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Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry
- Volume VIII - Chapter 151



Other incidents of paramilitary firing and the response of soldiers

Chapter 151: Other incidents of paramilitary firing and the response of soldiers

Contents

Paragraph

Paramilitary firing at the Mex Garage Army post 151.1

Paramilitary firing at the Embassy Ballroom Observation Post 151.32

The question of firing from the Embassy Ballroom 151.48

Private AD and paramilitary firing from the area of the Bogside Inn 151.57

The timing of the incident 151.63

Private AC and paramilitary firing from the ridge above the gasworks 151.80

The location of the gunmen 151.86

The timing of the incidents 151.88

Conclusions 151.98

Sergeant AA, Private AB and paramilitary firing in the area of Barrack Street 151.102

Sergeant AA 151.102

Private AB 151.127

The evidence of Private 042 151.136

The radio logs 151.145

The Official IRA press conference 151.152

The Observer newspaper galley proofs 151.153

Mary Holland’s article 151.157

The Sunday Times working papers 151.160

The identity of the sniper 151.161

Lance Bombardier Z and paramilitary firing from the area of Abbey Street 151.165

Evidence from soldiers 151.166

Log entries and the Porter tape 151.180

Stephen Peak’s evidence of firing in the area of Abbey Street 151.193

Paramilitary firing in the area of Long Tower church 151.198

Paramilitary firing at the Mex Garage Army post

151.1 There was an Army post near an intersection at the southern end of the Brandywell, where Lone Moor Road met Letterkenny Road and Anne Street.1 This was the Brandywell location or position, colloquially often called the Mex Garage.2 It was located in the derelict buildings of the Mex Garage and the Old City Dairy, approximately one mile south of the Rossville Flats. Kildrum Gardens, which ran along the eastern edge of the Creggan houses to the south of the City Cemetery, faced towards the Mex Garage. The location of the post is shown on the map and two photographs below, the second being a close-up view.

1 C1325.1-2

2 Day 371/88/2-4

151.2 On the day, the Army post was manned by soldiers of 15 Battery, 22 Lt AD Regt, who were under the command of 1 R ANGLIAN. Major INQ 1320, the Commander of 15 Battery, described the Army post as an old Shell petrol station with a dairy adjacent to it ”.1 The derelict dairy and adjacent buildings were converted to a fortified stronghold, which included Observation Posts (OPs), an Operations Room in the building marked Coy HQ in the photograph shown above and accommodation for the soldiers. There were sandbagged lookouts in and around the forecourt of the garage and on the dairy buildings.

1 C1320.2

151.3 During the afternoon, there was some stone-throwing at the Army post. In addition, the 1 R ANGLIAN radio log (H3 being the call sign of 15 Battery of 22 Lt AD Regt) and the transcript of the Porter tape of 1 R ANGLIAN (call sign 54A) transmissions to Brigade HQ (call sign 0) recorded four separate shooting incidents involving six shots and a burst of machine gun fire directed at the Army position between 1539 hours and 1649 hours that afternoon together with two return shots by soldiers. We set out below in tabular form details of the incidents as recorded, the first entry of each incident being the 22 Lt AD Regt transmission and the second entry being the transcript of the Porter tape recording the messages from 1 R ANGLIAN to Headquarters, 8th Infantry Brigade.

Incident No.

Serial

Time

To

From

Event

Page Ref.

1

65

1550

+

H3

2 shots fired at this loc from Kildrum Gds. No cas strike seen off grd no fire returned

W102

324

1549

0

54A

Hello, Zero, this is 54 Alpha. We’ve just had two shots fired at call sign Hotel 3 from the area of Kildrum Gardens. Strikes seen on the ground in front of their location. No casualties and no fire returned. Over.

W125

2

78

1626

+

H3

At 1623 1 shot this loc no strike no cas from prefabs no fire returned. No cas seen.

W102

447

1627

0

54A

… re one shot fired from the pre-fabs, right in front of their location. No casualties. The gunman not seen. Over.

W133

3

80

1630

+

H3

3 more shots at 12 loc 1 rd returned no hit claimed

W103

462

1630

0

54A

Hello, Zero, this is 54 Alpha. A further 3 shots at 16:29 again at Hotel 3’s location have come from somewhere half way up the hill to their front, i.e. towards Kildrum Gardens. One round was returned. We’ll give you further details but no ca … no hits claimed. Over.

W134

4

90

1649

+

H3

At 1645 short burst from prefabs one rd returned no hit claimed. 42531589 Gunman

W103

525

1647

0

54A

Hello, Zero, this is 54 Alpha. A burst of fire from a machine gun located at grid 42531589 at 16:45 hours … wait … one round returned at the gunman spotted there but no hit claimed. Over.

W138

151.4 While, as will be seen, the recorded shots do not tally in all respects with the evidence of soldiers who were present or that of some civilians, we accept this contemporary record as far as it goes. It was made before the full implications of the afternoon were known.

151.5 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Major INQ 1320 told us he recalled hearing shooting from afar that day but did not recall hearing any transmissions about shooting.2 Similarly, Bombardier INQ 177 told us he recalled no gunfire or explosions, or at least nothing that sticks in my mind .3

1 C1320.3

2 C1320.4

3 C177.1-2

151.6 Sergeant 020, who commanded a section of eight soldiers, including himself, described only the fourth incident in his first Royal Military Police (RMP) statement1 dated 2nd February 1972, where he recorded that at about 1645 hours while he and Bombardier X were in a toilet at the front right hand side of the GARAGE … a burst of automatic fire … hit the roof of the garage above our heads . In a second RMP statement made the following day, he recorded that the toilet was sandbagged.2 He stated that he saw the gunman in an old building between Foyle Road and Anne Street and ordered Bombardier X to fire at the gunman. Bombardier X fired one aimed shot and the gunman disappeared.

1 B1495

2 B1498

151.7 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Sergeant 020 told us that he was in charge of nine men and described earlier incoming shots at another section of his Battery, a single shot, then one or two more shots and then, I think four or five minutes later, there was a third or fourth shot … the gunman was spotted again in the cemetery and Soldier Y shot him .2 About 45 minutes to an hour later, the fourth incident, which Sergeant 020 had described in his RMP statements, occurred. He told us that the gunman was hit by Bombardier X’s shot and tumbled out of the building to the ground, where he lay wounded for a couple of hours before being taken by ambulance to Altnagelvin Hospital where he was dead on arrival .3

1 B1500.001

2 B1500.002-003

3 B1500.003-004

151.8 All of the gunshot-wound casualties shown in the hospital registers are persons known to have been shot in the Bogside and there is no record of any additional casualty being received who could have been this gunman. Also, the 22 Lt AD Regt contemporary radio message specifically noted that no hit was claimed. Sergeant 020 told us that he had suffered an illness that affected his memory. In our view, his recollection of seeing a gunman being hit is erroneous.1

1 B1500.006; Day 380/95

151.9 In Bombardier X’s first RMP statement,1 made on the evening of Bloody Sunday, he recorded that from about 1400 hours there were between 10 and 12 single high velocity shots fired into the forecourt of the garage, all from the area of the Creggan Estate and that at about 1645 hours a burst of six or seven shots of automatic fire passed overhead. He saw and fired one shot at a man 80m from him on the roof of a derelict building directly opposite the Mex Garage. The man fell and Bombardier X saw no further movement on the roof of the building.

1 B822

151.10 In his second RMP statement, made on 12th February 1972, Bombardier X recorded that the target was some 80 to 100 metres” away.1 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry, Bombardier X recorded that about 60 or 70 high velocity shots were fired in our direction from the Creggan Heights and cementary and that the automatic fire from the derelict building occurred at About half past three ”.2 In his written statement to this Inquiry, Bombardier X was less certain of the earlier shots, telling us that they were some distance away 3 and he was now fairly sure that he did not hit anyone with his shot.4

1 B838

2 B841

3 B843.002

4 B843.003

151.11 We are not persuaded that Bombardier X did hit anyone with his shot.

151.12 In his RMP statement,1 Sergeant 038, another Section Commander in 15 Battery, recorded that at 1500 hours two shots were fired at other members of his section from an unknown position. At about 1520 hours a single shot hit an outbuilding about 6ft from Gunner Y. Sergeant 038 saw a movement in a hedgerow over the Foyle Road, but as he was not sure that this was the gunman … no rounds were returned . At about 1545 hours a man crouching behind a hedge fired a single shot. On the order of Sergeant 038, Gunner Y fired one shot at the gunman, but we could not say” whether the gunman was hit.

