Category: Archive

Row erupts over who fired first shot on Bloody Sunday

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Anne Cadwallader

BELFAST — A row has broken out after a researcher working for lawyers acting for two men wounded on Bloody Sunday claimed the first shots fired came from the Bogside and not from the British Army.

The two men on whose behalf the researcher was working have now demanded his sacking, after it was revealed he had submitted his report to the Saville Tribunal without their knowledge or sanction.

It has also transpired that the reporter who taped the aural evidence on which the researcher based his report has challenged the interpretation put on it and insisted that the only shots he heard on Bloody Sunday in January 1972 were fired by British soldiers.

In addition, the two soldiers who first opened fire on Bloody Sunday have never mentioned any incoming fire before they began shooting.

The row began when a British researcher, Paul Mahon, working for lawyer Brendan Kearney submitted a report saying that, in his view, there is "sufficient evidence" to establish an incoming shot toward the British Army’s position.

Follow us on social media

Keep up to date with the latest news with The Irish Echo

The lawyer says he made it clear to Mahon several months ago that he disputed his findings.

Despite this, Mahon’s report was submitted to the Tribunal, thus raising the possibility it will cloud what the vast majority of legal and expert opinion gathered by the families of the dead have established: that the British opened fire without any prior shots from the Bogside.

The two men wounded on Bloody Sunday for whom Kearney acted, Michael Bridge and Michael Bradley, issued a statement saying that they had not approved it. They have also demanded that Mahon be sacked as a researcher.

Mahon based his conclusions mainly on a tape recording made by BBC reporter David Capper on Bloody Sunday. When Capper was made aware of the interpretation being put on his recording by Mahon, he said he was sure that the only shots he heard at the time came from the British Army and not from the Bogside."

Other Articles You Might Like

Sign up to our Daily Newsletter

Click to access the login or register cheese