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Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 4

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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 4

Post  Guest on Sat 3 Jul - 1:41





65.217 While most of the relevant photographs, including those shown above, were not taken on Bloody Sunday, a still image from film footage taken on that day seems to confirm that the roof at the south-eastern end of Block 2 would have appeared to be flat when viewed from ground level.



65.218 In his evidence to this Inquiry, Private INQ 12 said that he was unable to explain why, contrary to his stated memory, there did not appear to be any structure on the roof of Block 2 of the Rossville Flats.1Second Lieutenant 026 told us that he could not recall seeing a lift housing, and suggested that the phrase was that of the RMP statement taker.2However, he did suggest that from the ground level he might have had the impression, possibly mistakenly, of seeing a raised area on the roof in the relevant position.3Corporal 007 was not asked specifically about the apparent lack of any structure on the roof of Block 2. In our view the top of the Walker Monument, which was some 180 yards south of the Rossville Flats, could hardly be mistaken for a lift housing.




65.219 We have already1expressed the view that it would be unwise to place much reliance on the evidence given by Private INQ 12. We do not accept that he saw a gunman on the Rossville Flats.


65.220 Another member of 8 Platoon, Lance Corporal INQ 2121, gave evidence to this Inquiry of seeing a gunman on the roof of Block 1 of the Rossville Flats. Lance Corporal INQ 2121 stated that he did not deploy through Barrier 14 with other members of his platoon as he remained behind guarding a broken-down vehicle. He was subsequently driven into the Bogside as the guard to a Medical Officer, and he disembarked somewhere in the region of the entrance to Pilot Row, close to the Rossville Flats.1



65.221 Lance Corporal INQ 2121 told this Inquiry that as he disembarked he heard two shots fired in the direction of the vehicle, and the crack as the bullets passed over him.1Although he did not recognise the type of weapon used to fire the shots, he thought that the sound was slower and lighter than that of an SLR.2He said that these were the only shots that he recalled hearing, and he said that he was “definite ” that they were incoming fire.3He told us that he was not sure where the shots came from, but he did see a man, who was on his own, moving in a crouching position from east to west across the roof at the north-west corner of Block 1 of the Rossville Flats.4Lance Corporal INQ 2121 said that he formed the impression that the long object that the man was holding in both hands was a rifle or a carbine,5and he shouted to a colleague that he had seen a gunman.6However, the man disappeared before Lance Corporal INQ 2121 could fire.7







65.222 During the 1990s, Lance Corporal INQ 2121 gave interviews to John Goddard and Tony Stark of Praxis Films Ltd,1Lena Ferguson of Channel 4 News2and Toby Harnden of the Daily Telegraph.3In each case, he referred to the incident described above, and commented that he thought that one of the rounds had struck the roof of the vehicle in which he had travelled. In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Lance Corporal INQ 2121 said that his recollection was that the bullets passed overhead and that he could not be sure that one of them struck the vehicle.4




65.223 In his interview with Lena Ferguson, Lance Corporal INQ 2121 appeared to say that he thought that one of the shots might have come from a Thompson sub-machine gun, and that this was a “heavier calibre shot ” than those of SLRs.1In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Lance Corporal INQ 2121 denied that he intended to give this impression, and said he thought that he might have been referring to some other shooting that he could no longer recall. He reiterated that he could not tell what type of shots were fired at him, other than that they were not SLR rounds.2



65.224 It is not easy to tell from the evidence of Lance Corporal INQ 2121 when he entered the Bogside,1but in general his account suggests that by the time he disembarked from his vehicle the main shooting incidents were over.2



65.225 1 PARA’s Medical Officer on Bloody Sunday was Captain 219. In an RMP statement dated 14th February 1972, he recorded driving into Rossville Street at about 1630 hours in order to attend “a paratrooper who had fallen from a building and concussed himself ”.1The injured soldier was probably Private INQ 455, a member of Machine Gun Platoon who fell while entering the Abbey Taxis building on William Street at a time when the march was still in progress,2as we have described earlier in this report.3It is not clear why there was such a delay in calling for medical assistance for him.4Captain 219’s vehicle was an APC converted for use as an ambulance, and marked accordingly. He believed that this was the only such vehicle that was in the vicinity of the Rossville Flats on that day.5This suggests that Lance Corporal INQ 2121 was present in the same ambulance as Captain 219, even though the latter did not mention the former in his 1972 evidence. For his part, Lance Corporal INQ 2121 could not recall the name of the officer he accompanied, although he did remember that he was a Captain.6




65.226 The timing given in Captain 219’s 1972 account is supported by the 1 PARA log, which records in an entry at 1630 hours that Support Company had incurred a casualty. In the “Action ” column, there is a note reading “Medic passed ” (entry 35).1This entry seemingly represents the moment at which Captain 219 was called forward. While the times contained in the log and Captain 219’s RMP statement might not be exact, they would seem to indicate that the military ambulance did not enter the Bogside until after the main shooting incidents were over. Further, the evidence to this Inquiry of both Captain 219 and Lance Corporal INQ 2121 is that it took them some time to reach Support Company’s position. Captain 219 recalled getting lost,2and Lance Corporal INQ 2121 remembered driving for about five minutes before stopping by the Rossville Flats.3




