Bloody Sunday: No perjury charges for former soldiers or alleged IRA member

By John Mercury April 20, 2024

Fifteen former soldiers and an alleged IRA member investigated for perjury during the Bloody Sunday Inquiry will not face charges.

Police had previously asked Northern Ireland’s Public Prosecution Service (PPS) to consider a file relating to allegations of murder and attempted murder.

At the time, the PPS said it would also consider if those reported had given false evidence at the inquiry.

In a statement, the PPS said: “The prosecution team has determined that the available evidence is insufficient to provide a reasonable prospect of conviction of any suspect considered.”

Thirteen people were shot dead when members of the Parachute Regiment opened fire during a civil rights march in Londonderry/Derry on 30 January 1972.

One veteran, known only as Soldier F, is currently being prosecuted for two murders and four attempted murders.

Three members of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry at a press conference in 1998. Pic: PA
Image:
Three members of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry at a press conference in 1998. Pic: PA

A decades-long campaign by the bereaved and injured led to the UK’s longest-running and most costly public inquiry, which published its findings in 2010.

The inquiry found that some soldiers and an alleged former member of the IRA had knowingly given false accounts.

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The day became known as Bloody Sunday. Pic: PA
Image:
The day became known as Bloody Sunday. Pic: PA

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In a statement, the Bloody Sunday families said they were “very disappointed” by the PPS decision not to pursue perjury charges. But they added they were “certainly not fooled by it.”

John Kelly, whose 17-year-old brother Michael was among the dead, said: “The families of Bloody Sunday who sit here today disappointed and perplexed by this decision not to prosecute a single soldier for perjury ask themselves rhetorically: ‘Why is it that the people of Derry cannot forget the events of Bloody Sunday, yet the Parachute Regiment, who caused all the deaths and injury on that day, apparently cannot recall it’?

“The answer to this question is quite simple but painfully obvious.

“The British Army lied its way through the conflict in the north. Accountability was never an option.”

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