1 B1637-1638

151.13 Gunner Y made two RMP statements,1 a written statement for the Widgery Inquiry2 and a written statement to this Inquiry,3 as well as giving oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry4 and to this Inquiry. In his oral evidence to us, he said that he saw a gunman in bushes near the cemetery fire two rifle shots and that these shots had been preceded by two or three shots.5 On the order of Sergeant 038, Gunner Y returned one shot at the gunman, which Gunner Y thought hit him; but he was not certain, as the gunman could have fallen backwards and escaped. At the time the shooting took place, Gunner Y thought his shot hit the target, but now he thinks it very possible that he had missed.6 In his RMP statement made on the evening of Bloody Sunday, he described the gunman as young with long, dark hair, clean-shaven and wearing a blue jumper and dark jacket. In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry,7 he described the gunman’s hair as being shoulder length and the jumper as being light blue; and in his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry,8 he said the gunman fired four shots. He put the time at 1640 hours in his first RMP statement but agreed it could have been 1630 hours as described in the radio messages relating to the third incident.9 In his written statement to this Inquiry,10 he told us that before this incident he heard two or three shots and about 20 minutes after this incident he heard automatic fire. Throughout, Gunner Y has been consistent in saying that he heard either two or three incoming shots before seeing the gunman fire two shots and returning one shot himself.

1 B844-5; B853

2 B859

3 B864.1-7

4 B861-4

5 Day 382

6 Day 382/9

7 B859

8 B853

9 Day 382/18

10 B864.4

151.14 Captain INQ 1325, the second in command of 15 Battery, told this Inquiry that he ran the Battery Operations Room that day from a location in the building marked Coy HQ on the close-up photograph shown above.1 He said that the Officer Commanding 15 Battery, Major INQ 1370, spent the afternoon with him in the Operations Room.2 About 15 minutes after the march had passed, Captain INQ 1325 heard two incoming rifle shots and one or two shots being returned.3 Either Bombardier X or Lieutenant INQ 971 reported the incident to him and he relayed it to Brigade HQ4 within five or six minutes of hearing the shots.5 At the time, Captain INQ 1325 believed that Bombardier X and Lieutenant INQ 971 thought the gunman had been struck by gunfire, and his body removed by either a taxi or a van,6 although Bombardier X has never said whether or how any body may have been moved. Captain INQ 1325 was clear that this incident occurred before he heard radio reports of 1 PARA entering the Bogside.7

1 Day 371/66

2 C1325.3

3 C1325.3

4 C1325.3

5 Day 371/73

6 Day 371/73

7 Day 371/70

151.15 Lieutenant INQ 971 commanded 7 Platoon of 15 Battery. He told us that after the main body of the march had passed by, he observed two incoming high velocity shots from the general area of the cemetery strike the concrete floor of the dairy.1 Bombardier X then reported to Lieutenant INQ 971 that he returned two shots, but Lieutenant INQ 971 told us that he did not recall having heard these.2

1 C971.2

2 C971.3

151.16 Hugh Kelly, then the Headmaster of St John’s Primary School, Creggan, told us that he returned to his home in Lone Moor Road following the march. Immediately upon his return home,1gunfire broke out close by our house ”, which he put at 4.45pm,2a rough estimate . He believed that the fire was directed at … an army post on top of the Mex filling station . He continued:

“I did not see the gunman or gunmen in question as the hedge was about 2 feet thick. I do not think that there were many shots fired, or that the army retaliated or returned fire … It also occurred to me that this firing had broken out quite soon after the shooting by the army in the Bogside – about 25 or 30 minutes later. ”

1 AK10.3-4

2 Day 174/141

151.17 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Hugh Kelly marked a photograph1 showing the Mex Garage, his home and the hedge from which the shots were fired.

1 AK10.14

151.18 Hugh Kelly’s account, apart possibly from a slight time discrepancy, seems to us to be similar to the incident described by Gunner Y.

151.19 There are various possible explanations for the shots that were fired at the Brandywell Army post that afternoon. There was an armed active service Provisional IRA unit in a car patrolling in the Brandywell that afternoon. There was also an armed Official IRA unit in the area. Further, as we have noted earlier in this report,1 Patrick Ward claimed to have fired about five single .303in rifle shots and that one of his companions fired 12 to 15 rounds with an M1 carbine at the Army post at the Mex Garage.

1 Chapter 149

151.20 PIRA 8 was an acting Section Leader in the Bogside Company of the Provisional IRA that day. He told us that he, along with three other volunteers, whom he declined to identify, were in a car patrolling the Brandywell area in order to detect and prevent any attempted Army incursion into the Brandywell when many of its residents were taking part in the march. According to his account, the four Provisional IRA members were armed with four rifles, which were in the boot of their car. In addition, PIRA 8 carried a pistol. As the march passed by the Bogside Inn on its way towards William Street, they drove to and parked on Lecky Road. They remained in that area for 30 to 45 minutes, before driving to Southway, where they remained for another 30 to 45 minutes. He told us, however, that he could not be sure of his timings.1 From both locations, they could keep the Brandywell Army post under surveillance, at one time being within 25m of the dairy.2 They arrived at Southway between 3.00pm and 4.00pm3 and remained there until civilians arrived by car and on foot, telling them that civilians had been shot in the Bogside.4

1 APIRA 8.4

2 Day 418/25

3 Day 418/25

4 APIRA 8.4

151.21 Some of the logs discussed above were put to PIRA 8, but he maintained that he had heard nothing; although he agreed that he and his three companions were within a few hundred yards of the Brandywell Army post.1 He said that there were no shots fired in that area on that day at all .2

1 Day 418/75

2 Day 418/74

151.22 As we have observed above, we are satisfied that the Army logs correctly noted gunfire at the approximate times recorded. If PIRA 8 and his companions remained in those two locations as they claimed, it is difficult to understand how they did not hear at least some of the gunfire recorded in the first three incidents noted in the Army logs. If, as PIRA 8 claimed, they were at Southway when returning civilian residents reported shooting in the Bogside, that means he and his companions were still there at, or very close to, 4.30pm, as it would be unlikely that news of the shootings could have arrived sooner. This would place their arrival in the area, as he claimed, between 3.00pm and 4.00pm. The second and third incidents occurred when the shooting in the Bogside was going on, which PIRA 8 said that he had heard. He described hearing bangs in the Bogside while parked at Southway, but took them to be sounds of CS gas or rubber bullets being fired. He said the sounds would travel up the valley towards them and did not recall distinguishing the sounds of live gunfire ”.1

1 APIRA 8.4

151.23 While it is impossible to use approximate times to calculate exact times, we are sure that the group was somewhere in the area when the first two incidents occurred. Yet PIRA 8 claimed not to have heard any shots. The representatives of the majority of represented soldiers submitted that either PIRA 8 was unwilling to admit that he had heard the shooting or was absent when the firing occurred.

151.24 It is our view that PIRA 8 was in the area of the Brandywell Army post when at least some of the shooting occurred. He might have forgotten about the firing, but in our view it is equally likely that he chose not to tell us what he had heard, perhaps since he was loath to admit that there had been any firing by paramilitaries at soldiers on Bloody Sunday.

151.25 In addition to claiming that he had heard no firing in that area, PIRA 8 said at no stage did we fire shots. 1 On his own evidence, we can only be certain that PIRA 8 was in the area during the first two incidents and possibly the third. Apart from presence and opportunity, we have found nothing else to connect him or his companions with any of the inward shots at the Brandywell Army post, though we were left with the impression that PIRA 8 had not told us everything he recalled about the incidents under discussion. We should note that Johnny White (initially given the cipher OIRA 3) told us that there was an armed Official IRA active service unit on patrol on Lone Moor Road that afternoon.2 In our view it is possible that the Official IRA was responsible for at least some of the shots.

1 Day 418/68

2 AOIRA3.17-18

151.26 There is evidence of firing at the Mex Garage from Patrick Ward, who claimed to be the officer commanding the Fianna at the time. He told us that just after he saw Bernard McGuigan being shot, he and other Fianna members immediately made for a Fianna arms dump at the corner of Lone Moor Road and Brandywell Road,1 where he and one member obtained two rifles. The two of them then drove in a Cortina towards Hamilton Street, near where he saw a man, later given the cipher PIRA 9, who had obviously been shooting a machine gun2 at the Brandywell post. PIRA 93 was pinned down in a doorway by return Army fire. To divert the soldiers’ attention and give PIRA 9 the chance to get out of there , Patrick Ward said he and his companion then fired about 17 to 20 rounds at the Army post.