65.227 In his written evidence to this Inquiry, Captain 219, who was not called to give oral evidence, told us that he recalled hearing incoming fire as he disembarked from his ambulance. He stated that the rounds did not strike the ambulance, but did hit the ground near it. Although other soldiers thought that the shots were coming from the top of the Rossville Flats, Captain 219 believed that they were fired from the Glenfada Park North direction. Captain 219 stated that he took cover and then heard “a lot of high velocity fire but also some low velocity fire ”. He recalled that there was a lot of firing, and that he thought that the soldiers might have fired more than the rounds that were officially recorded as having been expended.1



65.228 In his one-page RMP statement, Captain 219 made no reference to hearing any firing when he was in the vicinity of the Rossville

65.229 In our view there was no gunman on the roof of the Rossville Flats. As we describe elsewhere in this report there were soldiers on lookout on the City Walls in positions overlooking the Rossville Flats; and in an Observation Post (OP) on the Embassy Ballroom to the north-east of William Street. Any gunman on the roof of those flats and visible from the ground would also have been visible from either of these locations; but we have found nothing that suggests that one was spotted that day. It should be noted that the evidence of Gunner 023, a sniper stationed at the Peter England shirt factory on Sackville Street, was that he did not recall seeing anyone on the roofs of Blocks 1 and 2 of the Rossville Flats.1Furthermore, it would have been foolhardy in the extreme for anyone minded to fire at the soldiers to take up a position on the roof, in full view of soldiers on the City Walls and the Embassy Ballroom OPs, who customarily kept a look-out from those positions.



65.230 As to the evidence of Lance Corporal INQ 2121 and Captain 219, we are sure that they did not arrive in the area until after most of the events of Sectors 2, 3, 4 and 5. As we discuss in our consideration of the events of Sector 3,1there was at a late stage firing by soldiers at a window on the west side of Block 1 of the Rossville Flats. The journalist Fulvio Grimaldi had taken a photograph (shown below) from that window shortly before soldiers had fired at it, which shows the converted APC ambulance.
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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 4

Post  Guest on Sat 3 Jul - 1:43



65.231 As we describe elsewhere in this report,1some of the firing at this window came from soldiers on a walkway on the west side of the Kells Walk flats, behind the ramp which can be seen in the left background of this photograph. These shots would have passed more or less over the ambulance. In our view this was the firing that Lance Corporal INQ 2121 and Captain 219 described hearing. We do not accept that they witnessed a shot hitting the ambulance or the ground nearby.



65.232 Other soldiers fired at the window from positions at ground level near the converted ambulance. In our view Lance Corporal INQ 2121 and Captain 219 probably also heard this firing, and may have again mistaken it for incoming fire.

65.233 In our view this incident is another example of soldiers mistakenly believing that they were witnessing incoming fire by paramilitaries.

Lance Corporal INQ 1799’s account of seeing a man with an automatic pistol

65.234 Lance Corporal INQ 1799’s evidence of hearing shots after he deployed into the Bogside and of seeing a gunman close to the Rossville Flats is considered above.1We have already noted2that he also told this Inquiry that as he moved down either Chamberlain Street or William Street he saw a gunman armed with an automatic pistol among the crowd. According to Lance Corporal INQ 1799 the gunman, who was dressed in a black parka jacket, raised the pistol with both hands and pointed it in the general direction of Lance Corporal INQ 1799, who took cover in a doorway, from where he heard Thompson sub-machine gun fire. Lance Corporal INQ 1799 stated that he could not remember the gunman firing the pistol, but he thought that it was possible that he did so. Although Lance Corporal INQ 1799 only had a “short, fast exposure ” to the gunman, he had a “quite ineradicable ” impression of seeing the weapon.3




65.235 We have already expressed1the view that Lance Corporal INQ 1799 had no clear recollection of events. We consider it unlikely that he saw a gunman. No other member of C Company gave evidence of seeing a civilian with a handgun at this location and at this time.



Conclusions on the evidence of C Company soldiers of seeing civilian gunmen

65.236 For the reasons given above,1we are of the view that soldiers of C Company are unlikely to have seen civilian gunmen on Bloody Sunday.
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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 4

Post  Guest on Tue 6 Jul - 11:19

Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry
- Volume IV - Chapter 66




Arrests at 33 Chamberlain Street

Chapter 66: Arrests at 33 Chamberlain Street



66.1 Earlier in this report1 we described the movements of members of C Company of 1 PARA following their deployment through Barrier 14. We now turn to consider the circumstances in which members of 8 Platoon of that company arrested people who, as we have also explained earlier,2 had taken refuge in 33 Chamberlain Street. We should note that in this report, unless otherwise indicated, we use the words “arrest ”, “arrested ”, “arrestees ” and “prisoners ” in a non-technical sense as meaning simply that the people in question were detained by soldiers and were not free to leave. It should not be understood that the use of such terms carries the inference that the formalities of a lawful arrest had necessarily been observed.



The scene in 33 Chamberlain Street as the soldiers arrived

66.2 We set out below a photograph on which we have marked 33 Chamberlain Street. The house was at the southernmost end of Chamberlain Street, on the east side.



66.3 Bridget Nelis was the occupier of 33 Chamberlain Street. She was in the house when soldiers from C Company arrived there, as were her two daughters, Anna and Margaret, who lived with their mother, and her son George. A number of civilians who had sought shelter in the house and its back yard were also present. In addition, and as we have described elsewhere in this report,1 Margaret Deery and Michael Bridge, who had been shot and injured in the Rossville Flats car park, had been carried there. The following photographs, taken by Fulvio Grimaldi, show Michael Bridge in the back yard of 33 Chamberlain Street and Margaret Deery2 in the house.





