Bereaved Bloody Sunday relative John Kelly has urged the Public Prosecution Service to ‘do the right thing’ and prosecute soldiers, ahead of weekend events marking 45 years since the Derry massacre.
John Kelly said: “This week we commemorate the 45th anniversary of the murder and attempted murder of 31 innocent Derry people on these streets. To date, no soldier has been prosecuted for this crime, and the families and wounded have endured 45 years of waiting for justice.
“We have listened to English politicians, Unionist politicians, the British military and the right-wing British press and others calling for the non-prosecution of those murderers. What a disgrace. Do they not see Irish lives as important as British lives? By their stance, they belittle human life and support the murder of innocents. At this very moment, they are debating whether OAP ex-servicemen should be immune from prosecution because of their age. Once a murderer, always a murderer, no matter what age the perpetrator is.
“What people fail to realise is that soldiers must be investigated now because they were never investigated in the past. Of over 300 state killings here, only four soldiers were ever convicted of murder – all of whom were released early to re-join their ranks as convicted killers. While literally thousands of republican and loyalist paramilitaries have been arrested and jailed for their role in the past, only a handful of soldiers have ever been questioned or faced court proceedings
“We demand justice. We demand that the murderers be prosecuted in a court of law. This responsibility lies with the PPS and we say to them, ‘do the right thing and prosecute. Justice must be seen to be done, so do it now.”
Anniversary Mass will take place tonight, Friday, 27 January, at St Mary’s Chapel in Creggan at 7.30pm, and on Sunday, 29 January, all are welcome to the annual memorial service at the Bloody Sunday Monument on Rossville Street at 11am.
On Monday 30 January 2017, bereaved families, wounded and supporters will hold a Minute’s Silence at the Bloody Sunday Monument at 4pm – marking the moment British paratroopers opened fire on civilians in the Bogside.