1 AW8.15

2 Day 385/116; AW8.15

3 PIRA 9 was the cipher originally given to Martin Doherty (also known as “Ducksie” Doherty), but his anonymity was subsequently removed.

151.27 Patrick Ward identified and marked various locations on the following photograph.1

1 AW8.72; Day 385/118-121

151.28 The green arrow marks the position where Patrick Ward said he parked the Cortina, while the blue arrow represents the position from which he said that he and his companion fired. He told us that PIRA 91 was firing from a position shown by the yellow arrows towards the Army post identified by the red arrow.2

1 Martin Doherty: see paragraph 151.26 above.

2 The white arrow is not relevant to the matter under discussion.

151.29 Bernard McGuigan was killed at approximately 4.20pm. Although it is difficult to determine exact times from the route and activities described by Patrick Ward, it is unlikely that he and his companion would have arrived in the Hamilton Street area much before 4.45pm, which is near the time the Army logs reported a machine gun burst, ie the fourth incident of shooting at the Brandywell Army post. However, while the shots recorded in the logs and Patrick Ward’s account coincide somewhat in time, the number of shots and the location do not tally. Patrick Ward said that he and his companion fired 17 to 20 rifle shots at the Army post, none of which is recorded. Also, Sergeant 020 and Bombardier X positioned the gunman in a derelict building and not, as Patrick Ward said, on the ground. In these circumstances, we are of the view that it would be unwise to rely on Patrick Ward’s account. We have expressed similar views of other parts of his evidence earlier in this report.1

1 Chapter 149

151.30 Unfortunately, we do not have the benefit of PIRA 9’s evidence. He would not co-operate with the Inquiry and the Tribunal eventually certified him to the High Court of Northern Ireland for contempt of the Tribunal.

151.31 We cannot identify those responsible for the shots at the Brandywell Army post, although, as noted earlier, we are satisfied that the post was under fire that afternoon, the first two shots occurring before Support Company entered the Bogside. The random nature of the shots, both in time and location, does not suggest a co-ordinated attack, but rather four isolated attacks on a known Army post. Nor can we say whether the gunmen were members of the Official or Provisional IRA. Both had armed active service units in the area that afternoon, but neither has come forward with an explanation for the shots; nor indeed has any member of either organisation acknowledged even hearing any of the shots directed at this Army post.

Paramilitary firing at the Embassy Ballroom Observation Post

151.32 The roof of the Embassy Ballroom in Strand Road was used for observation by the Army. Its location is shown on the following map and photograph.

151.33 Its roof afforded excellent views to the west up William Street and southwards into the Bogside, as shown below in a panoramic view taken at a later date from the roof.

151.34 At the rear of the roof of the Embassy Ballroom there was a permanent Army Observation Post known as “OP Echo”.1 Lance Bombardier 118, who was posted there that afternoon, recalls Nearly two dozen 2 Army personnel present at the post that afternoon. Some, like Colonel Maurice Tugwell and General Robert Ford and his entourage, were there for short periods and at different times.

1 There was another OP on the roof, called OP Foxtrot, 2 Day 359/206
with a view over Strand Road and Waterloo Place.

151.35 The radio log of 22 Lt AD Regt recorded at 1612 hours a single shot at OP Echo with no strike observed.1 This information was transmitted to Brigade HQ2 and is also found on the Porter tapes.3 Although there is no reference in the message to a returned shot or shots, the Headquarters Northern Ireland (HQNI) log does record returned shots: At 1611. 1 x HV at OP Echo. 2 x 7.62 returned. 4 There is otherwise no Army record of returned shots from OP Echo. We consider below some civilian evidence that, it was suggested, indicated the firing of shots from the Embassy Ballroom OP.

1 W97

2 W75

3 W130 serial 399

4 W28 serial 58

151.36 Lieutenant 009, Captain 021 and Sergeant 108, who were at OP Echo, gave evidence of an incoming shot.

151.37 In his RMP statement,1 Lieutenant 009 described a high velocity shot being fired over the post after Support Company had entered the Bogside, but in his oral evidence to this Inquiry he was not certain whether it was before or after they entered.2 He reported the shot but was uncertain about its origin, except that it was from a lower level and from the Bogside.

1 B1390

2 Day 316/91

151.38 Captain 021, in his RMP statement dated 3rd February 1972,1 recorded that the first shot to be fired that day passed over our position , followed by others from the area of Meehan Square ”, after which the paratroopers, who had already gone into the Bogside in vehicles and disembarked in Rossville Street, took cover. In his written statement to this Inquiry, Captain 021 told us that the shot came from the Rossville Flats or Meehan Square, meaning Meenan Square. He said that although he initially thought that the shot was aimed at me , he realised it was aimed at troops on the ground, in Little James Street .2

1 B1503

2 B1509.4

151.39 Meenan Square lies to the south of Free Derry Corner, over 600 yards from OP Echo and about 250 yards from the Rossville Flats.

151.40 In his RMP statement,1 Sergeant 108 recorded that definitely the first shot of the day was fired in the general direction of OP Echo shortly before Support Company arrived on the scene .

1 B1717

151.41 Not all soldiers stationed at OP Echo recall the shot just described. Lance Bombardier 118, who was with Captain 021 that afternoon, said that firing started about 2 or 3 minutes after the paratroopers had jumped out of the vehicles .1 He did not recall shooting being directed towards the OP.2

1 B1752.3

2 Day 359/167

151.42 Rifleman 154 was the bodyguard for Major INQ 2079, the Officer Commanding A Company of 2 RGJ.1 According to him, they were at Barrier 14 when, after the water cannon had been used but before the paratroopers went through Barrier 14, he heard either one or two shots that he thought came from the Rossville Flats and surmised that someone was having a pop at OP Echo.2 In his RMP statement,3 he described only one shot from a high velocity weapon probably an SLR or a 303 and added that I did not know the origin of the shots . In view of his description of the shot, the word shots would appear to be a typographical error. In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, he said that he supposed that this 1972 account was the more accurate.4

1 Day 300

2 B1932.4

3 B1930

4 Day 300/6

151.43 We are not satisfied that Rifleman 154 heard the reported shot. His account is of firing before the soldiers went through Barrier 14, while the radio log and Lieutenant 009, Captain 021 and Sergeant 108 all put the shot in the direction of, if not at, the OP after Support Company had entered Rossville Street. It is noteworthy that Major INQ 2079 did not recall hearing any shots before the soldiers went through Barrier 14.1 It is possible that Rifleman 154 heard some of the shooting further west, from soldiers in the derelict building on William Street or from OIRA 1 in Columbcille Court, as we have described when considering the events of Sector 1.

1 C2079.4

151.44 Captain 128 was on anti-sniper duties that day in a building on William Street. He told us he left his position as C Company went through Barrier 14 and that he went along William Street, where he saw a paratrooper point his rifle towards the Embassy Ballroom. Captain 128 said he was under the impression that the soldier had mistakenly confused the Army post for a civilian post.1 He told us he shouted, No, as he ran towards the soldier. Captain 128 told us, and we accept, that the soldier did not fire at that particular time .2

1 Day 303/30

2 B1802.4

151.45 We are sure that the radio log correctly recorded a shot over OP Echo that was heard by Lieutenant 009, Sergeant 108 and Captain 021. The radio messages must obviously have been transmitted after the shot was fired, so this firing must have taken place before or at 1611 or 1612 hours. The previous message recorded in the 22 Lt AD Regt radio log was Para’s going through barrier to yobbos in Chamberlain St. and was timed at 1610 hours.1 This entry and the evidence as a whole persuade us that this shot was fired after 1 PARA had gone into the Bogside.

1 W97 serial 58

151.46 In our view this shot must have been fired by a paramilitary. It might, as Captain 021 originally recorded in his RMP statement, have been fired from Meenan Square, but we are doubtful about the reliability of his evidence to us that the firer could have been in the Rossville Flats, since this suggestion did not appear in his 1972 account. Furthermore, at the time in question it seems to us that Army firing had probably already broken out in Sector 2, so that Captain 021’s 1972 account of further firing from the area of Meenan Square, unsupported by evidence from others at OP Echo, might well in our view have arisen from misattributing this Army fire to fire from further south. His evidence to us that he later realised that the shot was not aimed at him, but at troops on the ground in Little James Street, is in our view an afterthought based on hindsight and inconsistent with the radio messages or the accounts of others at OP Echo.

