Belfast Telegraph

Bad things happen.. life moves on, but Bradley should apologise, says ex-British Army chief

Jonathan Bell

By Jonathan Bell

The former head of the Army, Lord Dannatt said "bad things" happened of Bloody Sunday and "life moves on" but he said it was reasonable for Secretary of State Karen Bradley to offer an apology on her comments in the House of Commons.

However, he said she should not resign as her comments none of the killings carried out by the security services during the Troubles constituted a crime were not a "hanging offence".

Next week the Public Prosecution Service will announce if there will be prosecutions into the Bloody Sunday killings.

Former Prime Minister David Cameron, on publication of the Saville report into the Bloody Sunday killings, said the actions of the Army were "unjustified and unjustified" on offering an apology on behalf of the government.

Karen Bradley later "clarified" her remarks saying they may have been open to interpretation but she has refused to apologise.

"I think it would not be unreasonable for her to offer an apology," said Lord Dannatt who described the Secretary of State's comments as "unwise and "extraordinarily embarrassing and naive".

He added: "I think it would be unnecessary for her to resign."

"There is enough confusion in our political world at the minute and you have no Assembly sitting at this time. I think an apology would be perfectly reasonable. She was right to go back three hours later and clarify what she said."

Lord Dannatt said there was not a case for an amnesty or statue of limitations, as had been mooted, for Troubles-era crimes. Although he said soldiers should have added protections.

Speaking on the Nolan Live television show, he added: "In 1972 when I was a platoon commander on the streets of Northern Ireland I knew who the top of the wanted list in Belfast and Londonderry.

"I became head of the British Army, others became head of the political institutions in Northern Ireland.

"Life moves on.

"As far as Bloody Sunday was concerned bad things happened."

Lord Dannatt acknowledged the hurt of those killed during the Troubles saying life did not move on for those killed by soldiers as well as for the families for those he served with in the line of duty.

"If you want life to move on you have got to think about the bigger issues and think about what kind of community and society do people want to live in, in the future," he added.

30th January 1972: An armed soldier and a protestor on Bloody Sunday when British Paratroopers shot dead 13 civilians on a civil rights march.
30th January 1972: An armed soldier and a protestor on Bloody Sunday when British Paratroopers shot dead 13 civilians on a civil rights march.
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.
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
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
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
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

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