Killings 'Approved at Top Level'

The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland), November 23, 2000 | Go to article overview

Killings 'Approved at Top Level'


THE Bloody Sunday killings were approved in advance at the top of the political and military hierarchies of Northern Ireland and London, the new inquiry into the killings heard yesterday.

A lawyer representing one of the 13 killed suggested a plan to shoot unarmed civilians after a civil rights march in Londonderry 28 years ago was known by Prime Ministers Edward Heath and Brian Faulkner.

The claim was made by Lord Gifford QC, delivering an opening submission to the Saville Tribunal on behalf of the family of Jim Wray, the victim alleged to have been ''finished off'' as he lay wounded in the Derry's Bogside on January 30, 1972.

The hearing, in Londonderry's Guildhall, was also told that the inquiry team had been attempting to contact UUP deputy leader John Taylor - a member of the Stormont Government at the time - but with no success.

Another lawyer delivered a scathing attack on the Ministry of Defence for failing to even be represented at the inquiry.

Eilish MacDermott referred to the MoD's destruction of 13 of the Bloody Sunday rifles in January of this year and said her clients - the relatives of Patrick Doherty - feared the department may be actively attempting to obstruct the inquiry. …

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