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Fury of Bloody Sunday families after loyalists again erect Paras flags


Published 30/01/2014

One of the Parachute Regiment flags in Newbuildings
One of the Parachute Regiment flags in Newbuildings
Hugh Gilmore (third left) seen clutching his stomach as he is shot during Bloody Sunday.
A young Fr Edward Daly (now Bishop Daly) carries a blood-soaked hankie as he leads a group of men trying desperately to carry John 'Jackie' Duddy to safety. Duddy (17) was the first fatality of Bloody Sunday after being shot from behind by paratroopers
Paddy Doherty, who was killed on Bloody Sunday.
A scene showing a British paratrooper near Glenfada Park in Derry where Bloody Sunday took place.
30th January 1972: An armed soldier and a protestor on Bloody Sunday when British Paratroopers shot dead 13 civilians on a civil rights march.
William McKinney, killed on Bloody Sunday.
Lt Col Derek Wilford, the former commander of the members of the Parachute Regiment involved in the Bloody Sunday shootings
A protest parade in was staged in Londonderry in January to mark the 40th anniversary of Bloody Sunday
Hugh Gilmore who was killed on Bloody Sunday.
St Mary's Church, on the Creggan Estate, during the Requiem Mass for the 13 who died on 'Bloody Sunday' in Londonderry.
Michael McDaid who was killed on Bloody Sunday.
:Bloody Sunday.
Soldiers taking cover behind their sandbagged armoured cars during Bloody Sunday
Lord Chief Justice, Lord Widgery in his room at the Old Bailey as he looks through his report on the "Bloody Sunday" shootings
Jim Wray who was killed on Bloody Sunday.
John Young who was killed on Bloody Sunday.
William McKinney who was killed on Bloody Sunday.
Kevin McElhinney who was killed on Bloody Sunday.
Gerard McKinney who was killed on Bloody Sunday.
Gerald Donaghey who was killed on Bloody Sunday.
Alana Burke who was eighteen when she was run over by an armoured personnel carrier on Bloody Sunday.
Bloody Sunday. January 1972
Patrick Doherty who was killed on Bloody Sunday.
Bloody Sunday. Funeral. Mrs Ita McKinney, 9 months pregnant cries behind the hearse carrying her husband James from St Mary's, Creggan. 2/2/1972.
Michael Kelly who was killed on Bloody Sunday.
Scenes from 'Bloody Sunday' in Londonderry, Northern Ireland
A man receiving attention during the shooting incident in Londonderry, which became known as Bloody Sunday
Bloody Sunday. 30/1/1972
Bloody Sunday. 30/1/1972
Bloody Sunday. 30/1/1972
The start of a grim day in Derry. Civil Rights marchers make their way through Creggan. They defied a Government ban and headed for Guildhall Square, but were stopped by the Army in William Street. 31/1/1972
Bloody Sunday 1972

Parachute Regiment flags have been erected in a loyalist area of Londonderry two days ahead of the anniversary of Bloody Sunday.

The move has been described as "a shocking attack on democracy" by relatives of the 14 people killed by members of the regiment on January 31 1972.

Kate Nash, whose brother William was among the victims, said the actions of those who erected the flags at Newbuildings mounted to sectarianism.

It is the second year that paratroop flags have been flown in loyalist areas of Derry despite the Ministry of Defence (MoD) calling for them to be taken down. The flags are being flown despite community-accepted guidance, and efforts to remove them are ongoing.

Ms Nash said: "I have already raised this with the police because my main concern would be for the safety of the busloads of people that are coming to Derry for our annual Bloody Sunday march that may have to pass through this area. The police have assured me they are aware of the situation and will do what is necessary to protect the safety of people coming to the city.

"If the objective of whoever put up those flags was to antagonise or provoke a reaction then they have failed because the march will be peaceful and dignified as always.

"The British Prime Minister declared our loved ones innocent and described the actions of the Paratroop Regiment as "unjustified and unjustifiable", so what these people are doing boils down to sectarianism and is a shocking attack on democracy."

Derry chairman of Ogra Shinn Fein Michael McCrossan called on unionist leaders to help get the flags removed.

He said: "We had a similar number of incidents in Derry last year as well.

"Given the history of the Parachute Regiment in this city and the upcoming anniversary of Bloody Sunday this weekend, the erection of these flags is being seen as provocation in an effort to raise tensions in the Derry area.

"We now need to see leadership from within unionism to ensure that these flags are taken down as those who have erected them obviously did so to create a reaction from within the nationalist community."

DUP councillor Gary Middleton, who lives in the village, said efforts were being made with the community to address the situation. He added: "I have spoken to a number of people and groups to try and find out who put the flags up but so far no one seems to know the answer.

"There is an agreement within the community about the flying of flags, and that is they are put up at the start of July and taken back down at the end of August, so these flags are being flown outside of that agreement."

A spokesman for the British Army said any unauthorised use of the regimental flag was "irresponsible" and "disrespectful".

He said: "The use of bogus regimental flags, emblems or motifs is not only contrary to the high standards demanded and promoted within the armed forces but also inappropriate, irresponsible and disrespectful to the men and women serving with distinction."


Patrick "Paddy" Doherty (31)

Gerald Donaghy (17)

John "Jackie" Duddy (17)

Hugh Gilmour (17)

Michael Kelly (17)

Michael McDaid (20)

Kevin McElhinney (17)

Bernard "Barney" McGuigan (41)

Gerald McKinney (35)

William "Willie" McKinney (26)

William Nash (19)

James "Jim" Wray (22)

John Young (17)

John Johnston (59)

John Johnson was shot twice on January 30, 1972 and died on June 16, 1972. His family say he died prematurely and that his death was due to the injuries received and trauma he underwent on Bloody Sunday.

Further reading

£50,000 offer over Bloody Sunday  

Civil rights leader Ivan Cooper left astonished by Ian Paisley's 'belated conversion'  


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