Bloody Sunday families to challenge decision against ex-soldier prosecutions

Bloody Sunday prosecutions Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

The families of five men shot by soldiers in Londonderry in 1972 are to legally challenge a decision not to prosecute five veterans.

Northern Ireland’s Public Prosecution Service (PPS) announced in 2019 that one veteran, known as Soldier F, would face charges.

On Thursday, the families of Jackie Duddy, Michael Kelly, John Young, Michael McDaid and William McKinney were granted permission by the High Court to challenge decisions not to prosecute five other former members of the Parachute Regiment.

The judicial review challenge has been listed for hearing for five days beginning on September 20.

Fearghal Shiels, of Madden and Finucane, said the families are looking forward to the hearings later this year.

“This application arises out of decisions taken in March 2019 by the PPS not to prosecute these soldiers, and a decision upheld after an internal review of that decision by the PPS in September 2020,” he said.

“The families warmly welcome today’s decision and look forward with confidence to the full hearing in the autumn.”

Families and relatives of those who died on a previous march through Londonderry Credit: Liam McBurney/PA

Thirteen civilians were killed on January 30, 1972 after soldiers from the Parachute Regiment opened fire on a civil rights demonstration, in an incident which became known as Bloody Sunday.

Fifteen others were shot and injured. One of the injured died months later from an inoperable tumour and some consider him the 14th fatality.