point.

1 B623.002 2Day 353/32

Private 017

49.34 In his first RMP statement,1 Private 017 referred to incoming fire only in the context of his account of an incident in which he fired his baton gun at a man alleged to have been carrying a pistol or revolver, who approached him from the alley between Columbcille Court and Glenfada Park North. Private 017 stated that after firing a baton round at the man, he turned and ran, and as he did so he heard two small calibre weapon shots behind him, as if the man had fired twice at Private 017 or other soldiers. We return to this incident when considering the events of Sector 3.

1 B1472-1473

49.35 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry,1 Private 017 recorded that soon after he and Corporal P had taken up position at the wall south of Kells Walk, he heard two high velocity shots. He believed that these might have come from around the area of the Rossville Flats, but was not sure of the direction of fire. He then again described the two small calibre shots fired after he turned away from the man at whom he had fired a baton round.2

1 B1482 2B1483

49.36 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Private 017 told us that he thought that he had heard shots while at the north-east corner of Block 1 of the Rossville Flats. However, he also described his position as being at about the point he marked E on a plan,2 ie on the east side of Rossville Street at the turning leading into the car park. In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,3 he said that in fact he had been near the point marked F on the plan, ie on the west side of Rossville Street near the wall south of Kells Walk, and that he thought that the shots had been high velocity. He could not recall how many shots he had heard. He again referred to hearing shots while in this position in his written statement to this Inquiry,4 in which he told us that he did not know where the shots were coming from, did not think that they were aimed at him, and could not say whether they were high velocity. He told us that he could not be certain whether the man with the pistol had fired at him, but thought that he had.5 He stated that by the time he returned to his vehicle at the north end of the Rossville Flats he had heard shots, but did not know from where they had come or at whom they had been fired.6

1 B1484.003

2 B1484.010

3 Day 358/51-53
4 B1484.004; B1484.008

5 B1484.005; B1484.008

6 B1484.005


49.37 In his supplementary written statement to this Inquiry,1 Private 017 told us that he heard a lot of shooting during the day, the source of which he could not locate, and that he believed that the man with the pistol had fired at him. However, in his oral evidence to this Inquiry,2 he said that he was not sure whether the man with the pistol had fired at him, and did not remember hearing shots behind him as he moved away.

1 B1484.023 2Day 358/79-80

Private R

49.38 We have already described how, according to his first RMP statement, Private R had been detailed to cover the APC, so that when it was driven on after he had got out, he “moved through the crowd to the vehicle ”.1In that statement he recorded that when he disembarked, he heard the sound of shots from the flats area. He also stated that as he reached Sergeant O’s APC, “I again heard the sound of shots. There were many shots both high velocity and low velocity from about 6 different weapons. ”

1 B658-659

49.39 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry,1 Private R recorded that he heard firing as he was running to catch up with the vehicle, and that after he reached it – but before he fired at a man whom he stated was throwing a smoking object – he could hear “weapons being fired from our side of the flats, and I heard our SLR’s [self-loading rifles] firing ”. We consider the firing by Private R later in this report.2

1 B670 2Paragraphs 51.165–195

49.40 In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry,1 Private R said that he heard low calibre and high calibre weapons being fired as he ran after the APC. When asked from which direction the gunfire was coming, he used the model of the area available to that Inquiry to illustrate what he was saying, with the result that the transcribed answer is only partially intelligible: “I am quite certain, I think there was somebody shooting down from this direction towards the men and from the flats area down about here in the gaps of the flats. ” He appeared to say that he had run about 50 yards when the shooting started,2 and that the shooting began “Half way along as I came into the open space of the actual flats itself ”. He was asked to confirm that the firing was coming from the Rossville Flats and replied: “Yes, and also there were people shooting from the alleyways along there. There were one or two people with pistols firing down there. ”3

1 WT13.73

2 WT13.79
3 WT13.80


49.41 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Private R told us that he heard both high and low velocity incoming fire when he disembarked from Sergeant O’s vehicle. The firing sounded “roughly as if it was coming from the area of the Rossville Flats ”. The high velocity shooting had a high-pitched crack suggestive of an M1 carbine or Armalite. In addition, there was a thumping noise, suggestive of a Thompson sub-machine gun, and continuous firing from what sounded like a starting pistol. Private R stated that he could still hear both high and low velocity incoming fire when he had caught up with the vehicle and taken up a position at its rear, and that high velocity fire still seemed to be coming from the vicinity of the Rossville Flats at the time when he fired at the man who was throwing a smoking object. There was a series of short bursts fired close together, but he could not be sure that it was automatic fire.2 He also told us that he was still under the impression that incoming fire was taking place at the stage when he was receiving treatment for acid burns near Major Loden’s vehicle (a matter we consider later in this report3), although the shooting was not at the same intensity as before.4

1 B691.002

2 B691.003
3 Chapter 51

4 B691.004


49.42 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,1 Private R said that his current recollection was that he heard incoming fire after disembarking from Sergeant O’s vehicle in Rossville Street and before it moved off.

1 Day 337/87-90

Private U

49.43 We have already expressed the view that we cannot rely on Private U’s evidence of hearing automatic fire as the APC drove into the Bogside.1As we have also described above,2 according to his RMP statement,3 Private U arrested a man about 15 yards up Eden Place and took him back to an Army vehicle parked on Rossville Street. He was with a baton gunner, Private 112. This was the arrest of Charles Canning, which we have discussed above.4 According to this statement, Private U then went to the north-west corner of Block 1 of the Rossville Flats:

“I then came under fire from the waste ground at the far end of Rossville Flats. Between myself and this waste ground there was a barricade across Rossville Street. It was about three feet high and formed of rubble. The rioters were gathered around and behind this barricade but they were beginning to thin out by this time. I heard about thirty gunshots while I was in this position but could not tell where they were coming from. ”

1 Paragraphs 24.39–40

2 Paragraphs 34.4–8
3 B748-749

4 Chapter 35


49.44 In his statement for the Widgery Inquiry,1 Private U recorded that as he moved towards the Rossville Flats after disembarking in Rossville Street, he heard four or five low velocity automatic shots. He did not see where this gunfire had come from or where it went. As he was taking an arrested civilian back to the junction of William Street and Rossville Street, three or four low velocity automatic shots were fired from behind him and landed near him on the open ground. After handing over the civilian, he went back up Rossville Street towards the Rossville Flats, and saw soldiers at the entrance to the car park firing at a gunman in its far corner. As he was running, he saw four or five automatic shots landing near Major Loden’s vehicle ahead of him. He stated that during the time he was at the north-west corner of Block 1, he heard “sporadic firing from behind me in the direction of the forecourt of the Rossville Flats ”.2

1 B767 2B769

49.45 In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry,1 Private U said that he could not remember whether he had heard firing between disembarkation and the arrest of the civilian, but said that when he made the arrest he heard shots fired and saw them fall about 9ft away from him. He said that he believed that the first shots that he heard after disembarkation came “from the area of Glenfada Park ”.2 He told the Widgery Inquiry that after handing the man over, he returned to Eden Place and saw the fall of shots in the waste ground between there and Pilot Row.3 He also said that he had heard small calibre gunfire in the car park that and could see a man firing from the area for the Rossville Flats.4 He did not say at what stage this occurred, but said that he had included this in his statement, which presumably means that it is a reference to the gunman in the corner of the car park he had described in his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry.5 He said that as he was running to the Rossville Flats he saw three or four shots fall by Major Loden’s vehicle, but did not see from where they had come.6The answers he gave the Widgery Inquiry7suggest that he was saying that there were three sets of shots: one as Private U arrested a man; another as he returned to the corner of Eden Place; and a third (involving the shots that came close to the command vehicle) as he ran across open ground. He said that by the time he reached the north-west corner of Block 1, most of the firing had died down but also that while he was there, he heard about 15 to 20 low and high velocity shots fired from the area of the car park.8

1 WT13.96

2 WT14.2

3 WT13.96

4 WT14.2-3
5 B767

6 WT13.97

7 WT13.96-97

8 WT13.97; WT13.100


49.46 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 having referred to incoming fire before disembarkation from the APC (evidence that we have considered earlier in this report2), Private U stated that he thought that it was as he was escorting the civilian that a second burst of gunfire rang out. This was low velocity fire. He thought that there were about four or five shots, which hit the ground, and seemed to have been fired from an elevated position to the south, possibly in Block 2 or Block 3. He stated that he did not now remember an additional burst of gunfire between disembarkation and the arrest of the civilian, nor did he now recall seeing soldiers in the entrance to the car park firing at a gunman, or automatic fire landing near Major Loden’s vehicle.3 Private U also stated that while at the north-west corner of Block 1 of the Rossville Flats, he could hear shooting coming from the car park “and further south from there ”4 but could not tell what type of shooting it was. He thought that he could also hear high velocity fire coming from the area of Glenfada Park North.5 He told us that he thought that the 30 shots mentioned in his first RMP statements were probably these shots from the car park and Glenfada Park North.6

1 B787.005

2 Paragraphs 24.38–40

3 B787.010
4 B787.007

5 B787

6 B787.010


49.47 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,1 Private U was unable to explain the differences between his first RMP statement, his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry and his oral evidence to that Inquiry on the question as to whether he heard incoming fire after disembarkation and before he arrested the civilian, and on his alleged sighting of a gunman in the area of the car park. He said that he could not remember whether he was aware of gunfire in the area at the time when he effected the arrest.2 He also said that he did not know why he had not mentioned to the RMP the firing that occurred while he was escorting the civilian, and although he told us that he was told to deal with what he had done as opposed to what he had seen and heard,3 this is difficult to reconcile with the fact that he did describe other firing in his RMP statement. In contrast to his written statement to this Inquiry, in which he told us that he did not recall coming under fire as he moved to the north-west corner of Block 1 of the Rossville Flats,4 Private U said that he did remember hearing gunfire as he moved to that corner, but could not say what type of gunfire it was.5 He said that while at the north-west corner of Block 1, he heard gunfire from several directions. He told us his present recollection was that some of this gunfire came from “towards Glenfada Park ” and some from the car park area.6

1 Day 369/31-36; Day 369/54-57; Day 369/168-173

2 Day 369/41

3 Day 369/43-45
4 B787.005

5 Day 369/47-48

6 Day 369/58


Private 112

49.48 Private 112 was a baton gunner of Mortar Platoon who had disembarked from Sergeant O’s APC when it stopped briefly in Rossville Street. As we have noted earlier in this report,1this witness told us that he was an alcoholic, that his memory was blurred and that a lot of things had become “intermingled with other things that have happened on previous riots ”.2

1 Paragraph 34.2 2Day 320/86

49.49 We have referred to Private 112’s RMP statement1earlier in this report.2 As we observed, in that statement he made no mention of arresting anyone, though for the reasons we have given, we are sure that he was involved with Private U in the arrest of Charles Canning.

1 B1730 2Paragraphs 34.1–3

49.50 In his RMP statement,1Private 112 gave this account:

“About 1610 hrs I was deployed on the waste ground off Rossville St. From this position I could hear shots being fired which were coming from the area of the Flats. These shots I would say was of low velocity, Thompson Sub Machine Gun. At the same time rioting was in progress on the waste ground off Pilot Row and I heard shots passing over my head, again these shots were low velocity and came from the direction of Rossville Flats the exact position I do not know as everything happened so fast. ”


1 B1730

49.51 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1Private 112 told us that he heard low velocity gunfire, which he stated might well have been Thompson sub-machine gun fire, although he did not think that he would have specified the type of weapon to the RMP. In the same statement,2 Private 112 recorded that he heard sporadic gunfire while he was trying to disperse the crowd on the waste ground. He could not tell from which direction it was coming, but it sounded like a gun battle. He said: “By this, I mean that I heard a shot and then a split second later another shot and I assumed that somebody was firing from one direction and that shots were being returned from a different direction. ” He told us that it seemed to him that he was hearing both high and low velocity weapons.

1 B1732.004; B1732.007; B1732.008 2B1732.004

49.52 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,1 Private 112 first said that he was as sure as he could be about this – that he remembered hearing low velocity automatic fire, and that this is what he would have told the RMP. However, he later accepted that he might have been wrong in thinking that he had heard low velocity fire, as there were so many thumps and bangs and explosions going on, of various kinds, that what he thought was low velocity firing might not have been; and he told us that he could not remember what he was doing when he heard what he thought was automatic fire.

1 Day 320/104-106; Day 320/134-136; Day 320/149-150

49.53 It is unclear from the evidence of Private 112 where on the waste ground he was when, according to his RMP statement, he heard automatic fire. On the basis of his accounts this was at the stage when, as he put it, rioting was in progress on the Eden Place waste ground, and there was firing from different directions. However, at the stage when people were on the Eden Place waste ground in any numbers, there was in our view no exchange of firing of that kind. It seems to us, especially since he accepted in his oral evidence to this Inquiry that he could have been mistaken about hearing low velocity fire, that it would be unwise to rely upon Private 112’s evidence that he heard low velocity automatic gunfire or indeed any incoming fire.

Private 006

49.54 We have earlier described1 how, according to Private 006’s RMP statement,2 Private 006 and Private 037 (the driver of Major Loden’s command vehicle) arrested William John Dillon and took him back to an APC in Rossville Street. In his RMP statement, after dealing with this arrest, Private 006 continued:

“I heard shooting break out and took cover. I was not able to locate where the shots came from – I was separated from the vehicle and members of the squad and saw that the vehicle had moved to a position about ten yards from Block 1 of the flats. As I ran to rejoin the Squad as the crowd had moved to the rear of the flats. ”


1 Paragraph 33.1 2B1375

49.55 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Private 006 told us that all that he could remember hearing was the sound of self-loading rifles (SLRs). Apart from the shot that hit the drainpipe on the side of the Presbyterian church (which we have considered in the context of Sector 1), he did not describe incoming fire anywhere else in his evidence.

1 B1377.005

49.56 We now turn to consider the evidence of the soldiers who disembarked when Sergeant O’s APC stopped in the Rossville Flats car park.

Sergeant O

49.57 In his first RMP statement,1 Sergeant O recorded that after arrests had been made, he was by the rear of his APC when he heard shots and saw rounds strike the side of 36 Chamberlain Street and the ground between the house and his APC. There were four to five weapons of mixed calibre firing. He said that during the subsequent incidents, in which he fired his rifle, he and his section were under constant small arms fire from several positions in the Rossville Flats area.2 We return to the firing by Sergeant O later in this report.3

1 B440

2 B441
3 Chapter 51


49.58 Sergeant O appeared in the Thames Television This Week programme Northern Ireland – Two Sides of the Story, broadcast on 3rd February 1972. He said in this programme that as the soldiers of his section started to move arrested civilians back to the APC, they came under fairly heavy fire from the Rossville Flats.1 He thought that the firing came from at least four or five positions and from a multiplicity of different types of weapon. The soldiers put the civilians into the back of the APC and then took up firing positions. They started to locate the gunmen and return the gunfire.