66.4 Michael Bridge and Margaret Deery were attended by two Order of Malta Ambulance Corps volunteers, Majella Doherty and Charles McMonagle.

66.5 Following the arrival of soldiers at 33 Chamberlain Street, a total of 19 men were ordered from the house and arrested. They were: an individual whose name has been redacted, Robert Brady, Noel Breslin, Matthew Campbell, William Leo Carlin, William Duddy, James Ferguson, Joseph Hutchman, Kevin Leonard, Charles McCarron, William McCloskey, Maurice McColgan, James McDermott, Henry McGurk, Thomas Meehan, John Morrison, George Nelis, George O’Neill and Otto Schlindwein. Of these, Otto Schlindwein, James McDermott, William McCloskey and Charles McCarron were charged with offences; Noel Breslin, Henry McGurk, George Nelis, Joseph Hutchman, Maurice McColgan, Robert Brady, William Duddy, the individual whose name has been redacted and James Ferguson were released pending further inquiry; and no further action was taken against Matthew Campbell, William Leo Carlin, Kevin Leonard, Thomas Meehan, John Morrison and George O’Neill. In those cases where individuals were charged, proceedings were subsequently dismissed, the prosecution having offered no evidence.1

1 L216

66.6 Charles McMonagle, the Order of Malta Ambulance Corps volunteer, was allowed to stay in 33 Chamberlain Street in order to treat the wounded.1
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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 4

Post  Guest on Tue 6 Jul - 11:22

The arrival of the soldiers at 33 Chamberlain Street and the arrests

66.7 The manner in which members of 8 Platoon deployed south along Chamberlain Street, and their accounts as to what they saw and heard at that time, are described in the previous chapter of this report.1 In the following paragraphs, we consider the evidence of those soldiers who arrived at, and in some cases entered, 33 Chamberlain Street.


66.8 The Platoon Commander, Second Lieutenant 026, told this Inquiry that having reached the southern end of Chamberlain Street, he attempted to take cover in the doorway of a house. He stated that he “nudged ” open the door and ordered a non-commissioned officer (NCO) “to check the occupants ”.1 Second Lieutenant 026 told us that he was “generally aware ” that “people, rioters as we thought they were, who had moved down Chamberlain Street, had disappeared in the general area of that house ”.2


66.9 Having been informed that there were “no fewer ” than 30 people inside the house, Second Lieutenant 026, according to his evidence to this Inquiry, radioed his Company Commander, Major 221A, and was ordered to detain the people and take them “back up Chamberlain Street ”.1Second Lieutenant 026 said that he did not enter the house himself.2He could not recall whether he told Major 221A that he suspected the people in the house of being involved in a riotous situation.3




66.10 Major 221A’s evidence to this Inquiry was to the effect that he did not know that arrests were made inside a house in Chamberlain Street,1 and that his recollection was that his company made their arrests in Harvey Street/High Street.2 Major 221A’s recollection in this regard is clearly wrong. Whether Second Lieutenant 026 is correct in his recollection that he contacted Major 221A, and that Major 221A ordered the arrest of those inside 33 Chamberlain Street, remains in doubt.



66.11 Second Lieutenant 026 told us that he could not remember the name of the NCO whom he thought he ordered to check the occupants of the house.1 It is unlikely that this was Sergeant INQ 2000, because this NCO’s 1972 evidence (considered below2) as to how those in the house came to be detected differs from the account given by Second Lieutenant 026 to this Inquiry. It is possible that it was Corporal INQ 579, whose evidence we also consider below,3 but he said nothing about receiving an order from Second Lieutenant 026 to enter the house. It is notable that Second Lieutenant 026 did not refer to ordering men into 33 Chamberlain Street in his Royal Military Police (RMP) statement,4and in view of the accounts given by Sergeant INQ 2000 and Corporal INQ 579, it is possible that Second Lieutenant 026 was mistaken in his recollection to this Inquiry that he was responsible for sending soldiers into the house. In the end we remain in doubt whether Second Lieutenant 026 did order soldiers into 33 Chamberlain Street.




66.12 In an RMP statement dated 19th May 1972,1 Sergeant INQ 2000 made no mention of being ordered by Second Lieutenant 026 to check the house. Instead, he said that his patrol was approached by a woman who had come from 33 Chamberlain Street, and who asked for an ambulance to be called for a wounded person in the house. Sergeant INQ 2000 stated that he detailed Corporal 007 and Private INQ 12 to enter the house and ascertain the extent of the casualty’s injuries while he used the radio in his Armoured Personnel Carrier to call for an ambulance. Sergeant INQ 2000 continued:

“A few minutes later, Cpl 007 and Pte INQ 12 came out of the house and informed me that it was full of people. These people were the ones we had chased up Chamberlain St after having seen them throwing stones at the Security Forces in William St/Chamberlain St. I then went into the house with Cpl 007 and Pte INQ 12 and recognised these people as the ones who we had seen running down Chamberlain St. ”



66.13 In this statement,1Sergeant INQ 2000 described how the people taken from 33 Chamberlain Street were searched outside the house and then taken to Fort George, where they were searched again:

“I then positively identified [name redacted], CHARLES McCORRAN [sic] and WILLIAM MACCLOSKEY [sic] a people I had seen throwing stones at the Security Forces in WILLIAM ST and CHAMBERLAIN ST. I also identified JAMES PATRICK FERGUSON as being present in 33 CHAMBERLAIN ST, however, I had not seen FERGUSON throwing stones and he was only taken to FORT GEORGE for screening. ”




66.14 Sergeant INQ 2000 signed statements at Fort George, in which he recorded that the first three of these people (ie name redacted, Charles McCarron and William McCloskey) had thrown stones at the military.1This Inquiry also has the Arrest Report Forms for these men, each of which lists the relevant offence as “RIOTOUS BEHAVIOUR ”, and records either that “The prisoner was seen throwing stones and taking part in a riot in Chamberlain St ”,2or that he was “seen throwing stones in Chamberlain St ”.3In the case of James Ferguson, his Arrest Report Form does not contain an entry next to the heading “Offence ”, and neither this document, nor the statement signed by Sergeant INQ 2000 at Fort George, records any details or evidence of riotous or other criminal activity on his part.4




66.15 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Sergeant INQ 2000 told us that he had “absolutely no recollection ” of the events of the day. He did not give oral evidence.



