Issue 2 - 2024 200dpi

10 December 1998 Edition

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RUC said Bloody Sunday death was ``murder''

By Padraig MacDabhaid

Damning new evidence about Bloody Sunday which has just come into the public domain will now form part of the evidence to the Bloody Sunday inquiry.

A confidential RUC report written in 1972 but kept under wraps until last week described the killing of 17 year old Jackie Duddy as ``murder''.

The report signed by Superintendent Finn on behalf of the then RUC Chief Constable said that the paratrooper who fired the fatal shots that killed Jackie Duddy was ``quite clearly guilty of murder''.

However the report went on to say that further legal action was not carried out because there was ``no evidence to establish which member of the army fired the fatal shot''.

The report also says that there was no evidence to suggest that any of those killed on the day were near bombs or using guns when shot.

This evidence comes to light at a time when the Bloody Sunday inquiry is being warned that it faces serious discrepancies between initial accounts given by civilian and British army witnesses. The new evidence which is coming to the fore does nothing to support the official British army line. Desmond Doherty, the Derry solicitor who has been taking statements from civilian witnesses, said that Superintendent Finn's words corroborate the statements he has collected from the witnesses.

The new evidence also indicates that the British army was well aware of the RUC's findings on the murders. British memos regarded the head of the RUC in Derry at the time, Superintendent Frank Lagan, as a ``reluctant officer'' and states that, ``he is apparently a Catholic''.

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