Activist warns of 'seething anger' if Bloody Sunday soldiers aren't prosecuted

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Eamonn McCann, politician, journalist and political activist in his home on Derry's Bogside (PA pic)

By Rebecca Black, Press Association

There will be seething anger if a decision is taken not to prosecute the Bloody Sunday soldiers, a community activist has warned.

Eamonn McCann said he believes Northern Ireland's Public Prosecution Service (PPS) will announce on Thursday that soldiers will be prosecuted.

However, the trade unionist, journalist and former MLA said if the decision goes the other way there will be "seething anger" in Londonderry and across the nationalist community.

He said additionally many non-nationalists will feel uneasy.

"If they announce there are going to be prosecutions I don't think anyone in Derry will be surprised, you get sense of what's happening and I don't believe we would have been given such notice had a decision not been made to go forward with prosecutions," he said.

"I have been covering this for a long time and I have no doubt that a decision to prosecute a number of the soldiers has been taken and that is what is going to be announced on Thursday.

"But if the prosecutions were to be abandoned or deferred at this stage I think there would be seething anger in this town, and seething anger across the nationalist population mainly but I think given the mountain of evidence which has been produced, given the conclusive nature of the evidence, I would say there are many people in this society who are not nationalists at all that would feel at the very least uneasy about what happened on Bloody Sunday."

(Eamonn McCann, politician, journalist and political activist in his home on Derry's Bogside)

 

Mr McCann described Bloody Sunday as "different" to other atrocities in Northern Ireland's past.

"Most atrocities in Northern Ireland are committed by people purporting on behalf of one community, inflicting an atrocity on another community," he said.

"Bloody Sunday is different, Bloody Sunday was men in uniform representing the British state coming into this area and shooting down our friends and neighbours.

"That was enough to make the blood explode with anger.

"If we were to find after all this that prosecutions were withdrawn, the reaction in this area would be very, very strong indeed. I wouldn't like to speculate any further but I would rule nothing out."

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