66.16 Corporal 007 gave a statement to the RMP dated 19th May 1972,1 that is similar to the account given by Sergeant INQ 2000 in his RMP interview of the same day. In his statement, Corporal 007 recorded that on entering the house he saw a woman with a gunshot wound in her thigh lying on a settee, and around 30 other people, some of whom he recognised as “being in the crowd which we had chased out of WILLIAM ST into CHAMBERLAIN ST ”. Corporal 007 told this Inquiry that he could no longer recall seeing any injured people in the house.2


66.17 Corporal 007 was recorded in the Arrest Report Forms as having arrested James McDermott and Otto Schlindwein for “throwing stones and taking part in a riot in Chamberlain St ”, and William Duddy for “throwing stones at the Security Forces ”. He signed statements at Fort George in which he stated that these people had thrown stones at the military. However, in his RMP statement of 19th May 1972, he recorded that while he “positively identified [the three men] as being members of the crowd which were throwing stones at the Security Forces in WILLIAM ST … I did not see any of these three people actually throw any stones.”1




66.18 In relation to the arrests, Corporal 007 told this Inquiry1that all of the men in the house were detained, and that identifications were then made by the soldiers of those individuals that they had seen in William Street and Chamberlain Street as they deployed. He described his evidence in this regard as being “to the best of my recollection ”, but subsequently stated that he “assume[d] ” or “would imagine ” that this was what had happened. He also said that when he initially identified the three men he arrested as having been involved in stone throwing or rioting, he “must have believed it to be true, or I would not have said it ”.2



66.19 Private INQ 12 made three statements in 1972 and gave two written statements and oral evidence to this Inquiry. In a statement taken by a Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officer on 10th March 1972,1 Private INQ 12 described entering the house after being told by a woman that there were two injured people inside. He said that he saw the two casualties and arrested George Nelis, whom he recognised as being “in the hostile crowd in William Street ”. Although it is not entirely clear, this statement appears to us to record that Private INQ 12 recognised George Nelis as one of those throwing stones at Barrier 14; and that on going through the barrier, he had seen this individual run up Chamberlain Street and into the house.


66.20 In his RMP statement dated 19th May 1972, Private INQ 12 gave an account similar to those of Corporal 007 and Sergeant INQ 2000 as to how they came to enter the house and make arrests. However, in contrast to what we believe he had told the RUC, Private INQ 12 recorded nothing about seeing a man run along Chamberlain Street and into a house. Instead he stated that “a group of rioters ran out of WILLIAM ST. into CHAMBERLAIN ST. we gave chase, but on our arrival in CHAMBERLAIN ST they had disappeared. ”1As we have discussed in the previous chapter,2 we consider this to be a more reliable account of what actually happened in Chamberlain Street. Private INQ 12 also said in this statement that he “positively identified ” six people from 33 Chamberlain Street, including George Nelis, “as persons I had seen throwing stones at the Security Forces in WILLIAM ST ”.3




66.21 In a further statement dated 17th November 1972,1 Private INQ 12 stated that he was “personally responsible ” for the arrest of five men, one of whom was George Nelis. In this statement, Private INQ 12 said that although he could not say “positively ” that George Nelis had been throwing stones, he could say that he (George Nelis) had been “one of the crowd all of whom were shouting abuse and encouraging the stone throwers ”. In this statement he denied allegations of abuse made against him by George Nelis, which we discuss further below.2,3



2 Paragraphs 66.47–54
3 In his statement dated 17th November 1972, Private INQ 12 recorded that 22 people were arrested in the house. We do not know the reason for this figure, as opposed to the 19 that we believe were arrested.


66.22 In fact, Private INQ 12 was listed as the arresting soldier on the Arrest Report Forms of six people on Bloody Sunday. Of these, only one, Noel Breslin, was recorded in the arrest documentation as having been seen throwing stones. In the cases of the other five men, including that of George Nelis, the offence of “riotous behaviour ” was recorded on each of their Arrest Report Forms, but neither these forms nor the statements signed by Private INQ 12 at Fort George contain any details or evidence as to how the alleged offence was committed.

66.23 In his first written statement to this Inquiry,1 Private INQ 12 told us that he “vaguely ” recalled a woman approaching his patrol and requesting assistance for an injured person in her house. He said that he and a Platoon Corporal, whom he later identified as Corporal 007,2 were detailed by the Platoon Sergeant to enter the house and ascertain the extent of the casualty’s injuries.3 Private INQ 12 went into the hallway and noticed about 20 to 30 people in the house. He stated that he recognised some of those present as people who had “been involved in the civil rights demonstration and rioting ”. The people were brought out of the house and searched while standing against a wall.