151.47 Neither the Provisional IRA nor the Official IRA, nor any member of either organisation who gave evidence to us, admitted knowledge of, or responsibility for, the firing of this shot. We have considered the possibility that this was the shot fired by Reg Tester, which we have considered earlier in this report,1but in our view this was unlikely to be the case, as the evidence indicates that it was fired later. We have also considered whether Corporal P heard this shot, but he stated he had heard two shots, which for the reasons we have given when considering his evidence, appear to us to be two of those fired by Lieutenant N in Sector 2.

1 Chapter 148

The question of firing from the Embassy Ballroom

151.48 It is convenient at this point to consider whether there was firing from the Embassy Ballroom on Bloody Sunday. Leonard Green, a telephone engineer, told us that on 31st January 1972 he saw what he called fresh bullet holes, in and around the area of the Rossville Flats , which he suggested had been made by shots fired from the OP at the rear of the Embassy Ballroom roof.1 He first described two holes at eye level, about 5ft from the ground, in a galvanised steel casing enclosing telephone cable on the gable end wall of Block 2 of the Rossville Flats that faced Block 1. The hole on the north-facing side of the casing was dented inwards, while the hole on the southern side of the casing was slightly raised, from which he concluded that the holes were made from a projectile coming from north to south. The hole on the northern side of the casing was slightly higher than the hole on the southern side. He told us that he inserted a biro into the two holes and determined a line of about two to three degrees from the horizontal. He then looked through the holes and his line of sight led directly to the OP. His opinion was that the holes were very recently made. He also saw fresh gouges on the same gable wall. They had the same downward inclination and were roughly in line with the holes in the casing. Leonard Green also told us he observed what he described as three bullet holes in the Threepenny Bits, which are just south of the gap between Blocks 1 and 2 of the Rossville Flats. According to him, the holes were about 18–24in from the ground and roughly in direct line with the gap and the Embassy Ballroom OP.2

1 AG51.3-4

2 Day 52/9-93

151.49 Some support for these observations is found in the evidence of Martin Melaugh and John Duffy, both of whom were in the area on the same day as Leonard Green, and Eamon Melaugh.

151.50 Martin Melaugh, then 14 years old, said he saw what he initially described as two bullet holes in a rainwater downpipe on the west gable wall of Block 2. Subsequently he was told it was the cover of a lightning conductor.1 In either event, it was rectangular and 20in wide and 6in deep. The holes were about 6ft above ground level. The two holes exactly lined up with the Army OP on the rear of the Embassy Ballroom roof.2 Leonard Green’s evidence was put to Martin Melaugh and he agreed it was likely they were describing the same thing,3 saying that he would consider Leonard Green’s evidence to be the better evidence 4 and probably the more accurate ”.5

1 Day 119/98

2 AM461.1

3 Day 119/99

4 Day 119/106

5 Day 119/106-107

151.51 John Duffy, who was 13 years old at the time, saw what he called three “new bullet holes” in the Threepenny Bits. The holes were angled downwards and he thought that the bullets had been fired from the Embassy Ballroom ”.1

1 AD160.13; Day 80/145; Day 80/172

151.52 In his written statement to this Inquiry, Eamon Melaugh told us that bullets struck the west gable wall of Block 2 of the Rossville Flats on the day.1 He stated that he took many photographs on the day. In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, he said that while photographing the dying Hugh Gilmour at the end of Block 1, he heard gunfire actually come through the gap ”,2 including a shot that struck a vertical galvanised guard measuring about two inches by half an inch 3 on the west gable end of Block 2 that covered a copper earthing strip.4 About 7ft from the ground, a bullet hole appeared on the sheath and it exited slightly lower down , entering from the north and exiting from the south ”.5

1 AM397.5

2 Day 143/48

3 Day 143/107

4 AM397.5-6

5 Day 143/47

151.53 Lance Bombardier 118 said that he did not recall any firing from OP Echo,1 although he acknowledged that, because of the noise, a shot from the other side of the OP could have happened without him noticing.2 Private 123 was also at OP Echo that afternoon. He did not see, nor did he subsequently learn of, any shots having been fired from there.3 When Leonard Green’s evidence about bullet holes in the metal casing was put to Private 123, he responded, as noted above, that he did not see any soldier fire from the roof nor subsequently learn of any soldier firing from there.4

1 Day 359/168

2 Day 359/169

3 Day 301/99

4 Day 301/99

151.54 Despite the differing descriptions of the dimensions of the metal in which the holes were found, it seems to us that it is likely that the holes were present on 30th January 1972. Had there been firing from OP Echo that afternoon, it seems to us that there would probably have been a report of this shooting and that the firing soldier or soldiers would have made a statement to the RMP. As to the entry in the HQNI log1 to which we have referred above,2we take the view that this entry resulted from another message on the Brigade net that was either misheard or inaccurately relayed and which related to an exchange of fire with soldiers on the City Walls during which two shots were returned by a soldier, Private AD, in circumstances that we describe below.3 The entry in the HQNI log is unsupported in any recorded messages reported to or by 8th Infantry Brigade.

1 W28 serial 58

2 Paragraph 151.35

3 W130 serial 396

151.55 For reasons given in the course of considering the events of Sector 5, we are sure that none of the casualties near the area of the gap between Blocks 1 and 2 of the Rossville Flats was struck by fire from the direction of OP Echo. The only possible casualties were Bernard McGuigan and Patrick Campbell, neither of whom was in a position to be shot through the gap. Both Private R and Private S probably fired towards or into that gap, as we described when dealing with the events of Sector 2. This, to our minds, is likely to explain the civilian evidence suggesting that there were shots from the Embassy Ballroom.

151.56 In our view there was no firing from OP Echo on the afternoon of Bloody Sunday.

Private AD and paramilitary firing from the area of the Bogside Inn

151.57 Private AD was a member of 1 R ANGLIAN. On Bloody Sunday he was stationed at the rear of a derelict house on the northern side of Long Tower Street just below the south-western corner of the City Walls.

151.58 In his RMP statement dated 30th January 1972,1 Private AD gave the following account:

About 1645 hrs on 30 Jan 72 I was observing to my front towards the area of the Bogside Inn. Troops had deployed on the walls behind me and around the Army OP at ‘Roaring Meg’. I saw a man run out of the archway to the left of the Bogside Inn. This was about 175 to 200 metres from my position. The man was about 5'10" tall, of medium build and in his early twenties. He was wearing some sort of windcheater or anorak of a dark colour. He jumped some 2 or 3 feet from his previous position.

As the man jumped forward he raised an object that he was holding with both hands. This object was long and straight and appeared identical with a .303 rifle. He took up a position approximating the standing aim position. I saw a puff of smoke and a flash from the end of the rifle he was pointing in my direction. I heard the round fired by the man as it passed over our heads. I then fired a total of 2 rounds at the man. I did not see any strike of my first round but the second round hit the man and knocked him off his feet.

There was a crowd of about 40 in the area and elements of this crowd dragged the body behind the buildings into Meenan Square. I did not see what happened to the man’s rifle. As I continued to observe the area I saw a grey Ford Escort back into Meenan Square and, a short while later, the crowd around Meehan [sic] Square grew in size.

1 B933-334

151.59 Roaring Meg was an antique cannon mounted at the south-western corner of the City Walls.

151.60 There is a composite RMP map designed to show the position of soldiers (including Private AD) and the targets they described.1,2 The Rossville Flats were just off the top right-hand corner of this map.

1 B936

2 The same map is shown when considering the incidents described by Private AA, Private AB and Private AC.

151.61 Private AD gave a similar account in his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry.1 He did not give oral evidence to that Inquiry.

1 B942

151.62 Corporal 022 and Private 004 also gave RMP statements in which they described being in the derelict building where Private AD said he was stationed. Corporal 022 gave a similar account to that of Private AD. He described the incident as taking place at About 1645 hours... .1 His RMP statement was dated 2nd February 1972. Private 004, in his RMP statement dated 3rd February 1972,2 described being in the attic above Corporal 022 and Private AD, hearing a shot and then two shots fired from the room below him. He also timed the incident at About 1645 hours.

