Irish Republican News · October 31, 2003
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Bloody Sunday victim was unarmed, Inquiry hears
Bloody Sunday victim was unarmed, Inquiry hears

A man, who attempted to get medical attention for a Bloody Sunday victim, said on Thursday that he did not see any explosives on the body.

The Saville Inquiry into the British Army's shooting of civil rigthts demonstrators on January 30, 1972 is sitting once again in the Guildhall in Derry, having spent over a year in London hearing evidence.

Leo Young, whose younger brother John is one of fourteen who died as a result of the shootings, told the Inquiry that he had come to the aid of teenager Gerard Donaghy, who was shot in the stomach.

The British Army later claimed that four nail bombs were found in Donaghy's pockets -- but a British Army doctor has already testified to not seeing any trace of nail bombs on Gerard.

Mr Young in his statement to the Inquiry, said there was no possibility that Gerard was in possession of nail bombs when he was shot.

``If there had been nail bombs in his pocket I would have seen them. I saw his body on the ground where he fell, I helped to carry him to the house,'' he said. ``To be honest, if I had seen the nail bombs I doubt whether I would have carried Gerard Donaghy into the house.''

Mr Young described how he was shot at by a soldier before he attempted to assist the young boy.

``I saw out of the corner out of my eye that there was a soldier to my right. The soldier was pointing his rifle in the air but as soon as he saw me, he swung it around and pointed it at me. I remember thinking `Jesus, he's going to fire' and the next thing I knew I heard a crack.''

He told the Inquiry that he helped carry the young man into the house of another man Raymond Rogan, where a doctor who examined him said he needed urgent hospital treatment.

He added that he and Mr Rogan were taking the dying teenager to hospital when they were stopped at an army checkpoint in the centre of Derry. He claimed one of the soldiers said ``let the bastard die''.

``I said something like ``you're an animal''. The soldier was clearly hyped up and was treating me roughly,'' he added.

He and Mr Rogan were arrested and taken to Army Barracks on the Foyle Road where they were interviewed about what happened. After he was released, he discovered that his brother had been shot dead.

He told the Inquiry: ``I couldn`t believe what had happened and still cannot believe it. John was completely inoffensive. - he wouldn't do a bad thing to anyone. He worked in the tailor's shop in the town.

``The fact that they tried to make out that John had lead particles on his hands when he was shot added insult to injury. It was that that killed my mother and father,'' he added.

© 2003 Irish Republican News