Belfast Telegraph

'Much more to be done' to restore good relations in Derry says son of Bloody Sunday victim

The son of a man shot dead by the Parachute Regiment on Bloody Sunday has said that there is "much more to be done" to restore good relationships in Londonderry.

Tony Doherty was speaking to the BBC on behalf of the Bloody Sunday Trust after Clyde Valley Flute Band took part in the annual Apprentice Boys parade with Parachute Regiment insignia and the letter 'F' on their uniform.

A Parachute Regiment soldier, known as 'Soldier F' is set to appear at court in Derry next month charged with the murders of James Wray and William McKinney and the attempted murder of four others.

Mr Doherty's father Patrick was among thirteen people killed in the city on January 30 1972, with another dying later in hospital.

Following his father's murder Mr Doherty went on to join the IRA before becoming a celebrated author.

On Tuesday the Apprentice Boys said the loyal order had "no prior knowledge of the band's uniform, or this incident, until the conclusion of the main parade on Bond Street".

He added that "we recognise this may have caused upset to many in the nationalist community".

Mr Doherty said that the Bloody Sunday Trust had given a "guarded welcome" to the statement.

"In our view there is much more to be done to restore relationships in our shared city," he said.

"We value relationships and wish to see our city prosper and thrive.

Tony Doherty
Tony Doherty

"The events of last Saturday are clearly a set-back and we must all play our part in ensuring that the full gravity of the situation is acknowledged and understood, that the full facts of how it came about be established, and to receive full assurances that the matter will be dealt with properly allowing for no repeat ever."

Mr Doherty said that the Bloody Sunday Trust are set to meet with police on Friday to discuss the incident, but have yet to hear back on a requested meeting with the Apprentice Boys.

"We fully expect to receive a response from the Apprentice Boys soon," he said.

In response to Mr Doherty's comments Apprentice Boys governor Graeme Stenhouse told the BBC that the group would be willing to discuss the events of last weekend with any group.

He said that the Apprentice Boys wanted to keep the "good dialogue that's been going on for the last 20 years with different groups in the nationalist community".

"We will be hoping to speak to them at the earliest opportunity to discuss any issues they have," Mr Stenhouse said.

He reiterated that there was no agreement in place with police or other groups banning any emblems from the parade.

Mr Stenhouse revealed that senior officials from the Apprentice Boys would be meeting with the Clyde Valley Flute Band later on Thursday.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


From Belfast Telegraph