66.24 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,1 Private INQ 12 said that before entering the house he did not know that it contained people who had been rioting. His evidence was that all of the people in the house were taken outside, even though he was not in a position to say that each of them had been involved in the riot. In relation to those that he identified at Fort George, he said that he recognised them as having been at the riot, but he was not sure whether they had been stone-throwers or just people who were present.2He gave the following evidence in response to being asked to explain why he had not recorded, in the arrest forms that he signed at Fort George, seeing these individuals engaging in rioting:3

“A. ... because they were not arrested as such, they were arrested to be screened.

Q. What does that mean?

A. It means they go back and the details are taken and they are checked off to be screened.

Q. What is the point in screening somebody if no soldier is coming forward to say that he had been doing anything illegal?

A. I am sorry, sir, they were doing illegal – they were illegal in the first place because they were at the riot.

Q. Why did you not say that in the statement?

A. Because I was never asked that, sir.



Q. What did you understand the purpose of these statements to be?

A. As we said, we took them there to be screened and this is a statement, I suppose, so they could hold them for a time to screen them.

Q. Is the true position that you did not identify any of these people as rioters in your statements because you knew that the first time you had clapped eyes on any of them was when you went into the house on Chamberlain Street?

A. No, sir. ”



66.25 Two other soldiers, Private INQ 10731 and Corporal INQ 5792, gave accounts of having entered 33 Chamberlain Street, but playing no role in the arrests. The account given by Corporal INQ 579 would place him in the house before Sergeant INQ 2000, Corporal 007 and Private INQ 12.3 Corporal INQ 579, who described a more tranquil scene in the house and back yard than his three colleagues, was “Absolutely ” clear that no-one was arrested in the house while he was there and said he was “Gobsmacked ” that more than a dozen people were arrested there.4 He told us that he had satisfied himself that the occupants “were just bystanders, onlookers ”.5 The sequence implied by Corporal INQ 579’s evidence, that he and another soldier entered and left the house before those members of his platoon who made the arrests, is similar to the account given by Margaret Nelis in her Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) and RUC statements.6



66.26 Sergeant INQ 2000, Corporal 007 and Private INQ 12 were the only soldiers who are recorded as responsible for the arrests of the people in 33 Chamberlain Street.

66.27 Those detained were made to stand against the outside wall of 33 Chamberlain Street, where they were searched. So far as Private INQ 1073 and Corporal INQ 579 are concerned, they appear to have played no part in arresting people, and in our view they were probably the first soldiers to go into 33 Chamberlain Street.

Allegations of physical and verbal abuse as the arrests were made

66.28 On 4th February 1972, George Nelis complained to Sergeant Boyle of the RUC that after being arrested in 33 Chamberlain Street, and while he was being held awaiting transportation to Fort George, a soldier had threatened to shoot him.1Chief Superintendent Frank Lagan approved a recommendation that the complaint be investigated further.2On 10th March 1972, Sergeant Dorsett of the RUC submitted two reports of his investigation into the complaint, in which he summarised interviews that he had conducted with George Nelis, Bridget Nelis, Anna Nelis, Margaret Nelis, Joseph McGurk, Thomas Meehan, James Ferguson, William Leo Carlin, Joseph Hutchman, Kevin Leonard, Charles McCarron, Matthew Campbell, James McDermott and George O’Neilll.3On 18th December 1972, Sergeant Cooke of the RUC reported the results of interviews with 12 soldiers, only three of whom were members of C Company, namely Sergeant INQ 2000, Corporal 007 and Private INQ 12.4



66.29 Although George Nelis’s complaint was about his treatment while on the waste ground awaiting transport to Fort George, the RUC investigation was not restricted to events there. Some of the civilians interviewed alleged that verbal and/or physical abuse occurred in 33 Chamberlain Street, as well as while they were being escorted to the waste ground, while they were being transported to Fort George, and at Fort George itself.

66.30 With respect to verbal abuse by the soldiers in 33 Chamberlain Street, George Nelis told us that he heard the two soldiers who ordered people from the house making remarks about the two wounded people such as “let them bleed to death ” and “they deserve it ”.1Anna Nelis told us in her written evidence to this Inquiry that one soldier “seemed very hyped up ” and used obscene language, saying of Margaret Deery “Let the whore bleed to death ” and, having learned of the wounded Michael Bridge in the back yard, “Let them all die ”.2Margaret Nelis stated to us that two soldiers were “unpleasant ”, but she could not recall what they said.3However, in statements to NICRA and Sergeant Dorsett made in February 1972 she said that one soldier asked the injured man (Michael Bridge) “Are you not dead yet mate ”.4Bridget Nelis, who died in 1980, recorded in a statement taken by Sergeant Dorsett on 18th February 1972 that a “small, squat Scot soldier ... used the most obscene and abusive language and seemed to be enjoying himself ”.5




66.31 In his report of 10th March 1972, Sergeant Dorsett summarised his interview with the Nelis family by writing that: “They allege that the soldiers used the most obscene and abusive language and made crude and offensive remarks about the shot and wounded persons in the house, eg. ‘Let the whore bleed to death.’ ”1



66.32 Not only Nelis family members made allegations of verbal abuse in the house. Matthew Campbell told Sergeant Dorsett on 7th March 1972 that he heard a soldier say “‘Let the bastards or whores bleed to death’ ”, and that a “wee, stout Scot soldier […] used the most obscene language to everybody ”.1Thomas Meehan also mentioned a soldier using the phrase “Let the bastard bleed to death ” both in his statement to Sergeant Dorsett on 26th February 1972 and in his NICRA statement.2Joseph Hutchman told Sergeant Dorsett on 1st March 1972 that “a Sergeant, with a Liverpool accent ” said “Let the bastards bleed to death ”, and that a “private […], a short fat man with dirty teeth and a scotch accent ” referred to those in the house as “F______ Irish bastards ”.3In his evidence to this Inquiry, Joseph Hutchman said that he could no longer recall the former comment, but he did remember the Private with a Scottish accent “giving a lot a old lip to [a] woman ”.4