1 X1.17.11-X1.17.14. The transcript refers to Sergeant O as “Sgt 1”.

49.59 Sergeant O told the interviewer that there was a lot of firing going on around him as he fired at three gunmen. As well as seeing people firing, he saw the strikes of their rounds, particularly against one soldier in his platoon, who “took quite a bit of stick at one time, but came through it ”.

49.60 In his statement for the Widgery Inquiry,1 Sergeant O recorded that the initial burst of firing occurred after he had arrested a man and handed him to a lance corporal, and was following them both back to his APC. This was the arrest of William John Doherty, which we have discussed earlier in this report.2

1 B467 2Chapter 40

49.61 According to this statement, Sergeant O thought that some of the firing was low velocity. He described seeing “only one fall of shot … on the back corner of 36 Chamberlain Street ” during the initial firing, but he also described “another fall of shot, between the pig and the Chamberlain Street wall ” at a later stage, after he had engaged his first target. He stated that by the time he had fired at his second target, the firing was “beginning to slacken off ” and that there was “no sustained fire at us now, just pot shots at us ”.1

1 B468

49.62 In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry,1 Sergeant O described the initial incoming fire as “low velocity and possibly some high velocity ”, and said that he saw it hit the corner of the wall at the back of 36 Chamberlain Street. He said that the incoming fire that followed was the most intense in a short space of time that he had seen in Northern Ireland. On other occasions more rounds had been fired, but over a far longer period.2 He also said that there would have been about 20 or 30 shots in the initial burst of gunfire, and that there was then continuous gunfire for about two or three minutes, at the end of which about 80 to 100 shots had been fired.3

1 WT13.27

2 B482
3 WT13.38


49.63 Sergeant O was interviewed, probably in 1989, as part of the research that resulted in the Channel 4 Secret History documentary Bloody Sunday made by Praxis Films Ltd. He is recorded as having said in his first Praxis interview1 that he was escorting one of the rioters back to the APC when the shooting began. He was armed only with a baton. The soldiers came under “very heavy fire ”. He was standing in the middle of it. The snatch operation became a “watch and shoot operation. It was a gun battle. ” Individual engagements were taking place, in which soldiers were spotting gunmen, firing back, having fire returned, and “taking him out ”. The soldiers “took out ” the gunmen fairly quickly. The shooting could not have lasted for more than four or five minutes. He said that he did not think that it lasted much longer than three or four minutes.2

1 O21.1-O21.2
2 O21.5


49.64 A further interview of Sergeant O was conducted for the same programme on 14th May 1991 by John Goddard, Tony Stark and Neil Davies. Sergeant O is recorded as having said in this interview1 that he had arrested a man and passed him to another soldier to be put into the APC, and as he turned round the firing started. The incoming fire was hitting a wall beside him, “banging up to the back end of Chamberlain Street ”. Another soldier was there as well as Sergeant O. The gunfire was coming from above ground in the Rossville Flats. It was the heaviest fire that he had heard in Northern Ireland, but that did not mean that it had been particularly heavy. A burst of ten rounds would have been heavy. It was automatic fire. He did not want to discuss any gunmen he might have seen, but said that he did not fire at anyone who did not have a weapon in his hand.

1 O22.58-O22.60; O22.69

49.65 Peter Taylor interviewed Sergeant O on 28th November 1991 for the BBC Inside Story documentary Remember Bloody Sunday. Sergeant O is recorded as having said in this interview that firing began from the area of the Rossville Flats as he brought a civilian to the back of his vehicle.1 The gunfire was coming from three or four weapons. It was the highest concentration of gunfire that he had heard in Northern Ireland. This was “a quick sort of burst of maybe 20, 30 rounds from various weapons ”. There was a strike on the ground between him and the wall on his left. He passed the civilian to a lance corporal and moved to the front of his vehicle, where he was “opposite one of the people who was armed ”. The soldiers now started to look for targets and return fire.

1 I538-I540

49.66 Sergeant O said that there was a strike of a number of rounds on the ground in front of him and another strike of three or four rounds on the corner of the wall at the end of Chamberlain Street.1 The incoming fire was not sporadic. There were “quite a few shots fired over a very short space of time into the area where we were standing ”. He estimated that the initial burst of gunfire, before any of the soldiers returned fire, consisted of “20–30 rounds, maybe less, maybe more I don’t really know ”.

1 I542-I546

49.67 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Sergeant O told us that the initial incoming fire consisted of about 20 to 30 rounds fired in bursts from what appeared to be four or five, or perhaps three, positions around the Rossville Flats. It was a mixture of high and low velocity fire, and was the heaviest that he had yet heard in Northern Ireland. He saw bullets strike the ground to his left and the rear wall of 36 Chamberlain Street. Further on in his statement,2 he indicated that the shots that struck the ground had been fired at a later stage, when, according to his account, Private S was engaging a gunman in the gap between Blocks 1 and 2 of the Rossville Flats. (This was also the upshot of his oral evidence to this Inquiry.3) He stated that it had been his “ball park guess ” that about 80 incoming shots had been fired in all, but that there could have been 60 or 120.4

1 B575.113

2 B575.123
3 Day 335/49-53; Day 336/21-23; Day 336/137-139

4 B575.121


49.68 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Sergeant O said that he was next to the nearside front wheel of his APC when the firing started. When it was pointed out to him that he had told the RMP that at this time he had been at the rear of the vehicle, he said that the vehicle was very small and that he “obviously ” could not give his exact position.1 He also told us that he had not been aware of any automatic fire, and that all or most of the incoming shots had been low velocity. He said that the answer in which he told the Praxis interviewers that he had heard automatic fire was wrong, and that he did not remember giving that answer.2 He denied that he had overestimated the number of shots because of the echo effect reverberating around the three blocks of the Rossville Flats; and he also told us that when the incoming fire started, there were still people trying to get out through the two alleyways.3

1 Day 336/24

2 Day 335/48-49
3 Day 335/54


49.69 Sergeant O was asked about the shots that Lieutenant N had fired up the Eden Place alleyway:1

“Q. Were you aware of the firing by Lieutenant N?

A. Was I, what, sorry?

Q. Aware of the firing by Lieutenant N?

A. No, I was not.

Q. Were you aware Lieutenant N had fired shots further down the wasteground?

A. No, I did not.

Q. Did you not hear them?

A. Not to my knowledge, no.

Q. If you did not hear him firing, could it be the firing you heard was in fact his firing?

A. I doubt it very much because an SLR has got a very distinctive crack and the stuff that was initially fired at me was not an SLR that was firing.

Q. You are aware, as an experienced soldier, the distorting effect in a built-up area of high buildings?

A. Yes.

Q. Are you not able to accept that the shots that were fired by Lieutenant N could have been misinterpreted by you?

A. No, I would not accept that.

Q. How can you explain, then, that you did not hear Lieutenant N’s shots?

A. Because Lieutenant N was down behind me and I believe – I could be wrong on this – but I believe he was firing up an alleyway, which was in an entirely different direction from where I was facing.

Q. He was standing at the corner of a building on the wasteground?

A. He was firing down an alleyway, therefore the sound, the main sound would have went down the alley, away from me. Therefore it is perfectly logical that I would not have heard it.

Q. You did not hear any of that?

A. Correct. ”


1 Day 336/31-33

49.70 In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry, Sergeant O was asked how it was that while according to him some 80 to 100 shots had been fired at the Army in the space of two or three minutes, no soldier had been wounded or touched by that gunfire.1

“Q. Round about 80 to 100 shots fired in this few minutes?

A. Yes.

Q. At soldiers who were actually engaged in an arrest operation?

A. Yes.

Q. Whoever was firing, they must have been very bad shots, must they not?

A. And also very stupid.

Q. Very stupid and very bad shots?

A. Yes.

Q. Because firing from those positions, in the positions you have described, it would have been like shooting a goldfish in a barrel, would it not?

A. Those are your words; not mine.

Q. Would you not agree that one could hardly miss from those positions?

A. I would agree that a trained man could not miss from those positions.

Q. Or, I suggest, a blind man could not have missed from these positions, firing those number of shots.

LORD WIDGERY: You need not answer that. ”


1 WT13.38

49.71 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1Sergeant O told us:

“The firing was not controlled, not the usual type of deliberately aimed sniper fire. If it had been more controlled, then I am sure me and some of my men would have been hit. We were very lucky that we were not, and my impression is that it was inexperienced people in the Rossville Flats who had control of these weapons and that is why we avoided any serious casualties. I am fairly sure that there were no hard IRA men there when we first entered the Bogside. Those that did have the weapons were not particularly good at using them. ”


1 B575.113

49.72 Later in this statement Sergeant O added:1

“On this day, however, we were not faced with a sniping incident. My Pig arrived in the courtyard of the Rossville Flats as a total surprise to the local people and I think that they took the view that they were being invaded by the army. I became aware that the IRA had agreed to stay out of the area well after the event when speaking with a television journalist, Peter Taylor. I think that it is probably true that the IRA had kept their hard men out of the area, up in the Creggan estate, and I believe that ‘dicks’ or second rate men got hold of low quality weapons which were in the Rossville Flats ready for use and disobeyed the IRA and opened fire on us. If experienced IRA snipers had been firing the weapons, there is no doubt that the paras [paratroopers] would have lost a number of men. If any of us had been killed, my guess is that there would have been no inquiry in 1972 or now. I think that better gunmen arrived on the scene later and various other shooting incidents took place. ”


1 B575.122

49.73 When Sergeant O was asked, during his oral evidence to this Inquiry, about this passage in his written statement, there was this exchange:1

“Q. …That is put forward, is it not, as a hypothesis to explain why, despite your recollection that a large number of shots were fired, none of them hit a single soldier even though there were scores of soldiers on the ground?

A. No, that is not correct, it is not I am putting forward that type of hypothesis. That is just my feelings of how the thing developed in Londonderry on that day. That is how the whole thing built. I think they were completely shocked that we had went so far into their no-go area. McGuinness may have did the thing and kept his men out of the

area, I do not – I have no reason to doubt that, but I think the wrong people got the wrong weapons and I think they walked into it.

Q. That is your –

A. That is my opinion, that is just how I feel about it.

Q. One hypothesis which the Tribunal will have to consider is that the reason why no single soldier was hit was either because there was no firing at the soldiers at all, or nothing like the fire that you and others have described. Is that, in truth, the position?

A. Is that, what, sorry?

Q. In truth the position?

A. No, it is not the position: we were fired upon; we returned fire. There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever about that. ”


1 Day 335/119-120

49.74 Later in his oral evidence to this Inquiry,1 Sergeant O said that no soldiers were hit, “I think because the people who had the weapons were low grade ”. He also told us that he did not know whether his APC had been hit.

1 Day 336/49

Private T

49.75 We have already referred to Private T’s RMP statement1earlier in this report.2 This statement was principally concerned with this soldier’s account of bottles containing acid and other missiles being dropped from the balconies of the Rossville Flats and of his firing two shots at a man on the balcony above him, to which we return later in this report.3

1 B725

2 Paragraphs 37.17–18
3 Chapter 51


49.76 Private T made no mention in that statement of any incoming fire.

49.77 In his statement for the Widgery Inquiry,1 Private T recorded that after the soldiers disembarked from the APC, the civilians in the car park of the Rossville Flats began to throw stones and other missiles. At about this time he heard a burst of low velocity fire coming from inside the car park, but could not see from where it was coming or in which direction it was going. He stated that he subsequently heard a lot of shooting of all types in the area.2

1 B735 2B735-736

49.78 In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry,1 Private T said that the initial firing came about 30 to 45 seconds after disembarkation, and that it could have been either a burst of gunfire or a semi-automatic rifle being fired very quickly. The sound came from “Somewhere actually inside the area of the Rossville Flats, inside the centre ”. He said: “After the main burst of firing had died down we were just fired at in ones and twos. ”2He told the Widgery Inquiry that he was in the car park throughout the whole of the operation, but had seen no-one firing at the troops.3

1 WT13.88

2 WT13.91
3 WT13.93


49.79 As we have already noted, Private T is dead and gave no evidence to this Inquiry.

Private INQ 1579

49.80 As we have described above,1 Private INQ 1579 was the driver of Sergeant O’s APC. He gave no evidence in 1972.

1 Paragraph 37.21

49.81 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Private INQ 1579 told us that firing began almost immediately after he disembarked. He heard several shots. He stated: “The easy thing to say now is that it was high velocity fire that I heard, since civilians had such capability at the time. ” He was certain that the fire was incoming, because he heard bullets strike the ground “and I would have seen them at the time but I cannot remember seeing this for sure now ”. He told us that he also heard bullets hitting metal. In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Private INQ 1579 said that he presumed that this “could have been the vehicle being hit ”. He also said that he was sure that the gunfire was incoming because “I seen it in and around the vehicle ”.2 He was asked why he was now saying positively that he had seen the strike of bullets around his position, and said that he “must have remembered it ”.3

1 C1579.4

2 Day 336/169-170
3 Day 336/199-203


Consideration of the evidence of incoming gunfire

49.82 We have already considered and rejected, for the reasons given earlier in this report,1 the evidence suggesting that the Mortar Platoon APCs were fired on as they drove into the Bogside and that gunfire was directed at the soldiers from Lieutenant N’s APC as, or soon after, they disembarked.

1 Paragraphs 24.38–40 and 26.44–57

49.83 So far as the soldiers of Mortar Platoon from Lieutenant N’s APC are concerned, there is no evidence from Lieutenant N of hearing any incoming fire until after all the casualties in all the sectors had occurred, and for reasons we give later in this report1 we are of the view that the shots at that late stage that he attributed to paramilitaries firing at Army vehicles were in fact fired by soldiers. Corporal 162 gave no evidence in 1972 of hearing paramilitary fire. Lance Corporal V gave inconsistent accounts of hearing incoming fire, and in view of this and what we regard as the untruthful accounts he gave of his own firing, we place no reliance on his evidence. Private S gave evidence of incoming fire as he disembarked from Lieutenant N’s APC, which we do not accept for the reasons given earlier in this report;2 his remaining accounts of incoming fire relate to the stage at which he was firing himself, which we consider later in this report.3 Lance Corporal INQ 768 told this Inquiry that he had heard incoming automatic fire while he was at the back of his vehicle, but this is unsupported by the accounts given at the time by the other soldiers in the area and we place no reliance on it.