1 B1510

2 B1369.4

The timing of the incident

151.63 The R ANGLIAN incident report dated 4th February 19721 contained the following items.

1 C1347.21

151.64 We do not know who put the arrow on this report, but it may have been intended to connect the two incidents.

151.65 It will have been noted that these entries refer to four rounds of incoming fire at 1617 hours and a further incoming shot at 1620 hours. According to Private AD’s RMP statement, the incident he described involved only one incoming round at about 1645 hours.

151.66 There are, however, entries in the Army logs that refer to four incoming rounds followed by another round at this stage of the afternoon.

151.67 The Porter tapes recorded a message1 from 54 Alpha (1 R ANGLIAN) to Brigade, which corresponds with an entry in the Brigade log timed at 1617 hours;2 and also corresponds with an entry in the R ANGLIAN log at the same time.3 The Porter tapes message was that We have just had four shots fired at our call sign Quebec 21 on the Walls. Ah, two high velocity rounds were returned. 8th Infantry Brigade passed on this message to HQNI at 1621 hours, timing the incident at 1614 hours.4

1 W130 serial 168

2 W47 serial 168

3 W106.6 serial 74

4 W28 serial 60

151.68 The Porter tapes also recorded 1 R ANGLIAN later reporting to Brigade that with regard to the two shots returned at a gunman near the Bogside Inn, a man was seen to fall; and that At 16:20 hours one further shot was fired from the area of the Bogside Inn towards our Oscar patrol on the Wall ”.1 This corresponds with an entry in the Brigade log timed at 1621 hours.2

1 W131 serial 173 2 W48 serial 173

151.69 These radio messages seem likely to have been the source of the entries in the
1 R ANGLIAN incident report.

151.70 There is an entry in the Brigade log timed at 1820 hours and described as a Shotreps from 1 R ANGLIAN.1 This gave a list of incidents under the heading Timings between 1615 and 1640 ”. The first of this list was Gunman GR 43061657 fired two r[oun]ds at Roaring Meg. C/S 21 in Long Tower St fired 2 x 7.62 back. Gunman fell and was dragged back into Meenan Sq. There was no reference to the four shots earlier reported as fired at the City Walls, and this entry referred to two incoming shots, whereas the accounts of Private AD and the soldiers with him refer to only one.

1 W53 serial 241

151.71 Private AD gave written and oral evidence to this Inquiry. In his first written statement, he gave a similar account to that contained in his 1972 statements.1 In a supplemental written statement, after being shown some of the radio messages described above, Private AD told us that he was not wearing a watch on Bloody Sunday; did not know where the timing about 1645 hours in his RMP statement had come from; thought that this timing was nothing more than a very general approximation; and considered that he could have fired his shots 30 minutes before that.2

1 B943.001

2 B943.11-12

151.72 In the course of his oral evidence, Private AD was shown photographs on which he marked with a yellow arrow the position of the Bogside Inn; with a red arrow the archway from which he said he saw the gunman emerge; and with a green arrow the wall to which he said he saw the gunman move.1

1 Day 382/84-85; B0934.0014

151.73 However, later in his oral evidence, Private AD corrected this description and agreed that on the following photograph a blue arrow indicated the covered walkway and a red arrow where he said he shot the gunman.1

1 Day 382/122-124; B943.0015

151.74 Private AD told us that the gunman fired one shot and that he was certain that he had hit the gunman with his second shot.1 He told us that he had heard only one shot fired in his direction.2

1 Day 382/87-88

2 Day 382/112-113

151.75 It is difficult to make sense of the log entries. We have found no evidence from any soldier of four incoming shots. However, it does seem to us that the incoming shot described by Private AD and the two soldiers in the same derelict house was the shot that 1 R ANGLIAN reported to Brigade as fired at 1620 hours. Corporal 022 and Private 004 gave their RMP statements after Private AD had given his; and it seems to us that the statements were probably taken by way of following up Private AD’s account. As noted, these statements give exactly the same timing of about 1645 hours as Private AD’s account; and to our minds are thus likely to have been based on what Private AD had recorded.

151.76 The Shotreps recorded in the Brigade log refer, as we have noted, to two incoming shots; but make no reference to four incoming shots. Although we cannot be sure, these Shotreps may have been an attempt by 1 R ANGLIAN to draw together information provided by soldiers, on the basis of which it was concluded that there was only one incident, rather than the two previously reported. It must be borne in mind that at the time in question, the firing in the sectors (including in particular the firing in Sector 5, which was at ground level but in the direction of the City Walls) was going on only a short distance to the north, so it is perhaps understandable that soldiers might have attributed some of this to incoming fire.

151.77 In these circumstances it seems to us that at about 1620 hours there was one shot fired from the area of the Bogside Inn as Private AD described; and that he fired two shots in return. We are doubtful whether there were more incoming shots at about this time.

151.78 Private AD was sure (as was Corporal 022) that he had hit his target. We have, however, been unable to find any other evidence that this was the case. As we have observed more than once, Major INQ 2225, who was a military intelligence officer working in the city at the time, told us that soldiers tended to assume, if their targets moved, that they had hit them.1 We have found nothing in our examination of the material held by the security agencies that suggests that anyone in the vicinity of the Bogside Inn was killed or seriously injured by Army gunfire on Bloody Sunday. We have found no evidence to suggest that anyone was injured at all. We consider that Private AD was unlikely to have hit his target.

1 C2225.7

151.79 In our view, which we have expressed earlier in this part of the report, Reg Tester witnessed this exchange of fire. He attributed the shot fired from the area of the Bogside Inn to a member of the Provisional IRA. He was the only person to do so. Apart from him, neither the Provisional IRA nor the Official IRA, nor any member of either organisation who gave evidence to us, admitted knowledge of, or responsibility for, the firing of this shot. We are of the view that it is probable that this shot was fired by a member of the Provisional IRA, though we cannot eliminate the possibility that it was fired by a member of the Official IRA. If the former is the case, it follows that we have not been told the whole truth by members of the Provisional IRA, perhaps unwilling even at the stage of this Inquiry to admit that there had been any firing by members of the Provisional IRA as early as about 1620 hours on 30th January 1972, albeit outside the five sectors.

Private AC and paramilitary firing from the ridge above the gasworks

151.80 Private AC was a member of 1 R ANGLIAN. On Bloody Sunday he was stationed in a derelict house at the junction of Long Tower Street and Howard Street.

151.81 In his first RMP statement, dated 30th January 1972,1,2 Private AC gave the following account:

Sometime about 1645 hrs I was observing the area of Celtic Park to the rear of the Gasworks. The ground of the playing field is about level with the top of the gasometers. As I looked towards the gasometers I could see the edge of a hut or shed to the left of the southern west3 gasometer. I had noticed people moving into the area and had been paying attention to these people as there had been firing from somewhere to my front earlier in the afternoon.

At that time I had not located any gunman’s position. As I watched I saw a man in an open space between two of the huts. The distance between my position and this man was about 450 to 500 metres. I was using the normal iron sight on my rifle. It was a very clear sunny day and the light was good. There was no wind.

I saw the man advance to the edge of a hut nearest to my position. I could not describe this man fully as I could not see his face clearly at that range. He appeared to be of average size. He was wearing dark clothing but I could not describe this, again because of the range.

As I watched the man I saw he was holding a long straight object in both hands. He had hold of this object as if it were a rifle. He raised his arms and took up a position corresponding to a kneeling aim position. At the time he did then [sic] the man was kneeling with one knee on the ground. As I watched I saw a puff of smoke from the long straight object and heard a sound as of a shot fired. I heard the noise of a round passing overhead, above my position.

I then fired two rounds at the man. My first round was almost instantly after I saw the puff of smoke from the end of the object the man was holding. I did not see any result of my first shot and then fired the second shot. The man had remained in a kneeling position but after the second shot I saw the man thrown backwards a short distance. The man lay on the ground without moving. People came around the corner of the hut to where the man lay and dragged him away. I did not see what happened to the object he aimed at me. The man was taken away towards the Lone Moor Road.

Some 15 minutes later another man went to the same place where I had shot the first man. This man crawled and moved at a crouch. I kept him under observation. He went to exactly the same position as the first man. This second man appeared to be a young man to judge by the way he moved. As he was crawling and crouched over I would not be able to describe him at all. I could see that he had a jacket on which, by the bulk and general shapelessness, looked like one of the old pattern combat jackets. The man was carrying a long straight object identical to the object the first man had had.