66.33 Charles McMonagle said in his Keville interview that “the women in the house started to argue with the soldiers and they were verbally abused and rather obscene language ”.1Before us, he agreed that any abuse was verbal, and that both civilians and soldiers had used abusive language.2James Ferguson3told Sergeant Dorsett on 26th February 1972 that, while he was not badly treated, he heard “a soldier using obscene and abusive language to some women ”; it is unclear from the statement whether this occurred inside or outside the house.4In his statement to Sergeant Dorsett on 7th March 1972, James McDermott said that a “small Scot soldier went into the parlour and started using dirty language about all and every F____n pig of an Irishman was under arrest ”.5However, he did not mention the abusive language in his NICRA account.6






66.34 Some of those present in 33 Chamberlain Street also made allegations of rough treatment by the soldiers. In his statement to Sergeant Dorsett, Matthew Campbell said that “A young soldier hit me twice on my [shoulder] with his rifle butt, (actually it was more of a hard push) ”.1James McDermott told Sergeant Dorsett that a “small Scot soldier ” hit him several times about his shoulder with a baton.2Kevin Leonard said in his statements to both NICRA and the RUC that he was kicked by a soldier as he was being searched outside Chamberlain Street.3In his account to Sergeant Dorsett, Thomas Meehan stated that he was shoved with a butt of a rifle as he tried to assist the ambulance men who had come for the wounded. He also stated that while he and others were standing against a wall, “We received the odd poke with a baton and kicks on the inside of our legs no matter how far we had them apart ”.4It is not clear whether the wall to which Thomas Meehan referred was in Chamberlain Street, or whether he was suggesting that this alleged incident took place while the prisoners were awaiting transportation to Fort George. It is also relevant to note that neither Thomas Meehan nor James McDermott mentioned the allegations of rough treatment in their NICRA statements.5




66.35 Private INQ 12, in his RMP statement of 19th May 1972, said that “a great deal of obscene and abusive language was directed at members of the Security Forces by the arrested persons and on occassions I did tell these people to ‘Shut their fucking mouths’, but at no time did I make any obscene or abusive remarks about injured people ”.1In his third statement, dated 17th November 1972, Private INQ 12 recorded: “At no time did I threaten abuse or in any way ill-treat the prisoners nor did I witness any other person doing same. ”2



66.36 In his first written statement to this Inquiry, Private INQ 12 said that the soldiers and the civilians both used “choice language ” and he accepted that he swore while taking the prisoners out of the house.1 However, he denied that his language was “directed at, or personal to, any particular individual ”, and he specifically denied seeing any wounded people in the house, or making the remarks that had been attributed to him by those civilians interviewed in the course of the RUC investigation.2 He also stated that he “did not physically or verbally abuse anyone, at the house, in the lorry or at Fort George ”.3 Before us, Private INQ 12 stated that he had not remembered anything about going into 33 Chamberlain Street until he saw his 1972 statements.4Counsel to the Inquiry put to him a large number of allegations of physical and verbal abuse contained in the evidence of those present at 33 Chamberlain Street. Private INQ 12 admitted that he had used a certain amount of bad language in the house but otherwise denied the allegations.5





66.37 The evidence of Private INQ 12 to this Inquiry has to be considered in the light of his inaccurate claims that there were “thousands ” of people rioting at Barrier 14 and that petrol bombs were thrown during the Barrier 14 riot, causing the feet of one soldier to be set alight.1 It may be that Private INQ 12 was mistaking Bloody Sunday for another day. In his first written statement to this Inquiry, he told us that he accompanied the arrestees to Fort George and went back later in the evening to be photographed with the persons he identified as rioters.2As will be seen in the part of this report dealing with allegations of abuse at Fort George,3 Private INQ 12 is mistaken about this, as the Chamberlain Street prisoners were taken to Fort George in the third and final trip there and were immediately processed. This was unlike the previous two groups, who had to await the return of the identifying Support Company soldiers. For these reasons, we view the evidence that Private INQ 12 gave to us with some caution.




66.38 Corporal 007 recorded in his 1972 RMP statement that “a great deal of obscene and abusive language was being directed at the Security Forces ” by those who had been arrested in 33 Chamberlain Street. Corporal 007 stated: “I did not reply to these people nor did I hear anyone else. ”1Before us, he said that he did not either hear or make remarks such as “‘Let her bleed to death’ ” about Margaret Deery.2In his written statement to this Inquiry, he had recorded that the only force that was used when removing the men from 33 Chamberlain Street was “to put our hands on their shoulders to move them along ”.3



66.39 As is noted above,1Sergeant INQ 2000 told us that he had no memory of the day, and his RMP statement makes no mention of any incidents of verbal or physical abuse in the house. However, he did record, in similar terms to Private INQ 12 and Corporal 007, that he got into an exchange of swearing with some of those who had been arrested, seemingly as they were being moved to the vehicles that took them to Fort George.2He also stated: “During the time that these people were in my custody, I did not assault any of them nor did I see any other members of the Security Forces assault them. ”3




