Belfast Telegraph

Veteran soldiers return Northern Ireland medals with 23 white feathers in Bloody Sunday prosecution protest

Members of the Parachute Regiment facing protesters on Bloody Sunday
Members of the Parachute Regiment facing protesters on Bloody Sunday

Three former soldiers who served in Northern Ireland have returned their medals to the Prime Minister along with 23 white feathers in protest of the decision to prosecute one soldier over the Bloody Sunday killings.

Last month the Public Prosecution Service announced the former paratrooper - known as Soldier F - is to face prosecution for the murder and attempted murder of six people in Londonderry in 1972.

Thirteen civil rights demonstrators were shot dead on January 30 1972, on one of the most notorious days of the Northern Ireland Troubles. A 14th died later in hospital.

The Daily Mail reports of Corporal Jim Kenyon formerly of the Parachute Regiment, Captain Steve Garwood and ex-SAS Sergeant Major Mark Billingham returning their medals for service in Northern Ireland to Downing Street.

They included 23 white feathers each attached to a miniature version of their medals and addressed to each member of the cabinet.

The former soldiers said that was to represent "cowardice in the face of the enemy".

In an accompanying letter they raised the cases of soldiers killed in the line of duty while serving in Northern Ireland.

"Politicians have let us down," said Mr Kenyon, "The Armed Forces should have had an amnesty."

He added: "The Good Friday Agreement gave amnesty to terrorists. It gave no amnesty to the Armed Forces."

The UK Government said it was "indebted" to those soldiers who served with "courage and distinction to bring peace to Northern Ireland".

It said the decision to bring a prosecution was independent of it and it would be offering full legal and pastoral support to Soldier F.

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