I watched the man point the object towards my position. As I watched I saw a puff of smoke from the object the man was holding. I heard a report and then I fired a total of three rounds. The first two had no effect but the third shot knocked the man to one side. The man was standing upright at the time he fired. I knocked him to his right with my shot.

One man came around the corner of the hut and recovered the body. I did not see what happened to the weapon. The second man was taken away in the same direction as the first.

There was no more fire from the area of the gasometers side of Celtic Park.

1 B919-921

2 In this statement Private AC was given the cipher AA .

3 Although the typed version of the statement says southern west the original, manuscript version appears to read southernmost .

151.82 In his second RMP statement,1Private AC gave a similar account, adding a grid reference for the position of the gunmen that he recorded that he had seen. The grid reference was to a position at the western end of Donegal Place, a considerable distance to the south-west of the gasworks.

1 B926

151.83 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry (Private AC did not give oral evidence to that Inquiry), Private AC again gave a similar account. He told the Widgery Inquiry that:1

At about 4.45 I heard the sound of a single high velocity shot which I knew had come from a gap between two huts on a ridge just in front of Celtic Park … I had seen earlier three men arrive in a car by what I think is a chapel on the right hand edge of the cemetary next to Celtic Park. I observed these men go up on to the ridge in Celtic Park and they were behind the huts. Then one of the men came crawling from between the huts and took up a kneeling position with a rifle. He fired one shot…

1 B930

151.84 The R ANGLIAN incident report dated 4th February 19721gave a grid reference for the location of the gunmen described by Private AC. This grid reference was to a position on the Lone Moor Road, just north of the Brandywell Recreation Ground and near the cemetery. The R ANGLIAN map2on which R ANGLIAN engagements were plotted again shows the gunmen on the Lone Moor Road north of the Brandywell Recreation Ground.

1 C1347.21

2 Q16

151.85 Private AC gave a written statement to this Inquiry1 but was too unwell to give oral evidence. He told us that his memory of this incident was unclear, though he recalled there being three men and a couple of huts near the churchyard.

1 B932.003

The location of the gunmen

151.86 There is a composite RMP map designed to show the position of soldiers (including Private AC) and the targets they described, and to which we have already referred.1The Rossville Flats were just off the top right-hand corner of this map.

1 B928

151.87 In our view the description Private AC gave of the position of his target, which remained consistent throughout his accounts, is to be preferred to those derived from grid references and recorded in the other maps and documents to which we have referred. The ridge that he described is well above the gasworks and at about the same height as the top of the gasworks.

The timing of the incidents

151.88 According to the R ANGLIAN log1there was a report to HQ 1 R ANGLIAN at 1641 hours that One rd fired at C/21. 2 rds returned. Call sign 21 was the call sign for B Company, which was located in Long Tower Street. This corresponds with Private AC’s description of the first of the incidents in which he fired. The R ANGLIAN log contains no further entries that appear to refer to the second incident recorded by Private AC.

1 W103 serial 88

151.89 The Porter tapes recorded a message1from 54 Alpha (1 R ANGLIAN) to Brigade (which corresponds with an entry in the Brigade log timed at 1635 hours2), reporting that We have just heard further shots fired at our call sign Quebec 21 at junction Bishop Street/Long Tower. Ah, two shots returned, Details later. Quebec 21 was the call sign for B Company in Long Tower Street.

1 W135 serial 187

2 W49 serial 167

151.90 In the 22 Lt AD Regt log there is an entry1timed at 1638 hours: Three shots fired at sniper by 1 RA C/S. This would seem to refer to the second incident, as Private AC had recorded firing three shots, though on his account this incident took place about 15 minutes after the first incident.

1 W97 serial 68

151.91 The Porter tapes recorded a message1from 22 Lt AD Regt to Brigade (which corresponds with an entry in the Brigade log timed at 1639 hours2) that We just heard 3 shots fired at OP Kilo on the City Walls – wrong. 2 shots fired. Three shots have been returned by Quebec call signs. This would appear to be 22 Lt AD Regt forwarding the information recorded in the 22 Lt AD Regt log.

1 W136

2 W49 serial 192

151.92 There was a further message in the 1 R ANGLIAN log1timed at 1641 hours, reporting One rd fired at C/S 21. 2 rds returned. This again would seem to refer to the first incident recorded by Private AC.

1 W103 serial 88

151.93 The Porter tapes recorded a message1from 1 R ANGLIAN to Brigade (which corresponds with an entry in the Brigade log timed at 1641 hours2) that call sign Quebec 21 had one round fired at it, that two shots had been returned and that there were no casualties on either side.

1 W137 serial 196

2 W49 serial 196

151.94 It is difficult to reconcile these messages and the timings recorded with the accounts given by Private AC. There is an entry in the 1 R ANGLIAN incident report1that recorded: 1630–1645 5 shots fired over period of 5 mins (2 shots then 3 shots) by sniper loc in 20 Long Tower St (Grid 43191644) at first one gunman and then at a second gunman at Grid 42561625. These gunmen had previously fired two shots (exact direction not known). In the “Remarks” column in this report it was noted that two hits were claimed and that gunmen’s shots could have been at 15 Battery.

1 C1347.21

151.95 15 Battery was at the Mex Garage.

151.96 The entry in the incident report does seem to reflect the accounts given by Private AC, save that both incidents were put in the period 1630–1645 hours and took place within five minutes of each other.

151.97 In our view, given the log entries and the entry in the incident report, the two incidents were only some five minutes apart and both took place before 1645 hours.

Conclusions

151.98 We accept Private AC’s account of engaging gunmen who fired on two occasions from the ridge above the gasworks; and that he returned five shots in all.

151.99 The representatives of the majority of represented soldiers submitted that it was possible to demonstrate that members of the Provisional IRA fired the shots which Private AC returned. They appeared to rest this submission on the evidence that Provisional IRA members were in the Stanley’s Walk and gasworks area. However, we have no reason to doubt Private AC’s account that the gunmen reached the ridge above the gasworks from the south-west, having arrived by car at the cemetery chapel – in other words, not from the direction of Stanley’s Walk or the gasworks area. In our view, therefore, the basis for the submission is invalid.

151.100 Neither the Provisional IRA nor the Official IRA, nor any member of either organisation who gave evidence to us, admitted knowledge of, or responsibility for, firing either of the shots recorded by Private AC. In our view, however, a member or members of one or other of these organisations must have been responsible, and others in that organisation must have known of the shots.

151.101 Although Private AC claimed that he hit both gunmen, we have no other evidence to confirm this claim. We have earlier drawn attention to Major INQ 2225, who was a military intelligence officer working in Londonderry at the time, and who told us in his written statement to this Inquiry1 that Troops tended to assume that when they fired their weapons, and saw targets move that they had hit them. When no evidence emerged of a body, they assume that they had hit the person and that the body had been spirited across the border. Our examination of the material held by the security services (which we cannot reveal in full for reasons given elsewhere in this report) discloses nothing to suggest that Private AC killed or seriously injured either of his targets. In our view he is unlikely to have done so. We have found no evidence to suggest that either target was injured at all.

1 C2225.7

Sergeant AA, Private AB and paramilitary firing in the area of Barrack Street

Sergeant AA

151.102 Sergeant AA was a member of 7 Platoon, B Company, 1 R ANGLIAN.1 On 30th January 1972 he was stationed with other soldiers in Barrack Street. In his first RMP statement,2 he recorded that at about 1615 hours on 30th January an inaccurate shot was fired towards the soldiers’ position. The shot appeared to come from somewhere among the gasworks but the gunman was not located. He continued:3

After this incident I moved forward along Barrack St towards Charlotte Place. I was on the north side of the road. The area from Charlotte Place towards St Columba’s Walk is a clear space. The houses there have all been demolished and cleared. There are houses at the junction of St Columba’s Walk and Joyce St. There are abandoned single storey buildings on Long Tower St just to the right of the junction with Joyce St. The windows and doors of these buildings had been bricked up but gun ports have been knocked in them by civilians.

As I was advancing towards Charlotte Place I saw a man step around the corner of St Columba’s Walk and Joyce St. He had a rifle at his shoulder aimed in my general direction. The man was about 5'8" tall and had very dark hair of medium length. He was wearing a quilted anorak and had a white scarf or handkerchief around his neck.

