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‘I was shot... and then stabbed in the back’

A police officer severely wounded in an IRA ambush the same year as Bloody Sunday believes his story and those of his fallen comrades have been forgotten amid the high profile inquiries into state violence.

While almost £200m has been spent on the Saville Report, Sam Malcolmson says the Government barely gave him enough to feed his four children when he was medically discharged after being shot.

While the 22-year-old Royal |Ulster Constabulary officer miraculously survived the |terrorist attack, in a tragic twist his mother Mini dropped dead from a heart attack when she first saw him lying unconscious in his hospital bed.

“I often say IRA gunmen may have shot me, but the Government stabbed me in the back,” says Mr Malcolmson, who 38 years after being injured still has to take upwards of 20 painkillers every day.

Now 60, he was a fresh-faced constable when he and his colleague Albert McCleary drove into a hail of IRA bullets near the south Armagh border.

No one has been brought to justice for the shooting and he does not begrudge the families of the Bloody Sunday victims seeking closure. But he questions if an inquiry was the best way.

“I just believe whatever it (Saville) says it's not going to truly satisfy the people,” he says. “Why they couldn't have given the relatives a million pounds, that would have made their lives easier. And spent the rest on two or three first class hospitals — wouldn't that have been something good to come out of all these years of violence?”

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