Families of five Bloody Sunday victims challenge prosecution decision

North’s Public Prosecution Service ruled former British soldiers should not be tried

The families of five men shot dead by the British army on Bloody Sunday are to challenge in court the decision by the North’s Public Prosecution Service (PPS) not to prosecute former soldiers.

The relatives of Jackie Duddy, Michael Kelly, John Young, Michael McDaid and William McKinney were granted permission by the High Court in Belfast on Thursday to take a judicial review challenge of the PPS's decision not to prosecute five former members of Support Company, 1st Battalion, Parachute Regiment.

Thirteen civilians were killed when members of the Parachute Regiment opened fire on anti-internment marchers in Derry’s Bogside on January 30th, 1972. A 14th died later.

In March 2019 the PPS announced following a police investigation into 17 former soldiers and two former members of the Official IRA that only one soldier, known as Soldier F, would be prosecuted in connection with Bloody Sunday.

He faces two counts of murder and five of attempted murder. The case began in Derry in September 2019.

The solicitor for the families, Fearghal Shiels of Madden and Finucane, said the families were notified of the High Court's decision on Thursday afternoon.

“This application arises out of decisions taken in March 2019 by the PPS not to prosecute these soldiers, and a decision upheld after an internal review of that decision by the PPS in September 2020.

“The families warmly welcome today’s decision and look forward with confidence to the full hearing in the autumn,” he said.

Freya McClements

Freya McClements

Freya McClements is Northern Editor of The Irish Times