1 Chapter 123

2 Chapter 24
3 Chapter 51


49.84 Private Q gave evidence to the Widgery Inquiry of hearing four or five low velocity shots at the time when he took cover at the north end of Block 1 of the Rossville Flats. It seems to us that he might have heard handgun shots fired in Rossville Street, which we discuss elsewhere in this report.1 Apart from this, he did not in the evidence that he gave in 1972, describe hearing any incoming shots as he made his way from Lieutenant N’s APC to the north end of Block 1. We have earlier in this report2 given our reasons for not relying on the evidence of Private 019 or Private INQ 1918 of hearing incoming fire. In view of Private 013’s evidence to us, we place no reliance on his 1972 account of incoming fire.

1 Chapters 74–75
2 Chapter 30 and paragraphs 26.6–9


49.85 As to the soldiers from Sergeant O’s APC, Corporal P gave evidence of hearing two high velocity shots soon after disembarking from Sergeant O’s APC in Rossville Street. Private 017 gave a similar account. For reasons given when discussing the events of Sector 3, we are of the view that these were two of the shots fired by Lieutenant N at the entrance to the Eden Place alleyway. Private 017 also gave evidence of a man firing a pistol from the alley between Columbcille Court and Glenfada Park North, which we also discuss in the context of Sector 3.

49.86 Private R gave accounts of hearing incoming fire from low and high calibre weapons when he disembarked from Sergeant O’s APC in Rossville Street and as he ran after that APC as it went into the car park of the Rossville Flats. We do not accept that this was the case. At the stage when he was running after the APC, there were still many civilians in the area and, as we have said previously, it seems to us unlikely that any paramilitary would fire in those circumstances, given the risk to those civilians. Furthermore, we have found no other acceptable evidence to support Private R’s accounts. As will be noted, Sergeant O did not suggest that there was any incoming fire until some time after he had disembarked in the car park.

49.87 Private U gave confused and conflicting evidence about incoming fire. In addition, as we describe elsewhere in this report,1 he gave in our view untruthful evidence about his own firing. We take the view that it would be unwise to rely upon his evidence of incoming fire.

1 Paragraphs 85.72–76

49.88 Private 112 gave an account of hearing low velocity Thompson sub-machine gun and other fire, but accepted in his evidence to us that it was possible that he might have been wrong because of all the other noise going on. We have already expressed the view that it would be unwise to rely on this soldier’s evidence of incoming gunfire.1

1 Paragraph 49.53

49.89 Private 006 gave no evidence of hearing incoming fire.

49.90 Sergeant O gave evidence of a great deal of incoming fire, which started after he had arrested William John Doherty, but which did not include automatic fire. Later in this report1 we express our views of this evidence and for the reasons we give there reject the account he gave of incoming fire.

1 Paragraphs 64.32–47

49.91 Private T described incoming fire at what appears to be an earlier stage. He had made no mention of this in his RMP statement.

49.92 Private INQ 1579 (the driver of Sergeant O’s APC) told us that there was incoming fire almost immediately after he disembarked. We formed the view that Private INQ 1579 had no real or independent recollection of events.

49.93 In these circumstances we are unpersuaded by their evidence that there was any gunfire directed at the Mortar Platoon soldiers as they drove into the Bogside, as they disembarked from their APCs or as they took up their respective positions. We consider below their evidence of incoming fire after the soldiers themselves started firing in the area of the car park of the Rossville Flats. Save for Private 017 (whose evidence of a man with a handgun on the other side of Rossville Street we consider elsewhere in this report1), and Private Q, who might have heard handgun shots fired in Rossville Street, we are also unpersuaded by their evidence of hearing incoming fire, whether or not directed at them.

1 Chapter 74

49.94 We should note at this point that the representatives of the majority of represented soldiers relied upon the evidence of the civilians Julian Daly and Danny Deehan as showing that shots were directed at the soldiers as the APCs arrived.1 Julian Daly told us that he was near the eastern side of Kells Walk as the soldiers jumped out of Lieutenant N’s APC and almost immediately “bullets hit the pavement perhaps two feet away from me to my right ”.2 He said that these could not have been rubber bullets.3 Danny Deehan told us that he recalled hearing firing while he was running down Chamberlain Street or across the Rossville Flats car park before the APCs came to a halt.4

1 FS7.1344-1348

2 AD2.4
3 Day 183/7-8

4 Day 102/27-28


49.95 We are not persuaded by the evidence of either of these witnesses that they heard or saw firing directed at the soldiers. Julian Daly’s account seemed to be to the effect that shots were being fired by soldiers in his direction, not at soldiers as they disembarked. In our view, his memory was playing tricks on him; no soldier fired at this time and it seems to us unlikely that any paramilitary would have fired shots close to civilians. As we have explained earlier in this report, at the stage when the soldiers disembarked, there were numbers of civilians in the area and a photographer (Robert White) not far from where Julian Daly told us he was. In our view, Danny Deehan muddled the sequence of events. He had recorded nothing in his Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association statement about hearing shots before the APCs arrived,1 and like Julian Daly, his evidence was to the effect that what he had heard was firing by soldiers.2

1 AD21.1 2AD21.3

49.96 The same representatives also relied on the evidence of Simon Winchester, who told the Widgery Inquiry that as he was running away towards the Rossville Flats from the Army vehicles coming into the Bogside, he heard a number of shots (“less than ten ”) that he thought were from behind him; and that he was convinced that these were not the sound of baton guns.1In our view, these were not shots directed at the soldiers, since according to Simon Winchester, they were from behind him, ie from the north, from where the vehicles had come. Despite what Simon Winchester said, we consider that what he heard was firing of baton guns immediately after the soldiers in Lieutenant N’s APC disembarked.

1 FS7.1349; WT3.14

49.97 There was other evidence from some of those who travelled in Major Loden’s command vehicle of incoming low velocity gunfire. We now turn to that evidence.
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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 3

Post  Guest on Tue 22 Jun - 11:10

Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry
- Volume III - Chapter 50





The question of low velocity gunfire directed at Major Loden and others
Chapter 50: The question of low velocity gunfire directed at Major Loden and others



50.1 Earlier in this report we have referred to Major Loden’s Diary of Operations1 dated 31st January 1972, in which an account was given of various events of the previous day in chronological order. The entries for 1612 hours, 1617 hours and 1618–1635 hours were as follows:

“1612 The Coy was ordered to deploy down Little James to arrest rioters in William St. Due to the regrouping of the Coy, the Coy did not move until 1615. On arrival at Barrier 12 there was a delay while the barrier was opened. The rioters anticipated the ensuing action and began to withdraw towards Rossville Flats. The company followed them on to the open ground east of Rossville St and north of Rossville Flats. The leading pl, the Mor Pl, finally stopped in the car park area east of the northern most block of flats.

1617 Three rounds struck the second pig of the Mor Pl. My veh stopped on Rossville St/Pilot Row junction in the close vicinity of two rioters. The crew of my veh debussed to arrest these men. At this time a burst of approx 15 rounds of .45 calibre SMG were fired at my crew, but the rounds struck the ground 20m in front of the soldiers.

1618–1635 By this time the Coy had all debussed and were arresting rioters. The Anti Tk Pl was West of Rossville St and the Composite Pl was either side of Rossville and Behind the leading pls. A total of 28 arrests were made over a period of a few minutes. During the arrest phase the two forward pls were subjected to SA fire from the area of Rossville Flats and Glenshada Park [sic]. Two gelignite bombs exploded in the Car Park 20 m from the leading soldier of the Mor Pl. Acid bombs were also thrown from the top storey of the flats, striking two soldiers on the legs. During the next 10 minutes or so, the engagements listed at Annex A took place. The stone throwing rioters had withdrawn from view except those beyond the Flats numbering some 300. During this phase 51 rubber bullets were fired at rioters, apart from those aimed 7.62mm rounds fired at gunmen, nail-bombers, and petrol bombers. The apparent disregard for the use of cover by these terrorists was very surprising. ”


1 B2212

50.2 The reference to Annex A is a reference to the list that we have called Major Loden’s List of Engagements, which we examine elsewhere in this report.1 “SMG ” is an abbreviation for sub-machine gun. “SA ” is an abbreviation for small arms.

1 Chapter 165

50.3 We have already observed that it appears that while some of the incidents recorded in this Diary of Operations were what Major Loden said that he had witnessed himself, the bulk of the entries came from what he said he had been told by others. For example, Major Loden told the Widgery Inquiry1 that he was not convinced that the vehicles had been fired upon, although he had received a report that this “could have happened ”, and he confirmed, in his oral evidence to this Inquiry,2 that he had not seen three rounds strike the second Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) of Mortar Platoon. For reasons given earlier, that is something that we are sure did not happen. As will be seen below, Major Loden also told the Widgery Inquiry that at no stage had he seen any civilian with a firearm or throwing a bomb.3

1 WT12.27-WT12.28 3 WT12.23

2 Day 342/49-50

50.4 The entry for 1617 hours refers to a burst of approximately 15 rounds of .45 calibre sub-machine gun fire that hit the ground 20m in front of the soldiers.

50.5 Major Loden was in his command vehicle, which followed the two APCs of Mortar Platoon through Barrier 12 and along Rossville Street, stopping near the junction with Pilot Row.

50.6 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry dated 17th February 1972, Major Loden gave this account:1

“The Company drove through the barrier into the rioting crowd and outflanked a considerable number of them. We drove rapidly in order to split them up and to effect arrests. The Mortar Platoon which was leading, stopped with one vehicle near the East end of Eden Place and the other about 10 behind the southern-most house in Chamberlain Street just beyond the line of the Northern end of Block 1. My vehicle stopped at the junction of Pilot Row and Rossville Street in the close vicinity of two young men who had been throwing stones. The remaining vehicles all stopped on Rossville Street, between Eden Place and William Street, where the Anti-tank Platoon and Mortar Platoon debussed.

The crew of my vehicle debussed and we arrested the two young men. As we were carrying out these arrests, I heard a burst of about 15 rounds LV [low velocity] automatic fire. My signaller shouted at me that we were under fire. These were the first live rounds that I heard fired after we had gone through the barrier.

We had gone as far as the open ground immediately North of the Rossville Flats because this was where the majority of the rioters had run to and the object was to arrest as many of them as possible. In all we travelled about 250m from our start point. Had we not gone beyond William Street, we would not have made any arrests. Our tactic was to cut off those whom we were trying to arrest. It was my intention to carry out arrests and go firm in the general area where we had debussed i.e. the open ground North of Rossville Flats. As soon as we came under fire, the situation changed and the priority shifted from making arrests, to taking cover and defending ourselves from the attack of the gunmen and bombers. At this stage the half platoons and individual soldiers acted independently. I say half platoons because this represents a vehicle load. One of the two vehicles is commanded by the Platoon Commander and the other by the Platoon Sgt although the Platoon Commander retains overall command of both.

I returned to my vehicle with my crew and ordered the driver to move the vehicle forward to a position of cover against the Northern Wall of Block 1 Rossville Flats. ”


1 B2220

50.7 In Major Loden’s oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry there was this exchange:1

“Q. At any rate, that gives the position. When you got your vehicles into that position, what happened?

A. Well, the soldiers de-bussed from the vehicles and started to make arrests.

Q. Did you see any arrests made?

A. Yes.

Q. How many?

A. Well, there were two in the case of my own vehicle.

Q. Who arrested those?

A. My driver arrested one chap and the other person, I do not know. It was another soldier from behind me. I do not know who it was.

Q. Very close to your vehicle?

A. Yes, very close to my vehicle.

Q. Did anything happen then?

A. Well, as we got out of our vehicle and as these arrests were taking place a burst of about fifteen rounds of low velocity fire was directed at us. I heard it but I didn’t see the strike of the shot and my signallers shouted to me, ‘We are under fire’ and they told me that they had seen the rounds strike the ground close to them, in fact, in front of them.

Q. You heard it, can you say from which direction?

A. From the direction of the Rossville Flats.

Q. Could you say high or low, or from the courtyard, or where?

A. I could not say at all.

Q. What happened then?

A. Well, I told my crew to get back into their vehicle. I moved my vehicle forward to a position of cover just north of No. 1 block of the Rossville Flats. In other words, there. (Indicating)

Q. Can you tell us, did you hear any more firing?

A. Yes, I heard continuous firing for about the next ten minutes.

Q. And were your men firing back?

A. Yes, they were.

Q. From your position could you see what they were firing at?

A. No, I couldn’t. ”


1 WT12.10

50.8 Later in his oral evidence Major Loden told the Widgery Inquiry that the period from when he disembarked from the command vehicle and heard the low velocity shots until the subsequent shooting ended was “about ten minutes ” and that there was firing going on all the time.1He also agreed that the low velocity firing he had described occurred very soon after he had disembarked, which was after the second Mortar Platoon APC (Sergeant O’s APC) had reached the car park of the Rossville Flats and when people were running into the car park with soldiers behind them.2

1 WT12.14 2WT12.37-WT12.38

50.9 He also agreed that at no stage had he seen any civilian with a gun, shooting, or throwing a nail or petrol bomb.1

1 WT12.23

50.10 Major Loden, when asked about the low velocity gunfire, said that he had not been able to identify the weapon:1

“Q. Did you think this was a Thompson machine gun?

A. No, I said low velocity automatic fire.

Q. Let us get it clear. Are you saying you did not say it was a Thompson machine gun or you do not know whether it was a Thompson machine gun, or which?

A. All I am saying is that it was low velocity automatic fire.

Q. Could you not tell what sort of gun it was?

A. No, certainly not.

Q. Are you absolutely clear in your own mind that you could not identify what type of a gun it was which fired the low velocity automatic fire?

A. No, I would not be so presumptuous, because I have heard a large number of weapons fired in my career, both at me and by people on my side. People who rush around and say they have heard a Thompson machine gun are being presumptuous. All I can say is that it was low velocity automatic fire. I could not identify the weapon because I did not see it. ”


1 WT12.23

50.11 A little later, however, Major Loden agreed that he had described the low velocity gunfire as Thompson sub-machine gun fire in an interview for Radio Telefís Éireann (RTÉ), though he explained that he had done so because the interviewer did not know very much about Army matters, and since a Thompson sub-machine gun was a weapon often described in Ireland, “it was the best way of telling him it was low velocity fire ”.1He had told RTÉ that “I myself, my own party of myself and two signallers, were clearly fired upon with a burst of Thompson sub-machine gun fire from the Rossville Flats which hit the ground about 25 yards in front of my men ”.2

1 WT12.24 2B2282

50.12 In his written evidence to this Inquiry, Major Loden told us:1

“34. I am not certain of the precise order of events when I got out of my vehicle. I recall grappling with a man, at least one man being arrested and incoming automatic gunfire. These events all happened relatively quickly and my best recollection now is that they were in the following order. When my vehicle came to a stop on Rossville Street, I got out along with my signallers and possibly driver. I was immediately confronted by a group of young men. I cannot remember how many: it was not more than 10, but at least 4. It seemed to me that they were deciding whether to attack. As they were sizing us up, I decided to take the initiative and to attempt to effect an arrest. In doing so I hit one of them with my baton, which broke. Two other soldiers joined me to help with arrests.