I was carrying my 7.62 SLR rifle across my body. As soon as I saw the man I cocked the weapon and aimed it at the man. I fired one round from my rifle as I was still raising it from the hip. The man facing me fired at the same time as I did. I do not think I hit the man. I re-cocked my weapon but the man did not reappear. I heard the man’s shot hit a wall somewhere above my head.

I continued to advance to see if I could relocate the rifleman. As I came forward I came under fire from a gun port at the bottom of a bricked up doorway of the derelict houses in Long Tower St. In all, 3 shots were fired at me in quick succession as if a semi-automatic weapon were being used. I located the gunman’s position by the muzzle flashes of this weapon. I could see the outline of a man behind the muzzle flashes.

My weapon was fitted with a special sight. I returned the fire at the gun port in the bottom of the doorway. I fired 3 shots, operating the bolt mechanism each time, and saw the body slump over the weapon that had been fired at me. I fired two more deliberate rounds at two other gun ports in the immediate vicinity of the one the gunman had been using.

I was then redeployed. I did not see what happened to the man I had shot. I did not fire again. I discovered that 1 of the rounds fired at me had hit another soldier of my unit. A round had gone through his flak jacket from side to side without injuring him. He had been some 10 feet away from me at the time he was shot.

1 B908.004

2 The statement is dated 31st January 1972. However, Warrant Officer Class I Wood, who witnessed Sergeant AA’s signature, recorded that he did so at 2210 hours on 30th January 1972 (B881).

3 B880-881

151.103 Sergeant AA made a second statement to the RMP in which he recorded that, having fired at the second gunman, he then fired two deliberate shots at a gun port that had been knocked into the side of a wall in Long Tower Street, about 60m from him. He then fired a further two shots at a doorway of the derelict house into which gun ports had been knocked.1

1 B892; this statement is noted to have been witnessed at 1800 hours on 1st February 1972.

151.104 Sergeant AA made a written statement for the Widgery Inquiry. In that statement he recorded that on 30th January 1972 he had been on duty with his platoon and that their task had been to man the barrier (Barrier 20) on the corner of Barrack Street and Pitt Street. He referred again to the shot fired at about 1615 hours and stated that no fire was returned. He said that civilians had warned the soldiers that there were three gunmen in the area and that this single shot had alerted him. He then gave an account that was largely similar to that which he had given in his statements to the RMP. However, there were the following differences, in that in his account to the Widgery Inquiry he stated that:

(i) he, Sergeant AA, was carrying a 7.62 bolt action sniper rifle with telescopic sight. He had cocked the weapon on hearing the single shot;

(ii) the man with a rifle who was standing at the corner of St Columba’s Walk (Wells) and Joyce Street was about 5'8" to 5'10", had long, dark black hair and was wearing a lightish brown quilted anorak with a white handkerchief around his neck;

(iii) he, Sergeant AA, advanced about 2m to see whether he could locate the gunman again and that, as he did so, three shots were fired from a gun port at the bottom of a bricked-up doorway of a derelict house in Long Tower Street; he was sure that the shots were fired from a carbine;

(iv) he could see a man lying at the bottom of the doorway but could give no description of the man. The man was about 65m away from him;

(v) after firing at this man, he heard the sound of a Thompson sub-machine gun being fired from just behind the house where the gunman was. As he knew that there were supposed to be three gunmen in the vicinity, he fired two more rounds at each of the two gun ports nearest to the location of the gunman;

(vi) the soldier whom Sergeant AA then discovered to have been hit had been, from the direction of the gunman, almost directly behind Sergeant AA’s position; and

(vii) about 35 minutes after the incident, Sergeant AA could still see that the gunman was in the same position but he was told to take no further action.1

1 B900-901

151.105 Sergeant AA gave oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry. In his evidence he again gave an account similar to the written accounts that he had given. There were some minor differences. He said that:

(i) he heard a single shot from the Lecky Road gasworks at 1600–1605 hours. He thought that the shot came from about 350m away;1

(ii) several civilians coming through from the chapel had informed the soldiers, very quietly and discreetly, that there were three gunmen (this was the account of one person) behind the Charlotte Place walls and down the side of the road . However, he had not seen the gunmen at that stage;2

(iii) at about 1615 hours, as he moved forward down the northern side of Barrack Street, a gunman came around the corner of St Columba’s Walk over a small barricade and fired at him. The gunman’s shot struck the side of the wall, ricocheted past Sergeant AA’s right ear and went down the road towards the rest of the platoon;3

(iv) Sergeant AA fired at the gunman at the same time. The shot was fired from the hip because this was an emergency and Sergeant AA had no time to raise his rifle. He did not observe the strike of his round but thought that he had missed the gunman altogether. The gunman threw himself behind a wall which ran behind St Columba’s Walk;4

(v) he, Sergeant AA, then came under fire from a gun port in a doorway. The gun port was the width of the doorway and about 3ft up from the ground. The first thing that Sergeant AA saw was the muzzle flash from a carbine;5

(vi) one of the gunman’s shots hit the road in front of Sergeant AA, one hit the wall, and Sergeant AA later discovered that the third shot had hit the flak jacket of a member of his platoon. That soldier was about 10 yards behind Sergeant AA;6

(vii) he fired three shots at the gunman. On the third shot the gunman was seen to slump. Sergeant AA was certain that he had hit the gunman but did not know whether he had killed him; and

(viii) he then switched his fire to a further gun port, where I heard a Tommy gun being fired up Long Tower Street . He thought that the gunman was behind one of two gun ports knocked into the wall of the same building as the one with the gun port in the door; he fired two shots into both of these gun ports and the Tommy gun was not fired again.7

1 B903

2 B903

3 B904

4 B904

5 B905

6 B905

7 B905-6

151.106 Sergeant AA gave written and oral evidence to this Inquiry. In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 he told us that he and a section of his platoon were deployed around the barrier at Barrack Street. The soldiers did not stand out in the open but deployed covering themselves. He stated that he recalled a single high velocity shot being fired over their heads at 1600–1605 hours. He thought that the shot came from a high-powered sniper rifle. The shot might have been fired from the Creggan or from the direction of the Lecky Road gasworks. The bullet, Sergeant AA thought, travelled about 4–5ft above the height of the terraced houses in Barrack Street. He heard the crack of the shot, which came from about 400m away.

1 B908.005

151.107 Sergeant AA described two cars coming to the barrier. We deal elsewhere in the report1 with the evidence relating to these two cars, one of which was carrying Gerald Donaghey, who had been mortally wounded in Abbey Park. Sergeant AA told us that, about 30 minutes after the incident involving the cars, a civilian man aged about 50 warned him to be careful because there were some bad buggers 2 around the corner. Sergeant AA also told us that he cocked his rifle in readiness. He then walked north-west to the junction of Barrack Street and Charlotte Place. He looked to his left and saw a gunman, aged 24–25, about 5'8" to 5'10" in height and with long hair. The man was carrying an M1 carbine. The gunman was at the point marked D on the map reproduced below.3 (Point B marks Barrier 20 and Point A marks Sergeant AA’s initial location behind the barrier.)

1 Chapter 130

2 B908.008

3 B908.011

151.108 According to Sergeant AA, he and the gunman fired at each other at about the same time. Sergeant AA told us he thought that the gunman was a left-handed shot, as he was himself. The gunman’s shot flew past Sergeant AA’s ear and hit a wall. Private 042, another member of 1 R ANGLIAN, was on the southern side of Barrack Street, about 65–70m away. The gunman’s bullet hit Private 042’s flak jacket. The gunman ducked back behind the wall; Sergeant AA knew that he had not hit the gunman because he saw the gunman retire.1

1 B908.008

151.109 Sergeant AA told us that he moved forward to see whether he could get another shot at the gunman, who was by then out of sight. Suddenly he was engaged by a second gunman (who was standing at the point marked E above), who fired an M1 carbine through a gun port. Sergeant AA stated that he could see the gunman’s silhouette; he, Sergeant AA, fired three to four shots and saw the gunman go down onto the floor, in a prone position against the wall; he knew that he had hit the gunman. He asked his Platoon Commander, Lieutenant 145, Should I get him? but was told, No and was pulled back.1

1 B908.008

151.110 Sergeant AA stated that suddenly there was a burst of fire to his right. This was fire from a Thompson sub-machine gun; it came from two other gun ports in Long Tower Street (at the position marked as F on the map above). The burst of fire was perhaps five or six each round. Sergeant AA said that he fired two or three shots into each gun port and that the firing then stopped. He then heard Lieutenant 145 shouting at him to pull back. By this time it was getting dark and must have been about 1700 hours.1

1 B908.008

151.111 Sergeant AA acknowledged that he had not referred in his evidence to the Widgery Inquiry to the incident involving the Cortina at Barrier 20. (He had made a statement to the RMP dealing with the incident.) He said that he did not at the time regard the incident as relevant and had had no intention of misleading the Widgery Inquiry. We have considered this matter elsewhere in this report.1 He told us that the contents of his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry were otherwise true and that, where he had given that Inquiry evidence about times of day, he would stick with that evidence as being accurate, since he had given the evidence when his memory was fresh.2

1 Chapter 130 2B908.009

151.112 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,1 Sergeant AA said that his written statement to this Inquiry was a statement based on 33 years ago with a lot of hindsight, a lot of bloody information picked up over 33 years, which has been infected by all kinds of information that has come through the press.

