Belfast Telegraph

Family of man shot in back on Bloody Sunday say he forgave soldier

The British Army killed 13 civilians on Bloody Sunday in Londonderry in 1972, a fourteenth died later in hospital
The British Army killed 13 civilians on Bloody Sunday in Londonderry in 1972, a fourteenth died later in hospital

The family of a man shot in the back while fleeing for safety on Bloody Sunday have said he forgave the soldier who injured him.

Patrick Campbell was seriously injured and later had to quit his job, turning to drink over the events of January 30, 1972, when soldiers opened fire on civil rights demonstrators in Londonderry.

Thirteen people died on the day and a fourteenth died later in hospital.

Mr Campbell, a father-of-nine, died from cancer in 1985.

On Tuesday, a High Court judge ruled his family should receive £163,048 from the Ministry of Defence for damages and loss of earnings.

Speaking to the BBC, his son Billy said their family was put under enormous strain following the events of Bloody Sunday.

"[My mother] had a lot of pressure on her with my dad being in hospital and trying to look after nine kids, worrying about how she was going to cope. There was just shock at not knowing what the future held," he said.

Billy said the shooting changed his father, who began binge drinking to cope with the trauma of his shooting.

"He kept everything to himself. He wouldn't confide in the family. He couldn't go back to work, he wasn't fit for the work what he was doing," he said.

Scenes from 'Bloody Sunday' in Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Scenes from 'Bloody Sunday' in Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Paddy Doherty, who was killed on Bloody Sunday.
30th January 1972: An armed soldier and a protestor on Bloody Sunday when British Paratroopers shot dead 13 civilians on a civil rights march.
A young Fr Edward 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
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
Bloody Sunday
A scene showing a British paratrooper near Glenfada Park in Derry where Bloody Sunday took place.
Hugh Gilmore (third left) seen clutching his stomach as he is shot during Bloody Sunday.
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.
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.
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
JAMES WRAY IN HIS HOME IN THE BOGSIDE DERRY HOLDING THE COAT WITH BULLIET HOLES IN THAT HIS SON ALSO CALLED JAMES WRAY WAS KILLED ON BLOODY SUNDAY
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
Linda Nash carries flowers with the number 14 inscribed during yesterdays annual Bloody Sunday Parade in Derry. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 29.1.12
A memorial to those killed on Bloody Sunday in the Bogside area of Derry
The memorial to the 14 people who died on Bloody Sunday in Derry rises from among the sea of umbrellas as all the families came together in an ecumenical service. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Civil Rights mark.The service included contributions from Father Michael Canny and Reverend David Latimer, left. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 29.1.12

"When he was out working and earning a wage he kept us fed and watered. It's hard for a man who has been doing that since he was 14 to all of a sudden not be able to work."

In 2010 the Saville Inquiry into the shootings established the innocence of all those killed and wounded.

Those findings led to the British Prime Minister at the time, David Cameron, issuing a public apology for the soldiers' actions.

He described the Bloody Sunday killings as "unjustified and unjustifiable".

Billy said he was glad his father was "vindicated", but it was a shame he did not live to see it.

"He forgave [the soldier who shot him] when he was interviewed from his hospital bed. He wouldn't hold a grudge. What's done was done. You can't change what's been done - that was his attitude," he said.

"He went to his grave with that hanging over his head. Some people get justice, some people have to wait a long time - some people don't see it and pass on.

"Money will not bring him back - it won't do anything for him. It's just money, that's it. It doesn't mean anything."

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