35. I cannot now remember how many of these young men we arrested certainly there was one. I became aware of a burst of automatic fire from a low velocity weapon. It seemed to come from the area of the Rossville Flats. I did not see the fall of shot, but one of my signallers (either Corporal 033 or Lance Corporal INQ 627) said to me that he had seen the bullets hit the ground about 20 yards in front of us (to the south).

36. As soon as we came under fire, the nature of the operation changed. I think now that I got my immediate team (of about four, as described above) into the command vehicle again and I ordered the driver to move the vehicle to the north gable wall of Block 1 of the Rossville Flats. This position provided some cover and meant that we were not exposed to any windows from the Rossville Flats from which we might have been fired on, as that is where I thought the firing had come from. ”


1 B2283.005-B2283.006

50.13 Major Loden also told us that he did not think that he heard any more automatic fire after this.1

1 B2283.006

50.14 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Major Loden agreed that, very quickly after he had disembarked, he and his crew started to try and arrest at least two people and it was at that stage that he heard the burst of low velocity fire.1He also said in his oral evidence that he only ever heard this one burst of automatic fire.2He then gave the following answers to the Chairman:

“LORD SAVILLE: Colonel Loden, I wonder if I could intervene to make sure I understand the evidence you are giving: first of all you use the word ‘exceptional’. I understood that to mean … the gunfire you heard incoming was exceptional because your experience in Belfast was that when your troops went in in force, paramilitaries tended to melt away.

A. That is correct, sir.

LORD SAVILLE: So that if we take the low velocity gunfire you heard, that was exceptional and no doubt surprised you because it did not seem to be what had happened in Belfast; is that right?

A. That is correct, sir. ”


1 Day 342/60-61 2Day 344/74-75

50.15 As we have described earlier in this report, apart from Major Loden, the others in his command vehicle were the driver (Private 037) and Warrant Officer Class II Lewis (the Company Sergeant Major of Support Company), together with Lance Corporal 033 and Lance Corporal INQ 627, who were radio operators.

50.16 The driver, Private 037, gave a Royal Military Police (RMP) statement, but recorded nothing about seeing, hearing or reporting automatic gunfire at any stage. As we have described earlier in this report,1he was involved in the arrest of William John Dillon, and in our view he cannot have been far from the command vehicle at the time described by Major Loden.

1 Chapter 33

50.17 Warrant Officer Class II Lewis made an RMP statement,1but this was concerned exclusively with the issuing of ammunition and with the ammunition counts that he and others conducted. He also appeared in the BBC documentary Remember Bloody Sunday, broadcast in 1992.2 Peter Taylor interviewed him for that programme, and also quoted him in his book Provos.3

1 B2030

2 B2039
3 B2111


50.18 In his first written statement to this Inquiry, Warrant Officer Class II Lewis gave the following account of what he witnessed when he disembarked from the command vehicle:1

“93. We then got out of the Pig and I distinctly remember that on getting out of the command vehicle on Rossville Street, I heard two shots, ‘bang, bang’ which were from a high velocity weapon and which I believed were incoming. It was definitely not the sound of rubber bullets. The shots were in the area, but not close to us. I had no sense of where they came from or went to; the area itself was susceptible to echoes and sounds could be distorted because of the echo from the flats. As I have said I would swear that the two bangs I heard were incoming shots, but they could be open to interpretation.

94. The crowd were running around on the waste ground there was a flurry of activity with soldiers and civilians. It was confusing and chaotic. I have been told that Lieutenant N fired shots above the heads of the crowd at the junction of Eden Place and Chamberlain Street. I am not aware of bangs coming from the area where Lieutenant N must have been i.e. to my left (east).

95. I saw that one of the Pigs in front of us had deployed to the left (east) and I saw other Pigs deploying to more forward positions. At least one other went forwards on the main road ie Rossville Street, towards an area where there were civilians by the Rossville Flats and towards a pile of rubble. I cannot recall whether any vehicles overtook us to reach those positions. I now know that it was Lieutenant N’s Pig that swung off to the left and Sergeant O’s Pig that went a bit further down the main road. I have been asked if I recall seeing someone knocked over by a Pig, but I do not.

96. Soldiers on foot were coming down passing our position on either side going down towards housing to the west of the Rossville Flats.

97. As I went round to the back of the vehicle I saw Corporal 33 pointing his rifle up at the Rossville Flats. He was one of Major Loden’s signallers who had been in the command Pig with me. The driver may have been there too. I think the OC [Officer Commanding] was still inside with the other signaller.

98. I was slightly concerned when I saw Corporal 33. I went up to him and asked him what he was aiming at. He told me that he could see a gunman on a balcony. I stood behind him, placed my hand on his shoulder and looked up the barrel of his rifle. On a balcony there were people moving around, but I could not identify a weapon or a gunman. I think he saw that I was concerned by his actions and this relaxed him a little bit. My concern when I saw him was that he was aiming. I don’t think he had any intention of firing and he was convincing to me that he had seen something, but I was able to calm him down. Corporal 33 did not fire but brought his rifle back down.

99. Contrary to what I am reported as saying at one stage in an interview with Peter Taylor I did not see two incoming low velocity rounds hitting the ground a short distance in front of our position at this stage. I don’t know whether this is just wrongly recorded on the transcript or whether I was mistaken or confused. Mr Taylor was putting me under some pressure about the rounds I heard when we first deployed and the interview jumped around talking about different firing incidents. I am quite sure that I did not witness two low velocity rounds strike in front of Corporal 33. The two shots I did hear were those I have described in paragraph 93.

100. I should add that by this stage, Corporal 33 was wearing his respirator. Someone had used CS gas and it was strong enough for those around me to put their respirators on. I remember wearing my own respirator this day, although I cannot remember at exactly what stage I did this and at what stage I removed it. ”


1 B2111.014-B2111.015

50.19 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Warrant Officer Class II Lewis accepted that it was possible that the two shots he said he had heard could have been fired by Lieutenant N at the entrance to the Eden Place alleyway, only some 50 yards from Warrant Officer Class II Lewis’s position, though he remained unsure about this and expressed himself as “still rather convinced ” that he had not heard Lieutenant N’s shots.1In our view, Warrant Officer Class II Lewis is likely to have heard two of Lieutenant N’s shots, which we have described earlier in this report.2It should be noted that Private 005, the driver of one of the vehicles that drew up behind the command vehicle, also told us that he heard high velocity shots at about this time, which he agreed could have been those fired by Lieutenant N at the entrance to the Eden Place alleyway.3

1 Day 373/44-47

2 Paragraphs 30.36–128
3 Day 338/134


50.20 Warrant Officer Class II Lewis agreed that he was the tall figure shown standing next to the command vehicle in the photograph we have shown earlier in this report (and also reproduced below) when describing the arrest of William John Dillon.
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50.21 As to Lance Corporal 033, Warrant Officer Class II Lewis told this Inquiry that he had said to this soldier “I do not think there is anything there ” and that Lance Corporal 033 had not said anything about the weapon he thought the gunman on the balcony was holding. When reminded that when interviewed by Peter Taylor he had said that Lance Corporal 033 had told him that the man had a pistol, Warrant Officer Class II Lewis said that he would “go along ” with what he had recalled in that interview.1 The evidence of Warrant Officer Class II Lewis suggests that Lance Corporal 033 was aiming at the top balcony of Block 2 of the Rossville Flats.2

1 Day 373/49-50; Day 373/55 2Day 373/50-52

50.22 When he was told that Lance Corporal 033 had denied in the course of his evidence to this Inquiry (which we consider below1) that he was the soldier whom Warrant Officer Class II Lewis had described, the latter said that he was positive that it was Lance Corporal 033.2 He also said that this incident occurred within two or three minutes of his disembarking from the command vehicle and after he had heard the two high velocity shots.3

1 Paragraphs 50.29–39

2 Day 373/52-53
3 Day 373/57


50.23 In relation to the further account Warrant Officer Class II Lewis had given to Peter Taylor about seeing the strikes of two low velocity rounds on the ground, Warrant Officer Class II Lewis gave the following answers in the course of his oral evidence to this Inquiry:1

“Q. Thank you. If we then go on again to I597, we have read up to the part in which you recalled 033 saying that he had seen a man with a pistol up on the balcony?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And you went on to say to Mr Taylor:

‘And as I, as I said that or as he said that to me, there was two clear indications of rounds hitting the ground – I would say less than five or ten yards from where I was standing. Two clear spots on the dead ground in the front of Rossville Flats.’

Mr Taylor asked:

‘Question: Are you sure of that?’

You said:

‘Answer: I am positive of that.

Question: Could not have been making it up?

Answer: No, I have no reason to make it up.

Question: High velocity rounds? ’

You said:

‘Answer: No, I would say they were low velocity, now people have implicated they may have been rocks – er they were similar to the – the mark a rock would make when it is bouncing off – off loose soil, but these, these were clearly low velocity rounds hitting the ground, not too far away from where that soldier was standing.

Question: Could you tell from which direction they were coming?

Answer: They were coming from forward of where we were.’

Could we keep 598 on the screen, please.

Were you not very clearly saying to Mr Taylor that as you were speaking to this soldier, 033, about the gunman in the flats, two low velocity rounds hit the ground not too far away from where you were standing?

A. Yes, sir, that is how I recalled it in 1992, sir.

Q. What is your recollection today?

A. That the two shots there were being confused with two later shots that I saw from the position behind Kells Walk.

Q. The two later shots that you saw –

A. From the position behind Kells Walk, sir.

Q. You have said in your statement to this Inquiry that you are quite sure that you did not witness two low velocity rounds strike in front of Corporal 33?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Are you quite sure of that?

A. As sure as I can be, sir.

Q. But it does appear that when you spoke to Mr Taylor, you were quite sure that the two rounds had struck close to you when you were talking to 033?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And is there anything in particular that has made you change your mind about that?

A. No, only my own judgment, sir. I, I thought about it quite a bit. I thought well those two rounds could have been confused with the two rounds I later saw from the back end of Kells Walk, sir. ”


1 Day 373/57-59

50.24 We deal elsewhere in this report1with Warrant Officer Class II Lewis’s evidence about what he heard and saw at Kells Walk, when at a later stage there was firing from the low walls of the Kells Walk ramp by members of Composite Platoon.

1 Paragraphs 82.80–83

50.25 At the end of Warrant Officer Class II Lewis’s evidence, Counsel for the Tribunal came back to the question of what rounds this witness had observed after disembarking from the command vehicle and when he was with Lance Corporal 033:1

“Q. Let us just see if we can avoid confusion by looking at what you did say to Mr Taylor. First of all, can we look at page I596, please. There were three distinct matters that you dealt with. First of all, you referred to Mr Taylor, as you have referred in your evidence today, to the shots that you heard upon disembarking from the command vehicle?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And you said in relation to them:

‘I heard – I heard two positive high velocity shots the minute I deployed from my command vehicle.’

A. Yes, sir.

Q. ‘I commanded – I deployed off the rear of the command vehicle and I heard clearly two high velocity shots.’

A. Yes, sir.

Q. So you were telling Mr Taylor that those shots that you heard on deployment were high velocity shots?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Is that not right?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Is that still your recollection?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You then went on in your interview with Mr Taylor to refer to the soldier who you have identified as 033, who was aiming towards the Rossville Flats?

A. Yes.

Q. And you described what happened in relation to him and Mr Taylor asked you some questions and if we go on to the next page, 597, you describe the question that you asked, ‘What are you firing at?’ and his reply:

‘I have seen a man with a pistol up on that balcony’?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And you go on to say:

‘As I said that or as he said that to me there was two clear indications of rounds hitting the ground – I would say less than five or ten yards from where I was standing. Two clear spots on the dead ground in front of Rossville Flats.’

If we go on to the next page, 598, there were some more questions and Mr Taylor asked you in relation to those rounds:

‘High velocity rounds?

Answer: No, I would say they were low velocity. Now people have implicated they may have been rocks’ and so on ‘but these were clearly low velocity rounds hitting the ground.’

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Again, when you spoke to Mr Taylor it was clear enough, was it not, that you were telling him that the shots that hit the ground close to you and Corporal 033 were low velocity rounds?

A. Yes, sir, or, or rocks, or implicated they could have been rocks, yes, sir.

Q. Do you have any recollection today of that incident?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You do have a recollection of something hitting the ground close to 033?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Do you remember earlier on today saying that you did not have a recollection of that?

A. Yes, sir, this is where the confusion comes in, because I, I misread those two and then I recall the high velocity shots at Kells Walk and I thought maybe I could have been confusing those two, the two shots at Kells Walk.

Q. This is really our last chance to get this straight: is your evidence to this Tribunal today that there were two different sets of shots that you remember?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. One set of two shots that hit the ground near you and 033 and another set of two shots that hit the ground on the pavement in front of Kells Walk?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. But in relation to the shots that hit the ground near 033, you say it is possible that those were not in fact bullets but the strike of rocks?

A. It could have been, it could have been the strike of rocks, sir, because ground there was pretty dry and there was like a puff of dust.

Q. If we then go on to the shots that hit the pavement in front of Kells Walk at I606 – perhaps we should go back to I605. You said to Mr Taylor:

‘Answer: ... at that – at that stage I can remember seeing dust spots, as we call them. A dust spot is a, is a spot that a bullet makes when it hits the ground, on the ground about 150 yards forward of the barricades. There was two or three spots I do – I can distinctly see them – I remember seeing them.’

If we go on to the next page, I607, Mr Taylor asked the question:

‘Question: Dust spots that you thought were being made by bullets?

Answer: Bullets, yes, I would say that they were clearly bullet – high velocity dust spots.’

A. Yes, sir.

Q. So in relation to those shots you were telling Mr Taylor that they were high velocity; is that not right?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And is that your present recollection?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And have you ever, so far as you recall, suggested that the shots that hit the ground on the pavement in front of Kells Walk were anything other than high velocity shots?

A. No, sir. ”


1 Day 373/246-251

50.26 As will have been observed, Warrant Officer Class II Lewis gave confusing evidence about the shots that he said that he had heard, and seemed to change his mind from time to time on this matter, but we have found nothing in his account that suggests that he heard or saw a burst of several low velocity automatic rounds soon after he had disembarked, or indeed at any time. In the end it seems to us that what he was telling us was that after the two high velocity shots he heard on disembarking, the next high velocity shots he witnessed were when he had, at a later stage, gone to the low walls of the Kells Walk ramp; and that what he had witnessed when he was with Lance Corporal 033 was the strike of two low velocity rounds or rocks.

