Sister of Bloody Sunday victim says soldier's 'job well done' comment deeply hurtful
A woman whose brother was shot dead by Paratroopers on Bloody Sunday has branded comments by one of the soldiers present, who said it was "a job well done", as deeply hurtful.
Kate Nash - whose brother, William, was among 14 people fatally wounded in Londonderry when the Paras opened fire on civilians - also criticised Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson, after he said he expects to have the means to prevent former soldiers being brought before the courts in the New Year.
The soldier and Mr Williamson were among contributors to a BBC documentary aired last night.
The soldier, who is being investigated by the PSNI about his role in Derry on January 30, 1972, refused to answer any questions put to him by police officers.
However, he told journalist Peter Taylor: "I served my country and I've served that, I think, well for 22 years, now I'm being told I'm a murderer."
He also reiterated previous comments about the actions of the Paratroopers on Bloody Sunday as a job well done.
Ms Nash, who was invited to take part in the programme, but wasn't available, said the soldier's statement to the programme must be used by the PSNI as an admission of his role on Bloody Sunday.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Ms Nash said: "To describe the killing of 14 innocent people and the wounding of so many more as 'a job well done' is deeply hurtful to me, our family - and all the Bloody Sunday families.
"If he thinks he isn't a murderer, let him come to court and see what evidence there is."
Ms Nash said that "everyone in the world recognises that the people on the march that day were not armed with anything", including former Prime Minister, David Cameron, and Lord Saville, who chaired the second Bloody Sunday Inquiry, "and they know the soldiers lied".
"This soldier boasted on the programme that he didn't tell the police anything when he was interviewed, but then he publicly talks about shooting three gunmen and that it was a job well done. Why didn't he tell that to the police when he sat through his 'no comment' interview? But I do think his admissions should now used by the police."
Mr Williamson told the programme he did not support the prosecution of former soldiers, saying: "No one would really want to see service personnel, who've served their country, being dragged through the courts.
"We need to find a way to bring closure to events of the past."
Ms Nash said this showed a lack of respect for the justice system. She continued: "That soldier has shown disdain for the legal process, but the words of the Defence Secretary shows how little respect he has, too.
"Him saying he is going to try and stop soldiers being prosecuted is an attempt to take hope from us that we will get justice for our loved ones.
"At the same time as the Defence Secretary is coming out with how he plans to save the soldiers from prosecution, we have the Public Prosecution Service telling us they are getting to us very, very soon. I think the Government has lost the plot to allow a Defence Secretary to come out with statements like that," Ms Nash added.
"But Theresa May has shown she isn't in favour of the soldiers being treated the same as every other citizen who, if they do wrong, deserve to be brought to justice."
Sinn Féin Foyle MLA, Raymond McCartney, said the words of the soldier were typical of attitudes that still prevail within the UK military and establishment.
He said:"These comments fly in the face of the findings from the Saville Inquiry, which clearly demonstrated how the victims had been murdered by the British Army.
"This was not a job well done. It was a massacre of innocents.
"The very fact that someone who was involved in the events of that day, and has been arrested by the PSNI team investigating Bloody Sunday, should feel justified in making these comments also goes a long way to explaining the kind of attitudes that still exist within the British military and establishment.
"They want to blame victims for their own murder rather than accept British culpability for crimes committed in Ireland. This is an attitude which has been actively promoted at the highest levels of the British Government - including by the British Prime Minister - through false claims that legacy investigations are skewed against former state forces.
"Those lies cannot go unchallenged and there can be no immunity or impunity for British soldiers guilty of murdering Irish civilians."