66.40 As we have described above,1Corporal INQ 579, who said that he had been in the house shortly before Sergeant INQ 2000, Corporal 007 and Private INQ 12, described a much calmer situation there than did the arresting soldiers. It is probable that the threat of arrest or the aggressive attitude of the soldiers contributed to the confrontation. In any event, looking at the evidence as a whole, we are satisfied that some of the arresting soldiers directed foul language at the civilians sheltering in 33 Chamberlain Street and we consider that it is probable that abusive remarks of the nature described above were either directed towards or about the seriously wounded Margaret Deery and Michael Bridge. Some of the soldiers’ remarks may have been in response to language used by some civilians. In the context of what happened on Bloody Sunday, such an exchange of bad language is in our view of little consequence, but we can find no excuse at all for the abusive remarks directed towards or about the wounded Margaret Deery and Michael Bridge. We are unable to identify the soldier or soldiers who made these remarks. We also consider that some of the arrestees were probably, for no reason other than to hurry them along, struck or pushed by soldiers as they were leaving the house, though such assaults were of a minor kind.



66.41 The arrest photographs show that Private INQ 12, at 5 feet 6 inches, was the shortest of the three arresting soldiers. In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Private INQ 12 confirmed that this was his height and that he was of stocky build and a Scotsman.1 A soldier fitting this description was singled out by some of the occupants of the house as the most abusive and aggressive of the arresting soldiers. In our view this was Private INQ 12, who, despite his denials, we consider was, without justification, both verbally and physically abusive towards occupants of 33 Chamberlain Street, though we remain in doubt as to whether he was the soldier, or one of the soldiers, who singled out Margaret Deery or Michael Bridge for abuse.



The justification for the arrests

66.42 The arrest documents indicate that Corporal 007, Private INQ 12 and Sergeant INQ 2000 were the arresting soldiers for all of those arrested at 33 Chamberlain Street.

66.43 As we have already noted,1although Corporal 007 had made statements at Fort George to the effect that he had seen those he arrested throwing stones at the security forces, he later admitted that this was not the case. We do not accept that at the time he made the former statements he “must have believed it to be true, or I would not have said it ”.2In our view Corporal 007 knew throughout that he had not seen any of those he arrested throwing stones, and knowingly made false statements at Fort George. In view of this, we find it impossible to accept his assertion that he had identified any of those he arrested as being part of a rioting crowd in William Street.



66.44 As to Private INQ 12, as we have also already noted,1our reading of his account to the RUC of seeing the man he had identified as throwing stones running down Chamberlain Street and going into number 33 means that this account is inconsistent with the account that he gave to the RMP and his evidence to this Inquiry that he did not realise, before entering the house, that it contained people who had been rioting. He later admitted that he could not say positively that George Nelis was throwing stones, though he maintained that George Nelis was one of the crowd, all of whom were shouting abuse and encouraging the stone-throwers. In view of these matters, we take the view that Private INQ 12 knowingly made a false statement to the RUC that he had positively identified George Nelis as a stone-thrower. In these circumstances, as with Corporal 007, we find it difficult to accept Private INQ 12’s assertion that he had identified any of those he arrested as being part of a rioting crowd in William Street or that he had identified five others, in addition to George Nelis, as persons he had seen throwing stones at the security forces in William Street.



66.45 As to Sergeant INQ 2000, in his RMP statement1he recorded that Corporal 007 and Private INQ 12 informed him that the house was full of people: “These people were the ones we had chased up CHAMBERLAIN ST after having seen them throwing stones at the Security Forces in WILLIAM ST/CHAMBERLAIN ST. I then went into the house with Cpl 007 and Pte INQ 12 and recognised these people as the ones who we had seen running down CHAMBERLAIN ST. ” The first part of this quotation would appear to be what, according to Sergeant INQ 2000, he was told by Corporal 007 and Private INQ 12, since he had yet to go into the house and at that stage did not himself know who was inside. The second part of the quotation merely recorded that Sergeant INQ 2000 recognised the people as those whom he had seen running down Chamberlain Street. In our view there is little in his RMP statement to suggest that, out of the people taken from 33 Chamberlain Street, Sergeant INQ 2000 had actually himself identified the three he claimed he had seen throwing stones before he got to Fort George.



66.46 Furthermore, as we have described earlier in this report,1the moment C Company soldiers were seen approaching Barrier 14 the situation rapidly changed, with the rioters fleeing from the immediate area of the barrier. At the time the C Company soldiers actually started going through the barrier, the street immediately in front of them, from where the rioters had been throwing stones, was clear or virtually clear.2Sergeant INQ 2000 was the Platoon Sergeant of 8 Platoon, the last of the three platoons of C Company to go through the barrier. Thus, although 8 Platoon soldiers could have seen rioting after they had arrived in the vicinity of Barrier 14 from Waterloo Place and before C Company soldiers started to move to cross Barrier 14, they would have been behind the soldiers manning the barrier. In such circumstances we are left in doubt as to whether Sergeant INQ 2000 had been able to see sufficient of the rioting to be able, either at 33 Chamberlain Street, or later at Fort George, to allow him to make a positive identification of people who had been throwing stones. Since Sergeant INQ 2000 told us that he had “absolutely no recollection ” of the events of the day,3 we took the view that little purpose would be served by calling him to give oral evidence to this Inquiry. We are unable to determine whether or not Sergeant INQ 2000’s identifications were made in good faith.