50.27 In his RMP statement, Lance Corporal 033 gave the following account:1

“I am a member of Sup Coy 1 PARA, at present stationed at Palace Bks Holywood. At Londonderry on the 30 January 1972 about 1615 hours I was with my company as we advanced from the junction with William St, down Rossville St towards the flats. I was carrying an A41 radio set and an SLR [self-loading rifle] with a magazine of 20 rounds attached. As we came into contact with the rioters I made an arrest and returned to the ACV [armoured command vehicle] with my prisoner. After delivering my prisoner to the arrest team at the corner of Eden Place/Rossville St, I began to return to the flats forecourt where we were advancing towards. The OC was with me and a soldier at this time. As we reached Grid 43311688 we came under automatic fire from about the junction of blocks 2 and 3 of Rossville Flats. The weapon was quite distinctive, a Thompson Machine Gun. I did not see the muzzle flash or sight the gunman, and so did not return fire. About 20–25 shots were fired at us and struck the ground around us. We then ran forward to the end of the Flats … ”


1 B1617

50.28 The soldier referred to in this statement was Lance Corporal INQ 627, the other signaller, to whose evidence we refer below.1The grid reference was to the Eden Place waste ground, roughly halfway between Eden Place and Pilot Row, and roughly two-thirds of the way from Rossville Street to the back of the Chamberlain Street houses.

1 Paragraphs 50.41–46

50.29 Lance Corporal 033 did not give evidence to the Widgery Inquiry, but did give written and oral evidence to this Inquiry.

50.30 In his written statement to this Inquiry, Lance Corporal 033 told us:1

“The street opened up into what I can best describe as an area of waste ground. The vehicle halted and we deployed from the back of the vehicle. I pulled on my A41 radio and I jumped out of the back. I could see rioters throwing bricks, bottles and other missiles and running it seemed in all directions. It was the first time that day I had seen the rioters. Troops were already running and grabbing people. I could see people being arrested and prisoners struggling and fighting. I cannot remember specific incidents now, nor do I have any idea of how many people there were in the crowd. I still had my gas mask on at that stage, which limited what I could see. Although I could see clearly straight ahead of me, the gas mask cut off what I could see to either side. To the west of me I remember there were buildings. They were modern houses as opposed to the more common terraced houses. I know by that stage I had not taken in the fact there were these big buildings nearby (the Rossville Flats.)

My next recollection is being with a prisoner. I have no recollection of how I came to have a prisoner. I recall taking this male prisoner back to one of the arrest teams, who was immediately behind me. I cannot remember what the prisoner looked like or whether he was young or old. I remember being quite shocked that I had ended up with a prisoner. I was a signalman and arresting rioters was the job of a rifleman.

I have been asked by Eversheds [solicitors acting for this Inquiry] if I saw any excessive force used during the arrest operation. Generally, if people struggled, force had to be used to make arrests, but I did not see any excessive force. The usual procedure once prisoners were arrested, was that they were given to the arrest team and ultimately to the Royal Military Police (RMPs) or the RUC. The RMPs had would have reported any excessive force if they had seen it. We did not do things like that. I remember seeing soldiers making arrests and running the prisoners back out of the area. I ran forward to be near to the OC.

I have been asked what sounds I recall hearing at this point in time. Whilst I am quite sure that baton rounds would have been fired during this time; I do not now recall hearing any. I also do not recall hearing any bombs i.e. nail or blast bombs at any point during the day.

I was moving south across the waste ground. I heard a Thompson machine gun fire. I have absolutely no doubt that this was the first firing I heard that day and it was a Thompson machine gun. It was a long burst of about 15 to 20 rounds as if the magazine was let off in one go. It seemed very quick 2 to 3 seconds. I saw strike of bullets on the ground to the front and left of me, maybe about 8 to 10 feet away. The gunfire caused me to stop. I can only describe it as being like something you might see in a film. I was conscious that I was more of a target because I was carrying a radio – in a conflict it is usually the signallers who are shot first by the other side as then the communications system is brought down. I recall running for cover towards a tall building that was almost immediately in front of me (which I now can identify as the north gable end of Block 1 of the Rossville Flats on the map attached). I went there to take cover as the firing had come from the flats. The firing came out of the blue. We were carrying out an arrest operation for rioting and then, all of a sudden, there was Thompson fire.

A Thompson has a very distinctive slow ‘thud, thud, thud’ sound. We were trained in identifying the sound of specific weapons. This is very important, because there are certain rules of engagement depending on the weapons faced. For example, if a four man patrol came under fire from an automatic weapon it would be extremely foolish of the commander to take on such weapon with only four rifles. We could identify weapons such as the Thompson and the M1 Carbine. They both sounded very different to an SLR or a Sterling sub machine gun.

From the direction the dust kicked up, I thought that the shooting was coming towards me from the far side (the east or southeast side) of the Rossville Flats car park. It was very unusual to see a strike. Normally fire directed at us went over our heads when it missed, but I could see the shots hitting the ground. To me it suggested that the fire was coming down from a height towards me. As I took cover by the wall, I was aware of SLR shots being fired around me, but I have no idea where from. At that time, I was still wearing my gas mask which limited my peripheral, but not my forward, vision.

I remember the OC being at the gable end of Block 1 of the Rossville Flats. My job was to remain close to him, so he was never far away.

I sent a contact report back, saying that we had come under fire. It would have been little more than ‘contact, wait out’. Often when that happened, people from above would be shouting to us asking what had happened, but we were too busy trying to keep alive to send detailed reports. Everyone listening would have understood that we were engaging gunfire and were too busy to provide details. They knew we would get back to them as soon as we could, be it 5 minutes or half an hour. ”


1 B1621.004-5

50.31 Later in this statement Lance Corporal 033 told us that the Army vehicles moved forward to the north end of Block 1 of the Rossville Flats at some stage after the Thompson fire had stopped.1

1 B1621.006

50.32 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Lance Corporal 033 told us that he was the battalion rear radio operator, working on the battalion (as opposed to the company) radio net.1

1 Day 324/38

50.33 When asked to point out where he recalled the strike of the bullets on the ground, Lance Corporal 033 marked the area circled in red on the following photograph, making clear that it was a very approximate area.1

1 Day 324/60; B1621.18. The line at the top of the photograph marked is of no relevance in the present context.
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50.34 Corporal 033 described in the following terms the direction from which he thought the bullets had come:1

“Q. … Can you recall from which direction, or from approximately which direction the shot appeared to be coming?

A. It appeared to be coming from what here would be the south, from those three large apartment blocks there, sir. And it – because of the strike into the ground, I believe it would have to have come from above. Normally when we have been shot at in the past you hear the crack of something going overhead, that kind of thing. On this occasion it hit the ground in front, and that is – I did not see where it came from; I do not know where it came from; I did not wait around to see where it did come from, sir.

Q. But from the south and from above is the best –

A. That is my best guess, sir. ”


1 Day 324/60-61

50.35 As we have already noted, Lance Corporal 033 denied that he was the soldier whom Warrant Officer Class II Lewis said he had seen pointing his rifle up at the Rossville Flats.1

1 Day 324/91-92; Day 325/107-108

50.36 Elsewhere in this report1we consider whether Lance Corporal 033 arrested PIRA 1, with whom he was photographed at Fort George. In his oral evidence he said that he did,2but for reasons we give when considering the arrest of PIRA 1 (who was one of a number of men arrested at the south end of the eastern block of Glenfada Park North), we have concluded that this was not the case. Whom, if anyone, Lance Corporal 033 arrested, or helped to arrest, remains unclear, though since James Charles Doherty (whose arrest we considered earlier in this report3) always maintained that two soldiers were involved in his arrest, it is just possible that Lance Corporal 033 was one of the two, the other being, as we have previously explained, the signaller Lance Corporal INQ 627.

1 Paragraphs 113.28–30

2 Day 324/94-95
3 Chapter 42


50.37 Lance Corporal 033 told this Inquiry that he had moved up to the north end of Block 1 of the Rossville Flats before the command vehicle moved to that position.1He also told us that it was shortly after he had heard the automatic fire that he had run forwards to the north end of Block 1 of the Rossville Flats and had seen two people at the rubble barricade, one of whom was waving.2We consider this part of Lance Corporal 033’s evidence elsewhere in this report,3when examining the question of whether a man with a handgun fired from the entrance to Block 1 of the Rossville Flats and if so, whether he hit Alexander Nash, who was the person seen waving at the rubble barricade. This incident occurred after all the other casualties had been sustained at the rubble barricade and all – or virtually all – the firing in Sector 2 had ended.

1 Day 324/100

2 Day 324/103-104
3 Paragraphs 86.573–80


50.38 In this connection Lance Corporal 033 gave the following answers in his oral evidence to this Inquiry:1

“Q. One of the difficulties that exist in relation to your claiming to have heard the first – absolutely certain that the first fire you heard that day was automatic fire from a Thompson sub-machine-gun. If that occurred just before or shortly before you arrived at this gable wall to witness Alex Nash, you say being shot or potentially shot, that before that happened there were six people who had been killed behind that barricade by SLRs; there were three people shot in Rossville Flats; one dead and two seriously injured by SLRs, and you did not hear it?

A. The first gunfire I heard was the Thompson, sir, and then I heard rifle fire.

Q. But it is the sequence. Just as you say you arrested a person at the bottom of Rossville Street or shortly after getting out; you have identified that person as PIRA 1. You are still satisfied today he is the person you arrested?

A. I am, sir.

Q. And you would have gone to Court and you would have sworn that in front of a judge?

A. I would have, sir, yes.

Q. And you are as certain of that today as you are that you heard automatic fire?

A. Sir, I am as certain as I can be after 30 years. ”


1 Day 324/105-106

50.39 Lance Corporal 033 told us that he did not hear or see the shots fired by soldiers in the area of the Eden Place waste ground or the car park of the Rossville Flats.1

1 Day 324/109

50.40 Sergeant INQ 720 was a Signals Sergeant in the Gin Palace, the vehicle used as the tactical headquarters of 1 PARA, which we have described elsewhere in this report.1He gave written but not oral evidence to this Inquiry, in the course of which he told us:2

“The only thing I remember of any note happening on the day, save for me tapping into the Foyle College telephone line, was one particular report which came in to the Gin Palace as I was doing one of my regular checks. The message was sent by Lance Corporal Soldier 033 whose voice I recognised well. His message was ‘contact, wait, over’. This message ‘contact’ and ‘wait’ means that some sort of incident is happening or is about to happen and on which he will report shortly. ‘Contact’ messages were regular occurrences in Northern Ireland at the time and, as such, nobody ever over-reacted but I appreciated that, having received a contact report, the officers in the Gin Palace would not want extra bodies hanging around to get in the way so I left the area immediately after that. I could not say what time of day it was when I heard Soldier 033 report and at the time had no idea what sort of contact had been made. ”


1 Paragraph 12.49 2C720.3

50.41 Lance Corporal INQ 627 was the other signaller who travelled in Major Loden’s command vehicle. He made no statement in 1972, but he gave written and oral evidence to this Inquiry. He told us that he was manning the company radio net.1

1 Day 338/51

50.42 As we have described earlier in this report,1Lance Corporal INQ 627 took part in the arrest of James Charles Doherty, and acknowledged to us that this must have been so, though he had no recollection of it.2

1 Chapter 42 2Day 338/65-68

50.43 In the course of his oral evidence, Lance Corporal INQ 627 was asked about what he had told us in his written statement:1

“Q. Let us have paragraph 23 on the screen alone, please.

You say in paragraph 23:

‘After I de-bussed from the vehicle, I heard shots being fired from the Rossville Flats. I did not see who was firing and I was not sure precisely where the shooting was coming from, whether it was from ground level or from inside the Rossville Flats. I assume, however, that the shots were fired from Block 2 of the Rossville Flats because that would have been the perfect spot to fire from ...’

Can you help us with this: this was the first gunfire that you recall hearing on that day; is that right, other than the –

A. The church.

Q. Other than the church shots, this was the first gunfire you had heard after you had gone into the Bogside?

A. Well, I presume so, my memory is not that great after all these years.

Q. If you can help us with how soon after you de-bussed that you heard these shots?

A. As soon as we de-bussed.

Q. Do you recall where you were in relation to the command vehicle at this point?

A. I do not.

Q. Could we look at the next page and paragraphs 24 to 25, please? What you say about the gunfire that you heard was:

‘There was definitely a mixture of rifle fire and pistol fire, although I cannot say specifically what weapons were being used. I think the pistol fire came first. I think that only one handgun and a couple of rifles were fired. A few shots were fired in total, possibly a magazine full (8 to 13 shots). Some shots seemed to be fired by a pump action weapon. With such a weapon, you can automatically fire round after round, whereas with a rifle you have to cock it first. I could hear the cracks of shots being fired followed by the thumps of the bullets striking the ground and walls around me, so I knew the shooting was incoming rather than outgoing. My colleagues had changed from snatch squad mode to trying to locate the gunmen who were firing. I cannot say precisely where all my colleagues were, but I think some were standing or kneeling

near brick walls and others were sheltering near garden walls. I did hear quite a few SLR shots being fired; they have quite a distinctive sound. My colleagues must have seen targets and returned fire. The civilians scattered out of the car park when the gunfire started and the stone throwing and petrol bombing stopped; it was complete panic. The gunfire seemed to continue for five to ten minutes.’

The first question that arises out of this part of your statement is: given that you say your colleagues changed from snatch squad mode to trying to locate the gunmen, does it follow that this gunfire must have occurred after people had begun to arrest civilians?

A. My recollection, yes.

Q. When you say ‘colleagues’, who are you referring to?

A. Well, it is like, um, everyone is a colleague, ain’t they?

Q. It is just the other members of Support Company?

A. Correct.

Q. You say that you could hear the cracks of shots and the thump of the bullets striking the grounds and walls around you. You did not actually see any bullets striking the ground or striking walls; did you?

A. I saw rounds hitting the ground, which should be in my statement.

Q. You say what should be in your statement is that you also saw –

A. It tells you there, thumps of bullets striking the ground.

Q. Do you have any recollection of hearing baton rounds being fired?

A. I do not.

Q. Can you assist with the sequence of the gunfire that you heard?

A. Not after all this time.

Q. Would it be fair to say that what you heard was a mix of gunfire which included pistol fire and also SLR fire?

A. Too long ago.

Q. But one weapon you could clearly distinguish was SLR fire; is that right?

A. Yes, because there is a different crack, thump.

Q. You say:

‘I did hear quite a few SLR shots being fired ...’

