Belfast Telegraph

Bloody Sunday accounts questioned

Questions have been raised in the Commons about the former head of the British Army's role in the aftermath of the Bloody Sunday killings.

The SDLP's Mark Durkan questioned whether General Sir Michael Jackson was "at the heart of a syndicated deceit" when he compiled fellow officers' accounts of the shootings.

Mr Durkan referred to evidence from Sir Michael, a Parachute Regiment captain at the time of Bloody Sunday, to the Saville Inquiry.

The inquiry reported on the events in Londonderry in 1972 when soldiers opened fire during a civil rights march, killing 13 people.

He said Sir Michael had compiled accounts by the commander of 1 Para, Colonel Derek Wilford, as well as company commanders and the battalion intelligence officer immediately after the shootings.

Mr Durkan (Foyle) questioned whether Sir Michael came up with the accounts himself, which he claimed went on to become the "received state version".

Speaking as the Commons debated the report, Mr Durkan, who was 11 at the time of the shootings, said: "General Sir Mike Jackson gave evidence twice at the inquiry.

"The first time he was in the witness box he failed to mention that within hours of the shootings he was the person who wrote the account that then became the received state version effectively, the official version of what happened.

"It was only when he was back that he then did agree that he had provided such accounts.

"He said he had written the accounts of the shooting by the commander of 1 Para, Derek Wilford, of the commanders of the three companies deployed and of the battalion intelligence officer so he said he wrote those accounts."

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