The allegation that Private INQ 12 threatened to shoot George Nelis

66.47 Once those arrested at the house had been searched, they were made to walk north along Chamberlain Street to a waste ground at the corner of William Street. There they were held while awaiting transportation to Fort George.1Some of those being held are shown in the following photograph, taken by Gilles Peress.
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Re: Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry Volume 4

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66.48 George Nelis has said throughout his evidence that it was while he was being held at the waste ground that a soldier threatened to shoot him. In a report dated 10th February 1972, Sergeant Boyle recorded that on 4th February 1972 George Nelis had told him that:1

“When they reached the waste ground, they were forced to sit on the ground, facing a wall. One of the soldiers […] (he is not sure of rank) about 5' 3" tall, Scotch, wearing a maroon coloured ‘flash’ on the upper arm of his battle dress, threatened to shoot him that night. [The soldier] also boasted of having shot four people in Belfast, relating in which part of the anatomy he had placed his shots.

Nelis alleges that he would know [the soldier] again, as both had their photographs taken together at Fort George, where he had been detained for the remainder of that day.

Apart from this, Nelis stated that he was treated quite well by the security forces. ”




66.49 George Nelis’s arrest photograph shows him with Private INQ 12, whose name was written on the board above his head.1
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66.50 On the day before he spoke to Sergeant Boyle, George Nelis had given a similar account to NICRA, in which he said that the soldier who made the threat had also told him that he had been “critically injured in Belfast ”.1George Nelis also gave consistent accounts to Sergeant Dorsett on 17th February 1972,2and to this Inquiry.3However, in his oral evidence, George Nelis said that he no longer had any recollection as to whether the soldier who threatened him at the top of Chamberlain Street was the same one with whom he was photographed at Fort George, although he thought that it probably was.4




66.51 George Nelis’s brother-in-law, George O’Neill, was also arrested at 33 Chamberlain Street and taken to the waste ground. In his statement to Sergeant Dorsett he said: “a small scot soldier […] said to my brother-in-law, George Nelis, that he’d shot so many people in Belfast and that he’d shoot George, or words to that effect. I couldn’t look too much or they’d have carried the head off me. ”1In his evidence to this Inquiry, George O’Neilll said that he no longer recalled this incident.2



66.52 As we have set out above, Private INQ 12 told the RUC and the RMP that he was responsible for arresting George Nelis. In his third statement, made on 17th November 1972, Private INQ 12 addressed the allegations made against him.1

“... at no time did I say to Mr Nelis that I had shot four (4) people in Belfast, or indicate that I was going to shoot him. I have been in N. Ireland for a total of 25 months and although I have been shot in the leg myself, I have never shot any person.

At no time did I threaten abuse or in any way ill-treat the prisoners nor did I witness any other person doing same. ”




66.53 In his evidence to this Inquiry, Private INQ 12 categorically denied saying that he had shot four people in Belfast, and stated that he had never shot anybody.1He specifically denied threatening George Nelis in the way that George Nelis had described.2However, he did accept that he had been wounded in Belfast, and he was unable to explain how George Nelis would have known this unless he had heard Private INQ 12 say it.3



66.54 We are of the view, on considering the evidence, that Private INQ 12 probably did make the impugned remarks.

Other allegations of abuse at the waste ground in William Street

66.55 A number of other people who were arrested at 33 Chamberlain Street alleged that threatening language was used by soldiers as they held the prisoners at the waste ground in William Street. William Duddy told us that: “The soldier in charge said: ‘Shoot the fuckers’. I heard a rifle click and said my prayers, but nothing actually happened. ”1Joseph Hutchman told us, but not Sergeant Dorsett, that while waiting to be taken to Fort George soldiers were saying things like “‘We’ll get you this time you bastards’ ”.2Thomas Meehan told Sergeant Dorsett that “A wee stout soldier was very aggressive, he threatened several people with what he would do to them down in the dockyard [Fort George], he used very obscene and abusive language ”.3Charles McCarron said in his RUC statement that “some soldier was doing a lot of shouting but I didn’t look up to see who it was ”.4




66.56 We consider that it is likely that abusive remarks were made at this time, although we cannot say by whom.

66.57 Other prisoners allege that the soldiers used unnecessary physical force. William McCloskey stated in his evidence to this Inquiry that, while he was being escorted up Chamberlain Street, he was struck on the head with a rifle butt after refusing to place his hands on his head.1Maurice McColgan told us that the prisoners were lined up against a wall and had their legs kicked apart before being searched.2Kevin Leonard gave similar evidence to this Inquiry,3but his statement to Sergeant Dorsett suggests that this alleged incident occurred while he was still in Chamberlain Street.4As is discussed above,5Thomas Meehan also gave evidence to the RUC of being kicked while he was searched either in Chamberlain Street or possibly at the waste ground.6




66.58 Otto Schlindwein told this Inquiry that while he was kneeling on the waste ground a soldier with a Scottish accent struck him in the side with a rifle butt without apparent provocation.1He also stated that other than this incident he saw no violence used at this stage against those people who had been arrested, nor did he hear “unnecessary speaking or talking from the soldiers ”.2In his evidence to this Inquiry, Private INQ 12 denied that he hit anyone in the side with a rifle butt in the waste ground.3




66.59 We are of the view that William McCloskey and Otto Schlindwein were probably assaulted as they described. Otherwise, we are left in doubt as to whether the other arrestees were subjected to unreasonable physical coercion while being taken to the end of Chamberlain Street, or while waiting there.

66.60 The allegations made by Chamberlain Street arrestees of abuse during their transport to Fort George and while they were there are considered later in this report.1
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