A. I have not said that in my statement.

Q. It is just here?

A. Where?

Q. ‘I did hear quite a few ...’?

A. Yes, all right, I correct myself, yes.

Q. Can you help at all with how many SLR shots that you heard?

A. I would not remember after all this time.

Q. What you say is:

‘My colleagues must have seen targets and returned fire.’

Can you help us in which direction the SLRs were being fired?

A. I cannot.

Q. Do you have a recollection at this time of getting contact reports over the company net?

A. I cannot remember nothing.

Q. When you heard this gunfire, do you have a recollection of shouting a warning to Major Loden at all about gunfire?

A. No.

Q. Is that what you would have done?

A. Not really, no. He is under attack and all, ain’t he?

Q. It would not have been necessary for you to alert him?

A. No. ”


1 C627.4; Day 338/72-76

50.44 Later in Lance Corporal INQ 627’s oral evidence to this Inquiry he gave the following answers:1

“Q. So as soon as you de-bussed you heard gunfire; is that right?

A. That is right, yes.

Q. You saw it?

A. I did not see it, I could hear it.

Q. You could actually see it striking the ground?

A. At one stage it was striking the ground.

Q. At one stage. Let us go back to when you first de-bussed; did you hear and see gunfire when you first de-bussed?

A. I heard the gunfire.

Q. You heard gunfire. When you say you saw gunfire, that was at a later stage?

A. That was a different part of the conflict.

Q. What sort of gunfire was it that you heard when you first de-bussed?

A. Rounds coming down.

Q. Coming in?

A. In, in-fire.

Q. You have also given evidence this morning and in your statement that in fact you definitely heard SLR fire; was that immediately after you first heard gunfire?

A. Gunfire and then intermingled with SLR fire.

Q. Immediately followed by SLR fire?

A. Correct. ”


1 Day 338/86-87

50.45 Lance Corporal INQ 627 told us that he did not remember being ordered to get back into the vehicle.1

1 Day 338/106

50.46 In our view, Lance Corporal INQ 627 had very little clear or independent recollection of events. He told us that he saw the black plume of smoke from exploding petrol bombs, though we are sure that no petrol bombs were thrown on Bloody Sunday.1He also told us that he heard eight to 13 incoming paramilitary shots, in response to which soldiers fired “a couple ”.2We took the view that his evidence was unreliable, and concluded that there was nothing in it that supported Lance Corporal 033’s account of witnessing Thompson sub-machine gun fire.

1 Day 338/63 2Day 338/113-114

Consideration of the foregoing evidence

50.47 According to the accounts given in 1972 by Major Loden, the low velocity automatic gunfire that he said that he had heard occurred very soon after he had arrived in Rossville Street and disembarked from his command vehicle; after Sergeant O’s APC had reached the car park of the Rossville Flats; as two young men nearby were being arrested by soldiers who had travelled with him in his command vehicle; and as people were running into the car park of the Rossville Flats with soldiers behind them. The gunfire was directed at him and those with him. His signallers shouted that they were under fire. This firing came from the direction of the Rossville Flats and caused him to return to his vehicle with his crew and get the driver to move the vehicle to a position of cover against the northern wall of Block 1 of the Rossville Flats. After he had reached that area, he heard continuous gunfire for about ten minutes.

50.48 We are doubtful of the accuracy of these accounts of Major Loden.

50.49 In the first place, in our view it is unlikely that any paramilitary would fire at or towards soldiers engaged in arresting civilians, in view of the risk to those civilians.

50.50 In the second place, for the reasons we give elsewhere in this report,1we are sure that Major Loden did not move his command vehicle up to the north end of Block 1 of the Rossville Flats until after virtually all the firing in Sectors 2 and 3 was over. There is no other evidence from any source that his reason for the move was the automatic fire that he said that he had heard. Neither of his signallers supported his account that he had ordered them back to the vehicle in order to get themselves in the vehicle and into a position of cover. Major Loden eventually accepted in his oral evidence to this Inquiry that it was possible that his and the other vehicles had not moved until a later stage.2

1 Chapter 59 2Day 343/20

50.51 In the third place, neither the driver of the command vehicle (Private 037) nor Warrant Officer Class II Lewis gave any evidence at any time of seeing, hearing or reporting automatic gunfire of the kind Major Loden said that he had heard, either soon after the vehicle had arrived, or at any stage thereafter. On the contrary, Warrant Officer Class II Lewis described hearing two high velocity shots on disembarking, which he somewhat reluctantly accepted could have been those fired by Lieutenant N, as we consider is likely to have been the case. Major Loden made no mention of hearing these shots, though according to his account he must have been close to Warrant Officer Class II Lewis.

50.52 We take the view that the accounts given by Lance Corporal 033, one of the two signallers who disembarked from the command vehicle, neither support Major Loden’s accounts nor are in themselves reliable.

50.53 We have already expressed the view that there is nothing in the evidence given by Lance Corporal INQ 627 (the other signaller) that supports Lance Corporal 033’s account of witnessing incoming fire. We also consider that Lance Corporal INQ 627’s evidence lends no support to Major Loden’s accounts of hearing incoming fire.

50.54 According to his RMP statement,1Lance Corporal 033 had delivered his arrestee and was beginning “to return ” to the flats forecourt with Major Loden and Lance Corporal INQ 627, when they came under fire from the junction of Blocks 2 and 3 of the Rossville Flats. He stated that he did not see the muzzle flash or sight the gunman, but that about 20 to 25 shots were fired at them and struck the ground around them. In his RMP statement, Lance Corporal 033 recorded that after witnessing the Thompson sub-machine gun fire, “we [in context, he, Lance Corporal INQ 627 and Major Loden] ran forward to the end of the Flats ”. This account is inconsistent with that of Major Loden, whose evidence was that he and his crew returned to the command vehicle.

1 B1617

50.55 Lance Corporal 033 was wearing his respirator, which impeded his peripheral vision.1He was, according to his own account, using his radio, and though he told us that he kept one ear free when using his headset,2we consider it likely that when using his radio, his hearing was also somewhat impeded.

1 B1621.004 2B1621.001

50.56 The evidence of Warrant Officer Class II Lewis was that soon after disembarking, he saw Lance Corporal 033 pointing his rifle up at a balcony, but that when he looked himself, although he could see people, he could not identify a weapon or a gunman. He told us that Lance Corporal 033 was “convincing … that he had seen something ”,1but Lance Corporal 033 did not fire and brought his rifle down.

1 B2111.015

50.57 Although Lance Corporal 033 denied that he was the soldier described by Warrant Officer Class II Lewis, we are of the view that he was. As Company Sergeant Major, Warrant Officer Class II Lewis could reasonably be expected to know the men in his company. He had travelled into the Bogside with Lance Corporal 033. It is unlikely that he could have misidentified this soldier and there is nothing to suggest that he had any motive for doing so. We consider that the fact that Warrant Officer Class II Lewis was wearing his respirator would not have affected his ability to identify one of his soldiers at close range.

50.58 Lance Corporal 033 recorded in his RMP statement that the firing came from between Blocks 2 and 3 of the Rossville Flats. We do not accept this, for by his own account he saw neither the gunman nor muzzle flashes; and the distance between the gap between Blocks 2 and 3 of the Rossville Flats and his position as indicated in his RMP statement,1at grid reference 43311688, was about 150 yards. Perhaps more importantly, Sergeant O, the Commander of the APC that had been driven into the car park of the Rossville Flats, was much closer to Blocks 2 and 3. Although he gave evidence about incoming fire, he told us that he did not witness any automatic fire and that what he was recorded as having told Praxis Films Ltd about automatic fire was incorrect. Had there been automatic fire from Blocks 2 and 3 of the Rossville Flats, we consider it unlikely that Sergeant O would have failed to observe and remember it.

1 B1617

50.59 We have no doubt that Lance Corporal 033 did radio a contact report. However, the fact that he did so does not of itself indicate more than that (as Sergeant INQ 720 told us) Lance Corporal 033 was reporting that some sort of incident was happening or about to happen. This could have been incoming fire, but equally it could have been fire by soldiers, which would have justified a contact report.

50.60 The contact report described by Lance Corporal 033 might have been the report “Gunman. Pistol. Returned fire ” recorded in the 1 PARA log1 at 1615 hours. Lance Corporal 033 said not,2 because the log entry is attributed to call sign B5, which was the call sign of the command vehicle, whereas he was on foot and would have used call sign B59. However, in our view it is possible that the log-keeper made an error or chose not to record the extra digit to distinguish between the radio in the vehicle and the man-pack radio, especially since the evidence indicates that none of the soldiers remained in the vehicle operating a radio. If so, then the terms of the message suggest the possibility that it refers to the later incident described by Lance Corporal 033, in which he said that he saw a handgun fired at soldiers on the west side of Rossville Street who returned fire, and that he was wrong in recalling that he made a contact report in relation to incoming automatic fire.

1 W90 serial 33 2Day 324/88-89

50.61 As we have already noted, by the time Major Loden had arrived in Rossville Street, Corporal P and Private 017 had disembarked from Sergeant O’s APC and moved to the western side of that street. They gave no evidence suggesting that either of them had heard automatic gunfire at this stage, though they were quite close to the command vehicle. As we have already mentioned, Sergeant O, who was much closer to the Rossville Flats, told us that he heard no such fire.

50.62 For the reasons given above, we are not persuaded that the evidence of soldiers of Mortar Platoon establishes that there was incoming fire, automatic or otherwise, at any stage before the soldiers themselves started shooting in the car park of the Rossville Flats. Equally, we have found nothing in the evidence of Mortar Platoon soldiers that to our minds supports the evidence presently under consideration. On the contrary, it seems to us that the weight of the Mortar Platoon evidence militates against the suggestion that there was automatic gunfire at the stage under discussion.

Other evidence

50.63 We now turn to the evidence of Captain 200, the Commander of Composite Platoon, whose soldiers came into the Bogside in vehicles behind the APCs of Mortar Platoon, Major Loden’s command vehicle, the Ferret scout car and the APCs of Machine Gun Platoon, as we describe later in this report.1

1 Chapter 69

50.64 In his statement dated 5th February 1972, typed up on an RMP statement form,1Captain 200 recorded that as he was deciding to direct some of his soldiers along the right-hand side of Rossville Street, “I heard the burst of automatic gunfire and one or two single shots fired in our general direction ”.

1 B1980; B2022.009

50.65 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry,1Captain 200 recorded that after he had disembarked from his vehicle he went up to Major Loden, whose vehicles had stopped at the junction of Eden Place and Rossville Street, and asked what Major Loden wanted the Composite Platoon to do. According to this account, Major Loden told Captain 200 to assist the Mortar Platoon and it was at about this time that Captain 200 heard automatic fire. In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry, Captain 200 said that he heard automatic gunfire after he had returned from speaking to Major Loden. He described it as a “rat-a-tat ”. When he was asked whether he could tell from which direction the rat-a-tat was coming, he gave this answer:2

“By then we had – I heard the Mortar Platoon. In fact, I saw the Mortar Platoon opening fire with their riot guns on to the crowd, which I saw were about 300 strong. Most of them were fleeing towards the direction of Glenfada Park. In the gap of all this firing I remember distinctly this automatic fire. I could not say where it came from or what it was or where it was from. ”


1 B1985-B1986 2WT15.41

50.66 Captain 200 also told the Widgery Inquiry that he did not see or identify the fall of shot.1He said nothing in either his written statement or his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry about hearing single shots at the same time as hearing automatic fire.

1 WT15.41-42

50.67 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,1Captain 200 said that he did not believe that it was possible that what he heard was the sound of several SLRs being fired, either at the same time or in very close proximity.

1 Day 367/94

50.68 Private M was a member of Composite Platoon. In his second RMP statement,1 he recorded that he was positioned about halfway along the east wall of a block of flats, west of the junction of Rossville Street and Eden Place. He heard gunfire and saw about three bullets strike the ground at the junction of Rossville Street and Eden Place. He saw the gunman on the “top floor balcony ” of Block 2 of the Rossville Flats. Another soldier engaged the gunman from a position 2m south of the junction of Eden Place and Rossville Street. The other soldier was wearing a respirator. Private M did not know who he was. Private M saw no “strikes from the Military firer ” but he saw the gunman run away.

1 B356-B357

50.69 In his statement for the Widgery Inquiry,1 Private M said that as he was running to the west side of Rossville Street after disembarking, he heard at least three or four shots of what he thought was automatic fire from one of the upper storeys of Block 2. The shots hit the road in front of the command vehicle where soldiers were running forward. One of these soldiers engaged the gunman in fire. In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry,2 Private M gave a similar account. He said that the incident occurred after he “left the command vehicle ” and that he saw the strikes of two rounds on the road.

1 B360
2 WT16.18


50.70 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Private M told us that he thought that he had heard two or three low velocity shots and seen them strike the road in an area north of Eden Place. He then saw a soldier who appeared to be firing towards Block 2. He told us2 that he had no memory of seeing the gunman; and that it was quite possible that the incoming fire was automatic. In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,3 he could not explain why he had told the RMP that he had seen the gunman, and given a description of him, but had not made this claim in his evidence to the Widgery Inquiry.

1 B372.003

2 B372.008
3 Day 365/55-67


Conclusions

50.71 As will have been observed, the evidence about automatic gunfire is confused and conflicting.

50.72 In our view it is unlikely that Lance Corporal 033 heard or saw automatic fire, from a Thompson sub-machine gun or otherwise, though we cannot exclude the possibility that he did. He might simply have made up his account of automatic gunfire, or interpreted stones being thrown at the soldiers as rounds hitting the ground. It is also possible that he was confused, and thought that some of the substantial amount of Army firing taking place in the car park of the Rossville Flats as and after he reached the north end of the Rossville Flats was low velocity automatic fire. As we have already observed, we do not accept that, particularly in a built-up area with echoes, it is possible always to differentiate between high and low velocity fire, or automatic fire and a firearm being fired repeatedly. In our view the difficulty in differentiating between types of gunfire is likely to be accentuated in the case of someone wearing and using a radio headset.

