Bloody Sunday soldier accused of murder
Bloody Sunday soldier accused of murder

A British soldier who fired a total of 22 shots in Derry on Bloody Sunday yesterday denied that he was a ``systematic liar'' and that he was a member of a ``murder squad'' on the day the British Army shot dead 13 civilians and wounded 13 others.

`Soldier H' -- an acknowledged marksman -- claims to have missed an alleged gunman in a bathroom window on 19 separate occasions., a statement dismissed as ``incredible'' by a lawyer for the Saville Inquiry.

Christopher Clarke QC said: ``If that account is right, the upshot must be that the gunman, having been shot at once, must have intentionally moved into the same position of mortal danger in line with a soldier with an SLR who tried to kill him on 18 further occasions.''

Mr Clarke put it to him that he was lying in order to account for all the rounds he fired that day and that those extra shots may have been used to wound or kill some of the victims of Bloody Sunday.

Six people died and seven were wounded by soldiers operating in that area.

Mr Clarke speculated that some of Soldier H's tally could account for this shortfall.

Soldier H insisted he was speaking the truth. But he admitted that, despite firing 19 times at the window of a house in Glenfada Park North, he did not break the glass.

``I cannot remember seeing it break and wonder whether it had reinforcement wire in it,'' he added.

The original Widgery tribunal -- widely seen as a whitewash of the British Army's actions -- found in 1972 that the shots fired by Soldier H were ``wholly unaccounted for''.

Soldier H denied claims from Soldier O27, who has already given evidence, that he fired from the hip on Bloody Sunday.

``I did not shoot from the hip at all that day. In my opinion, it would be virtually impossible to shoot with any degree of accuracy from the hip.''

The soldier admitted that he shot one youth one in the back as he fled.

The witness said one of the shots he fired was aimed at a ``nailbombers'' back and he believed the bullet hit his target in the right shoulder. He admitted that his target was posing no threat and running away from him.

The witness also told the Saville inquiry that, although he had given perjured evidence to the original Widgery inquiry, no one in the British army had ever drawn that to his attention.

He dismissed a claim by Mr Seamus Treacy QC, who represents most of the victims' families, that he shot unarmed people.

``I want to suggest to you, Soldier H, just before I sit down, that you were a systematic liar in 1972 and that you are still a systematic liar and that the evidence you have given to this inquiry is completely untrue and that you have failed to account for a large number of shots on the day.

``And that the reason you have failed to account for those large number of shots is that you may well have killed and injured many other people on that day than you are admitting to,'' the barrister said.

Soldier H responded: ``That is a lie, sir.''

Urgent Appeal

Despite increasing support for Irish freedom and unity, we need your help to overcome British and unionist intransigence. We can end the denial of our rights in relation to Brexit, the Irish language, a border poll and legacy issues, with your support.

Please support IRN now to help us continue reporting and campaigning for our national rights. Even one pound a month can make a big difference for us.

Your contribution can be made with a credit or debit card by clicking below. A continuing monthly donation of £2 or more will give you full access to this site. Thank you. Go raibh míle maith agat.

© 2003 Irish Republican News