Belfast Telegraph

Sister of Bloody Sunday victim says soldier's 'job well done' comment deeply hurtful

Kate Nash is angered by the soldier’s remarks
Kate Nash is angered by the soldier’s remarks
William Nash, who was shot dead by Paratroopers
Soldiers in William Street on Bloody Sunday
Donna Deeney

By Donna Deeney

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".

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
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. 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. 29.1.12

"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."

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