50.73 We have also come to the conclusion that although Major Loden might have heard gunfire, if he did he was probably mistaken both in interpreting it as low velocity automatic gunfire and in his evidence as to when it occurred. He was clearly wrong in describing when and why he ordered his command vehicle to be moved to the north end of Block 1 of the Rossville Flats; and wrong in describing to the Widgery Inquiry how he heard continuous firing for about ten minutes after the vehicle had moved, since by the time the vehicle did move, the firing was nearly all over. In view of these matters it seems to us that Major Loden might have heard the substantial amount of firing that took place in the car park of the Rossville Flats before the command vehicle was moved, and might have attributed some of this to incoming low velocity fire. Where he was at this stage is unclear. When compiling his Diary of Operations the next day, he seems to have been relying upon what Lance Corporal 033 was saying (as he never suggested that he had himself seen rounds striking the ground) and, being muddled about the sequence of events, it seems to us that he probably came mistakenly to believe that he had heard what Lance Corporal 033 had described.

50.74 As to Captain 200, it is possible that he did hear automatic fire as he claimed, though to our minds it is equally possible, despite what he said to us, that he had mistakenly taken some of the substantial firing by soldiers in Sector 2 for automatic fire. We consider that the same applies to Private M, though in his case we have found no evidence to support his account of a soldier close to the junction of Eden Place and Rossville Street firing back at a gunman in Block 2 of the Rossville Flats, which to our minds casts doubt on the reliability of his evidence, as does his identification, in his second RMP statement but not in his evidence to the Widgery Inquiry, of the gunman on the top balcony of Block 2 of the Rossville Flats, which would have been some 200 yards from where he said he was.

50.75 In all the circumstances, while we cannot wholly eliminate the possibility that there was some incoming automatic fire, it is our view that it is unlikely that there was. Had there been a long burst of automatic gunfire (about 15 rounds according to Major Loden, and about 20–25 according to Lance Corporal 033) in our view many more soldiers would be likely to have heard and reported it. Thus we consider that if there was any automatic gunfire, it could only have been a very short burst; and when and from where it could have come remains quite uncertain.

The significance of the evidence of incoming fire

50.76 We have dealt at some length with the question of incoming fire in Sector 2. However, none of the soldiers whom we consider to be responsible for killing or wounding the casualties in that sector fired in the belief that his target or targets had fired or was about to fire at him or his colleagues. So far as automatic gunfire is concerned, not one of the soldiers whose firing on Bloody Sunday in our view resulted in the deaths and woundings of that day at any stage claimed that he had fired at a target in response to what he believed was automatic gunfire directed at him or his colleagues by that target; or suggested that what he believed was incoming automatic fire had in any way influenced him into opening fire. Nor did those representing soldiers suggest otherwise to this Inquiry.
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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 3

Post  Guest on Tue 22 Jun - 11:14

Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry
- Volume III - Chapter 51



Firing by the soldiers in Sector 2
Chapter 51: Firing by the soldiers in Sector 2



51.1 We have considered earlier in this report1 the firing of three shots by Lieutenant N up the Eden Place alleyway. We have accepted Lieutenant N’s evidence, supported by evidence from civilians, that he fired over the heads of the people in the alleyway and in Chamberlain Street and that his shots in this location injured no-one.2

1 Paragraphs 30.36–128 2B374

51.2 According to Lieutenant N, he subsequently fired a further shot. We consider first his account of this shot and then the accounts of the shots that other members of Mortar Platoon say that they fired. In the course of doing so, we describe the evidence that soldiers gave of firing or the throwing of bombs by their targets at the time they engaged them.

51.3 In the course of considering these matters, we draw attention to the marked maps which accompanied the Royal Military Police (RMP) statements of the soldiers who said that they had fired and to the trajectory photographs that were prepared later. As we have observed elsewhere in this report,1it appears that the former were probably prepared by the RMP after the statements had been taken and not by or with the assistance of the soldiers themselves, while the latter were prepared as part of the evidence for the Widgery Inquiry.

1 Paragraphs 173.149 and 174.38

51.4 We also draw attention to the Loden List of Engagements,1which we have discussed elsewhere in this report2and which was a list of engagements prepared by Major Loden from information provided by soldiers soon after they had withdrawn from the Bogside. The list sets out brief details of 15 “engagements ” and, while it does not identify the soldiers concerned, from the accounts they gave later it is possible in some cases to match the listed engagements with the accounts of particular soldiers. In other cases, either there is nothing in the list that seems to relate to the account of a firing soldier (Sergeant O being an example) or the position is not clear.

1 ED49.12 2Chapter 165

51.5 The first six entries in the list appear to relate to soldiers’ accounts of firing in Sector 2. These are:1

“1. One nail bomber at GR 43291683 shot from GR 43321684. Hit in thigh (Back of houses in Chamberlain St).

2. One petrol bomber at GR 43281679 shot from GR 43291683. Apparently killed (Car Park).

3. One bomber at GR 43261683 (top floor of flats) shot from GR 43281684. Apparently killed.

4. One gunman with pistol at GR 43321678 behind barricade at end of Chamberlain St shot from GR 43271686. Hit.

5. One nail bomber (bomb had lighted fuse) at GR 43281683 (Car Park) shot from GR 43271686. Hit.

6. One nail bomber at GR 43281675 (Car Park) shot from GR 43271686. Hit. ”


1 ED49.12

51.6 In the course of considering the accounts of firing given by members of Mortar Platoon, we examine and discuss which soldier might be referred to in each of these entries; we also consider why it is that some of the firing by members of Mortar Platoon was not recorded in the list.

51.7 The Loden List of Engagements appears to be the first recorded account of some of the shooting in Sector 2 by members of Mortar Platoon, but since the identification of particular soldiers with the listed engagements depends upon their later accounts, in this part of the report we consider the list in relation to each soldier after summarising the other accounts that he gave in 1972.

The soldiers from Lieutenant N’s Armoured Personnel Carrier

Lieutenant N

51.8 As we have already described,1 after firing three shots up the Eden Place alleyway, Lieutenant N returned to his Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) with Duncan Clark and Private INQ 1918. We are sure that one of Colman Doyle’s photographs shows Lieutenant N assisting Private INQ 1918 with Duncan Clark, while another shows Lieutenant N back at the APC.2

1 Paragraphs 30.36–47 and 45.5–6 2Day 322/87
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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 3

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The account of his firing given by Lieutenant N to the Royal Military Police

51.9 In his first RMP statement timed at 0045 hours on 31st January 1972,1 Lieutenant N, after describing his first three shots, did not record that he had taken Duncan Clark back to the APC but merely that he moved back into the car park in front of the Rossville Flats. His statement continued:

“I took up a position about 10 yards from a garden wall which I think would be at the rear of number 24 Chamberlain St. I had been in this position for about five minutes when I saw a man, aged about 24 years, dressed in a blue anorak, come around the corner of the wall at the rear of number 36 Chamberlain St.

The man vanished behind the wall and then reappeared holding something in his right hand. I saw smoke coming from the object he was holding and he drew his arm back to throw it at one of my vehicles which was about twenty yards north of his position.

I assumed this object to be a nail bomb and fired one aimed shot 7.62 mm at the man. The man staggered, clutched at his right thigh and then fell back out of sight behind the wall from which he had originally appeared. Due to the situation I was unable to carry out any follow-up action to arrest the man. ”


1 B374

51.10 24 Chamberlain Street is approximately 40 yards from the southern end of the houses on the side of Chamberlain Street that backed onto the waste ground. 36 Chamberlain Street is the southernmost house on the same side.

51.11 Lieutenant N’s second and third RMP statements dealt respectively with recovering bodies from the rubble barricade in Rossville Street1 and with ejecting a live round.2 We dealt with the second of these matters earlier in this report3 and will deal with the first in our consideration of later events in Sector 3.4

1 B384. Lieutenant N’s fourth RMP statement (B394) also dealt with the collection of the bodies.

2 B391
3 Paragraphs 30.38, 30.45 and 30.53

4 Chapter 122


Lieutenant N’s evidence to the Widgery Inquiry about his firing, and Lieutenant N’s trajectory photograph and Royal Military Police map

51.12 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry,1 Lieutenant N gave an account of going back to his APC with an arrestee before he fired again:

“10. My signaler had arrested a man and I went with him to my pig which was still in the middle of the open space and put the prisoner in it, the corporal there taking charge. I then moved straight to the back of the Chamberlain Street houses again to get cover. As I was moving up towards my men a civilian stepped out beyond the end house. He came out in a throwing attitude with his right arm back in the attitude of someone about to bow. He was about 30 or 40 yards away and appeared to me about to throw the object in his hand at my platoon sergeant’s pig.

11. The object in his hand seemed to me to be a nail bomb. His throwing attitude was the attitude of a bomber and not a stone thrower. I thought too that I saw smoke coming from the object. I fired one shot at him from the shoulder and aimed. I think that I hit him in the right thigh. He put his hands down towards his right thigh and staggered off as if his leg was not working properly. I saw no explosion. ”


1 B399

51.13 The reference to “my signaler ” must be a reference to Private INQ 1918.

51.14 Lieutenant N then stated that he went across to his Sergeant’s APC to find out what had been happening. According to this account, by the time he reached that APC “firing had ceased from my men ”.

51.15 In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry, Lieutenant N described the man he saw as “a fairly young man, about 20-odd. He came out, ducked back briefly, and came out again in a nail bomb throwing position ”, which Lieutenant N said was a sort of bowling position.1 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Lieutenant N explained that by this he meant a position in which the man was about to bowl overarm, as in the game of cricket.2 He told the Widgery Inquiry that the object in the man’s hand was smoking and that he had seen nail bombs before in Belfast.3

1 WT12.67-68

2 Day 323/54-55
3 WT12.67-68


51.16 Lieutenant N then gave an account, similar to the one given in his written statement, of shooting at the man and thinking that he had hit him in the right thigh. He then confirmed that his trajectory photograph showed with a cross his position and with the number 3 the position of the man he said he shot.1

1 WT12.68-69
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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 3

Post  Guest on Tue 22 Jun - 11:17



51.17 We set out below the map that accompanied Lieutenant N’s first RMP statement.1 It will be noted that arrows on the map indicate that there were bombers in two positions, one at the position marked on the trajectory photograph, and the other on the south side of the Eden Place alleyway at its junction with Chamberlain Street. There was nothing in Lieutenant N’s RMP account to suggest that he fired at or towards a bomber in the latter position and we have no doubt that the compiler of the map was in error in marking the map in this way.

1 B376



51.18 In contrast to his first RMP statement, Lieutenant N said nothing in his evidence to the Widgery Inquiry about having spent a number of minutes, before firing the shot, in the position from which he said that he fired at the man with the smoking object.

The first entry in the Loden List of Engagements

51.19 The first entry in the Loden List of Engagements is as follows:1

“One nail bomber at GR 43291683 shot from GR 43321684. Hit in thigh (Back of houses in Chamberlain St). ”


1 ED49.12

51.20 This entry refers to a soldier shooting a nail bomber in the thigh. According to the grid references given (which are the same as those given in Lieutenant N’s first RMP statement1) the nail bomber was in the mouth of the car park, close to the back of the two most southerly houses on Chamberlain Street. The soldier was further north and either in Chamberlain Street, or inside one of the houses or gardens on the western side of Chamberlain Street. However, as we have already noted, in his first RMP statement, Lieutenant N had described his position as “about 10 yards from a garden wall which I think would be at the rear of number 24 Chamberlain St ”. As we have pointed out in our discussion elsewhere in this report of the Loden List of Engagements,2 we consider that in view of the circumstances in which the list was made, the grid references should be treated as approximations rather than precise positions, and there may well be errors in them. In our view the grid reference for Lieutenant N was incorrect, putting him further east than he said he was.The positions according to the grid references have been marked on the following map, prepared for the purposes of this Inquiry by the legal representatives of one of the families.3
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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 3

Post  Guest on Tue 22 Jun - 11:18



51.21 We are satisfied that the first entry reflects an account that Lieutenant N gave to Major Loden of the fourth shot that he said he fired. Both in the entry in the list and in Lieutenant N’s later evidence, the target was described as a nail bomber at the back of the Chamberlain Street houses who was shot in the thigh. This does not correspond with any account given by any of the soldiers other than Lieutenant N.

51.22 Although Major Loden’s list includes a reference to Lieutenant N’s final shot, there is no equivalent entry concerning the warning shots that he fired into the Eden Place alleyway. This may be because the document was, as its preface makes clear, a list of “engagements ” in a “gunbattle ”,1 whereas Lieutenant N’s evidence was that he fired his first three shots in order to ward off a hostile crowd, rather than at a gunman or bomber. It thus seems possible that it was for this reason that either he chose not to mention, or Major Loden chose not to record, the incident as the latter compiled his list.

1 ED49.12

51.23 To our minds the fact that the first entry on the list refers to a shot fired by Lieutenant N does not provide evidence that this was the first shot to be fired at a human target in Sector 2, though for reasons given earlier in this report,1 it seems likely that Lieutenant N’s shots fired up the Eden Place alleyway over the heads of people there were the first shots to be fired by a soldier in Sector 2. As the only officer who said that he had fired, it is possible either that he would have been the first to report to Major Loden, or that his entry was put at the top of the list because he was the officer.

1 Paragraphs 30.121–128

Lieutenant N’s evidence to this Inquiry about his firing

51.24 Lieutenant N gave written and oral evidence to this Inquiry.

51.25 In his written statement1 Lieutenant N told us that while he recollected shooting a man in the act of throwing a nail bomb, the best evidence he could give was to refer to what he had said in 1972: “In fact, I now have no faith in my current memory of events before, during or after that day. ”2 In the same statement, Lieutenant N told us that the incident had bothered him for years: “This was an expression of self doubt which I first experienced several years later when learning that the forensic evidence was flawed. ”3 He also stated:

“Whatever doubts I have had over the years about shooting that man and I have thought a lot about this incident, I am now and have always been convinced that at the moment that I fired I thought he was in the act of throwing a nail bomb. ”

1 B438.001

2 B438.012
3 B438.011


51.26 Lieutenant N repeated this when he gave his oral evidence.1 He also told us that his position, as shown in his trajectory photograph, which is reproduced above, was “more like ” where he was than the position shown on the map that accompanied his first RMP statement,2 which placed him close up against the back wall of the Chamberlain Street houses.3 He said that he had made no attempt to arrest the man because he was too far away from him and “I had no idea of what had been going on in that area or what was going on further round that corner ”.4

1 Day 322/93

2 B376
3 Day 322/92

4 Day 322/95


51.27 Asked how confident he was in the recollection in his written statement,1 that the man had been wearing what looked like an old-fashioned tweed jacket, he replied that he was not confident at all and that the account he gave in his first RMP statement of the man wearing a blue anorak was likely to be a much more accurate description.2

1 B438.111
2 Day 322/95-96


Lieutenant N’s evidence about whether he sheltered in an Armoured Personnel Carrier

51.28 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Lieutenant N was also asked about evidence that Warrant Officer Class I INQ 2037, the Regimental Sergeant Major of 1 PARA, had given of going to an APC and finding Lieutenant N “sheltering there because he was scared ”.1 Lieutenant N denied that any such incident had taken place. He also denied that he had been in that APC or that he had retreated to it in shock because he had realised he had shot Margaret Deery, who was wounded in the left thigh in Sector 2: “I did not shoot a woman. ”2

1 C2037.4 2Day 322/103-104; Day 323/16-17

Lieutenant N’s use of his respirator

51.29 Later in his oral evidence to this Inquiry Lieutenant N was asked about his respirator.

51.30 It appears from Lieutenant N’s statement for the Widgery Inquiry1 and from his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry2 that he put on his respirator while waiting for Barrier 12 to be opened to allow his vehicle to pass down Little James Street. He did so because he could see a cloud of CS gas on the far side of the barrier.

1 B398 2WT12.63

51.31 Neither in his statement for nor in his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry did he say when he removed his respirator. However, it appears from his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry1 that he was still wearing it during his confrontation with the man he said threw lumps of concrete at him.

1 WT12.65

51.32 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Lieutenant N told us that he thought that he and his men had removed their respirators as soon as they had passed through the cloud of CS gas. But he said that he was not certain about this, and acknowledged that his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry suggested otherwise. Later in his written statement to this Inquiry,2 he cast further doubt on the reliability of his current recollection, pointing out that his signaller Private INQ 1918 was still wearing his gas mask when Jeffrey Morris took the photograph showing this soldier and Duncan Clark close to the Eden Place alleyway.3

1 B438.007

2 B438.009
3 Paragraph 26.7


51.33 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,1 Lieutenant N was disposed to accept that he was the soldier seen wearing a respirator on the left in the two photographs we have displayed above.2 Those photographs show Duncan Clark being escorted back to Lieutenant N’s vehicle, which occurred after Lieutenant N had fired his shots from Eden Place. As we have observed earlier, we are sure that these photographs show Lieutenant N.

1 Day 322/86-87 2Paragraph 51.8

51.34 Later in his oral evidence to this Inquiry,1 Lieutenant N said that he recalled that after the second of these photographs had been taken, he removed his respirator, repaired the broken strap of his helmet and put his helmet back on. Later he repeated that he had taken off his respirator at that stage, although on this occasion he said that he could not recollect what headgear he then put on.2 He stated clearly that he was not wearing his respirator when he fired at the man he believed to be a nail bomber. Later still he again said that he had removed his respirator while he was beside his vehicle after bringing Duncan Clark back to it.3

1 Day 323/2-3

2 Day 323/17-18
3 Day 323/47-48


51.35 Taken as a whole, Lieutenant N’s evidence seems to be to the effect that he put on his respirator at Barrier 12, was still wearing it when he fired his shots from Eden Place and while escorting Duncan Clark back to his vehicle, but that he then removed it and was not wearing it when he fired at the alleged nail bomber or at any later stage.

Lieutenant N’s evidence about delay before he fired his final shot

51.36 Lieutenant N told us that he had no idea why in his first RMP statement he had recorded that he had been at the position from which he fired at the nail bomber “for about five minutes ” before he saw the man at whom he fired: “… it does not make sense. ”1He then gave the following evidence:2

“Q. It does not make sense, but it must have come from you; is that correct? You see, Lieutenant N, can I suggest to you it is perfectly understandable that the RMP investigator may have been trying to put a smoking nail bomb into the hand of the person whom you shot, but it is really quite impossible to understand why the RMP investigator should be trying to establish that while your men were firing some 28-odd shots at civilians at Rossville Flats, that you were standing rooted to the spot for five minutes, apparently incapable of taking any of it in?

A. No, that is not true.

Q. Then why is it that you said that you stood at this spot, in the middle of the wasteground, for a period of five minutes, during which five minutes it appears that the bulk of your soldiers’ shots were fired?

A. I have absolutely no idea.

Q. There is no sensible explanation that you can give for it, other than that is actually what happened; is that fair?

A. Other than there has been some mistake in the taking, delivering, and recording of this statement.

Q. And presumably the signing up to it as well, because it is signed by you?

A. Is it?

Q. Well, certainly the typed copy discloses that there was a signature, if one looks at 375, towards the bottom, dated 31st January 1972, signed Soldier N, taken at 0045?

A. Then I must not have read it properly, because it does not make sense, it bears no resemblance to what I recall.

Q. But what has happened is that somehow or other the person who took the statement has gained the notion that you stood rooted to the same spot for five minutes while this firing was going on and you then, having seen that, signed up to it. Presumably, like any person signing a statement, but in particular as an officer signing a statement, one does at least ensure that its contents are accurate?

A. I have got no explanation, I am sorry.

Q. If you had reached the position X [this is a reference to the position marked on Lieutenant N’s trajectory photograph], then certainly both your Treasury statement [Lieutenant N’s written statement for the Widgery Inquiry] and Widgery evidence indicate that your purpose in getting to X would have been to establish what was going on and what your soldiers were doing and what their position was; is that right?

A. Yes.

Q. What ought to have been happening is that you ought to have been making your way up to where the shots were being discharged, where the engagement was apparently taking place?

A. Yes.

Q. Does this statement not suggest that what in fact happened was that, having seen the engagement, that you were incapable of moving forward to it?

A. No.

Q. Can you think of any reason why the investigator may have succumbed to the notion that you stayed at this particular location for a period of five minutes?

A. No.

Q. Is it possible that that is why you were troubled about Bloody Sunday?

A. What is?

Q. Because you were incapable of taking part in this engagement with your men?

A. No. ”


1 B374; Day 323/83 2Day 323/83-86

51.37 There is a handwritten copy of Lieutenant N’s first RMP statement, which we have examined. Each page appears to have been signed by Lieutenant N. The handwritten version was not put to him when he gave oral evidence. In response to questioning by his counsel, Lieutenant N said that he had no recollection of making his first RMP statement and no recollection of signing it, but in our view it was signed by him.1

1 Day 323/107

Lieutenant N’s evidence about whether he could have shot Michael Bridge

51.38 Lieutenant N was shown a photograph of Michael Bridge standing in the car park. Michael Bridge was shot in the left thigh. We consider this photograph and the circumstances of his injury later in this report.1Lieutenant N said that it was not possible that Michael Bridge was the person he shot, because “the person I shot was much nearer the corner ”.2 He also said that it was not possible that he had hit someone other than the person he was aiming at or that he had hit more than one person.3

1 Paragraphs 55.165–201

2 Day 323/118
3 Day 323/119-120


Lieutenant N’s evidence about firing by other soldiers

51.39 Throughout his evidence Lieutenant N was adamant that he had not seen any of his soldiers fire.

Summary of Lieutenant N’s accounts of his shots

51.40 According to Lieutenant N, he fired three shots up the Eden Place alleyway and then, after returning to his APC, went forward to a position close to Pilot Row, fired at and believed he had hit in the thigh a man he described as about to throw a bomb, who was at the corner of the southernmost house on Chamberlain Street.

Evidence of other soldiers about Lieutenant N’s firing

51.41 We have considered earlier in this report1 the shots fired by Lieutenant N up the Eden Place alleyway. Apart from Private 019, no other soldier gave evidence of hearing shots that he identified as those fired by Lieutenant N at Eden Place.

1 Paragraphs 30.36–128

51.42 Sergeant O told us that he was not aware of Lieutenant N’s shots at the Eden Place alleyway, nor of any shots other than his own being fired towards the south-east corner of the car park.1 Private S told the Widgery Inquiry that he did not see any other soldier fire apart from Sergeant O.2 Private Q told the Widgery Inquiry that the shooting by Private T was the only shooting he saw apart from his own.3 Private T told the Widgery Inquiry that he only saw Sergeant O firing.4 Lance Corporal V told the Widgery Inquiry that he had only seen Private S firing.5 Private 006 told us that he did not hear the shots fired by Lieutenant N.6 Corporal P told us that he did not see Lieutenant N firing.7 Private INQ 1918 told us that he had no recollection of the shots fired by Lieutenant N from Eden Place.8

1 Day 336/31-33; Day 335/69

2 WT13.9

3 B637

4 B736
5 WT13.22

6 Day 334/62-64

7 Day 323/180

8 Day 342/92


51.43 No other soldier gave evidence of seeing Lieutenant N fire the shot that he said that he fired at a man who was about to throw a bomb.

Private S

51.44 We have already referred to the accounts Private S gave of disembarking from Lieutenant N’s APC and moving up to a position against the wall at the back of the last-but-one house on the west side of Chamberlain Street.1Although Private S told us he had no recollection of an incident with the Order of Malta Ambulance Corps volunteer Charles McMonagle, and made no mention of this in the accounts that he gave in 1972, we have no doubt, for the reasons we have given, that he was one of the two soldiers involved in this incident, the other being Lance Corporal V.2

1 Paragraphs 26.36–39 2Paragraphs 31.1–14

The account of his firing given by Private S to the Royal Military Police

51.45 In his first RMP statement, Private S, after describing the throwing of bottles and stones at the soldiers and giving an account of nail bombs being thrown from the top of the Rossville Flats1(which he repeated in his second RMP statement2but, as noted above,3retracted in his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry4), gave the following account:5

“I had been in my position for about five minutes when a gap appeared in the crowd. I saw a man standing in the gap between blocks one and two of the flats. The man went down into a kneeling position facing towards me. I heard the sound of gunfire. About four single shots were fired in my direction. They passed about five to ten metres from me and struck the walls of derelict houses behind me about fifty metres away. I saw the man move and I think he was attempting to stand up. As he moved I saw he was holding a long metallic object which appeared to be a rifle.

I fired three aimed shots 7.62 mm at the man. I do not think I hit him but before I could fire again the crowd moved and closed the gap.

About thirty seconds later the crowd opened up and made a similar gap.

I saw a man in a kneeling position in the gap between blocks 1 and 2 of the flats. The man was facing my way and I saw two muzzle flashes coming from his shoulder position. I fired three aimed shots at the man and I saw his body jerk backwards. I believe I hit him. The crowd closed the gap again so I was unable to fire any more.

The gap opened again after about thirty seconds and I saw a man in a kneeling position. I saw three muzzle flashes from his shoulder position.

I fired three aimed shots at the man before the gap in the crowd closed again. I do not think I hit him.

About thirty seconds later the gap opened again and once more I saw a man in a kneeling position. This time I saw four muzzle flashes come from his shoulder position. I saw these shots strike the water in a pond about fifty metres to my rear.

I fired three aimed shots at the man and saw his body jerk backwards as if my rounds had hit him.

I cannot say if it was the same man firing at me each time.

Altogether I fired 12 rounds 7.62 mm. ”

1 B692-693

2 B703

3 Paragraphs 47.8 and 49.15
4 B707

5 B693-694


Private S’s Royal Military Police map

51.46 In the map that accompanied this RMP statement, the position of Private S and his target was depicted as follows.1

1 B695
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The account of firing by Sergeant O given by Private S to the Royal Military Police

51.47 We have already referred1to Private S’s second RMP statement2when discussing the evidence of the soldiers relating to nail and blast bombs and his account of incoming fire from a gunman at “a ground floor window, about three windows in from the South East corner of Block 1 of the flats ”. This statement continued:

“[Sergeant] ‘O’ who was positioned at the side of the APC nearest to my position, engaged the gunman and fired I believe two shots in return. I was unable to determine whether the shots had hit the gunman as I was heavily committed with my own position.

I was not able to observe the gunman long enough to give an accurate description of him. ”


1 Paragraphs 47.7–8 and 49.15–16 2B703

51.48 As we have already noted, Private S told us that his account of this gunman was untrue.1

1 Day 331/73 -77; Day 332/65-74

Private S’s evidence to the Widgery Inquiry about his and Sergeant O’s firing, and Private S’s trajectory photograph

51.49 In his written evidence for the Widgery Inquiry, Private S gave this account:1

“5. I remained in position by the back wall of No. 34 Chamberlain Street and kept a look out over the court yard. There was firing going on at this time. Through a gap in the crowd I saw a man kneeling in a gap in the court yard shown marked oo … on my photograph. I heard the sound of firing from that direction and could hear that the rounds passed me and hit the back wall of the Chamberlain Street houses between 5 and 10 metres behind me. About 4 shots were fired. I judged that it was an M1 or similar weapon which was firing. I could not at that time distinguish muzzle flashes and I was not perfectly certain that the shots were being fired by the kneeling man. I kept watching him but did not immediately fire back. Then the man moved as if to stand up and as he did so he moved the weapon from his shoulder and I could see positively that it was a rifle of some sort. Although there were civilians milling about in the area there was still a clear line of sight between me and the man with the gun. As soon as I had identified the weapon clearly I fired 3 aimed shots at him, but I think I missed. At that point people moved between me and him for a short time and I lost sight of him.

6. After a very short time, about 30 seconds later, I caught sight of him again. I think he had moved his position slightly, but he was still in the same corner of the courtyard. He was kneeling and facing me. I heard the sound of firing again and this time I saw muzzle flashes coming from the weapon at his shoulder. I immediately fired 3 aimed shots and I believe I hit him. I could not however fire any further rounds because once more other people came into the line of fire.

7. While I was engaging this gunman with fire I was aware of the scattered movement of the crowd on the far side of the car park. I believe they there thinning out all the time and probably trying to get out of the openings between the blocks. By this time I was looking out for a gunman in the corner very carefully and was able to pick one out if the crowds movement left a clear line of sight for only a short time.

8. I saw a gunman in this position twice more. I do not know if it was the same man each time.

9. The third time I saw him he fired 3 shots at me, and I fired 3 at him, but do not think I hit him. The fourth time, which again followed after an interval of about half a minute, I remember he fired 4 shots. These did not go near me but passed on my right and I looked round to see what he was shooting at. I saw splashes of water on the pond where my pig was stopped, but I did not see any shots hit the pig. I fired 3 shots at the man and this time I believe I hit him, because I saw his body jerk backwards. I went on looking in his direction, but other people got in the way and I did not see him again.

10. At some time, I think between the 3rd and the 4th occasion when I engaged the gunman, I saw [Sergeant] O, who was by his pig on my right, fire shots at the other corner of the car park. I shouted at him just before this that he was under fire. I could not see what his target was, as it was behind the wall I was standing against. While my own engagement was going on, I was aware that bottles and other missiles, including acid bombs, were being thrown from block 1 at the troops below.

11. After my last exchange of fire the platoon commander called us back to our vehicles and we moved off. ”


1 B707-708

51.50 The reference in this account to a photograph appears to be to Private S’s trajectory photograph.1

1 There is another version of the trajectory photograph in which Private S’s targets are shown as four small “o ”s instead of one large “O ”, but in the same position as the large “O ”.
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