1 Day 378/141

151.113 In the course of his oral evidence, Sergeant AA said that on 30th January 1972 he had been carrying a 7.62 sniper rifle with a plus three sight on it: a sight that magnified images by three.1

1 Day 378/145

151.114 When asked whether he had reported to anyone the first shot that he had heard, Sergeant AA replied that he had had no access to a radio; the Platoon Commander would have had the radio operator with him. However, Sergeant AA said that he thought that all members of the platoon would have heard the shot, which definitely came from the direction of the Lecky Road gasworks, over the top of it, which I think is the direction of Celtic Park, that sort of way .1

1 Day 378/151

151.115 Sergeant AA accepted that the time of 1600–1605 hours, which he had given for the first shot, was not a precise timing and that the time of 1615 hours, which he had given in his first RMP statement, was more likely to be accurate.1

1 Day 378/156

151.116 Sergeant AA said that the civilian who warned him of the bad buggers did so well after the incident involving the Cortina.1

1 Day 378/166

151.117 Asked about the first gunman whom he saw, he could not recall whether the gunman was at the corner of Joyce Street and Windmill Terrace (which he had suggested in his written statement to this Inquiry) or Joyce Street and St Columba’s Walk (which he had suggested in 1972).1 He could not be sure whether the gunman had a rifle or an M1 carbine but thought it was probably a rifle, and lighter than a .300.2

1 Day 378/172-173

2 Day 378/174

151.118 Sergeant AA said that the incident in which he and the man with the M1 carbine at the corner of Joyce Street exchanged shots was not the incident in which Private 042 came to be hit (which he had suggested to be the case in his written statement to this Inquiry). He said that Private 042 was hit by a bullet fired from another building.1

1 Day 378/169

151.119 Sergeant AA said that the second incident occurred less than 30 seconds after he had engaged the first gunman. He thought it possible that the same gunman was involved in both incidents; the gunman whom he had initially engaged could have run around the buildings and engaged him again.1

1 Day 378/183

151.120 He said that the second gunman was lying down throughout the engagement (not standing, as suggested in his statement to this Inquiry).1

1 Day 378/184

151.121 Sergeant AA said that there were several bursts of machine gun fire coming from the area of the gun ports. The shots were not being fired at him but at another platoon in a different location. He could not tell whether the shots were being fired from more than one weapon.1

1 Day 378/187

151.122 Sergeant AA could not explain why in his RMP statements he had said that he fired at a gun port and a doorway, nor why he had not referred in his RMP statements to any fire coming from the area of the gun port and doorway.1

1 Day 378/188-189

151.123 Sergeant AA said that the civilians who had mentioned the gunmen had referred to them in the plural and, in any event, he was aware that the Provisional IRA worked in groups of two to four people, not alone.1 He accepted that he had not seen any gunmen behind the latter two gun ports but said that he could hear them; he was certain in his own mind that the man with the Thompson sub-machine gun was behind one or other of them.2

1 Day 378/190

2 Day 378/191

151.124 Sergeant AA said that he saw no-one come to the assistance of the gunman whom he thought he had hit.1

1 Day 378/192

151.125 Sergeant AA denied firing at any target in an empty house on the corner of Cooke Street and Joyce Street. This was the location of the Official IRA man Mickey Doherty given by Mary Holland in her article for the Observer on 6th February 1972 and to which we refer further below.1

1 M42.2; Day 378/198

151.126 Asked whether he recalled Private AB firing a shot on the day, Sergeant AA said that he did not recall Private AB being in the platoon at all.1

1 Day 378/193

Private AB

151.127 Private AB was a member of 7 Platoon, B Company, 1 R ANGLIAN.1

1 B918.001

151.128 In his statement to the RMP, dated 1st February 1972, he recorded that on 30th January 1972 he had been posted as a sentry in a doorway on the northern side of Barrack Street and was observing the waste ground between Charlotte Street and St Columba’s Walk. He said that at about 1615 hours he saw a male person step around the corner of the junction of Joyce Street and St Columba’s Walk and fire a shot at Sergeant AA.

151.129 Private AB went on to state that he and Sergeant AA each fired one 7.62mm round at the gunman. Private AB further stated that he did not see his round strike and did not know whether he had hit the gunman, who was about 70m away from him. He described the gunman as being about 5'6" tall, with long, black hair and wearing a light brown anorak with a white handkerchief around his neck.1

1 B909

151.130 In his statement for the Widgery Inquiry, Private AB gave an essentially similar account but added:1

The round fired by the gunman bounced off a wall and hit one of our men, passing from side to side through his flak jacket and grazing his chest. He collapsed and I saw him fall. The approximate distance of this gunman was about one hundred metres. I think the estimate of seventy metres given in my statement of 1 February is a little short.

1 B916

151.131 It seems likely that these additional details were provided on or about 8th March 1972.1

1 B918

151.132 In his written statement to this Inquiry, Private AB told us that he could recall little of the day, other than hearing some gunfire and seeing one of his fellow soldiers fall to the ground. He could not recall the area of the city in which he was deployed that day.

151.133 His recollection was of hearing the distinctive rapid fire of a Sterling sub-machine gun. He thought that up to ten rounds had been fired at us . He did not know the direction from which the rounds had been fired, or the distance. However, he recalled hearing rapid fire and then seeing his colleague, Private 042, fall to the ground. He could not recall firing any shots back at the gunman.1

1 B918.002

151.134 Private AB did not give oral evidence to this Inquiry.

151.135 There is a composite RMP map, prepared in 1972, which shows the location of soldiers AA, AB, AC and AD and their targets, and to which we have already referred in this chapter. We reproduce the map elsewhere in this report where we describe other incidents. For convenience, we have also reproduced it here.

The evidence of Private 042

151.136 Private 042 was a member of 7 Platoon, B Company, 1 R ANGLIAN.1 In his RMP statement dated 2nd February 1972, he recorded that on 30th January 1972 he was on duty at the junction of Pitt Street and Barrack Street and that the task of his section was to prevent marchers from going up Barrack Street. He was deployed in a doorway in Barrack Street, opposite the platoon’s Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) in Pitt Street.

1 B1669.001

151.137 Private 042 described the incident in which two Cortinas came to the Barrack Street barrier. We deal elsewhere in this report1 with that incident. He described the cars being driven away from the barrier by soldiers and said that Sergeant AA then moved to a position about 6ft in front of the barrier, on the opposite side of the road from Private 042.

1 Chapter 130

151.138 Private 042 stated that, about five minutes later, he heard two high velocity shots coming up Barrack Street; and that he looked at Sergeant AA, who had been joined by Private AB, but neither of them had taken cover. Private 042 recorded that he did not know where the shots had come from but brought his rifle butt to his shoulder and watched some derelict houses in Long Tower Street, which seemed to offer a likely sniper position. According to this account, about one minute after the first shots, Private 042 heard a third shot. He heard Sergeant AA shout, There he is and saw Sergeant AA fire one 7.62mm round. Private 042 was unable to see a gunman. About 30 seconds after the third shot, a fourth shot struck the wall of the house about 6in in front of Private 042. The bullet ricocheted off, hitting Private 042’s flak jacket on the left side, just above the pocket. The bullet travelled along the front of the flak jacket, exiting above the right pocket. The force of the bullet caused Private 042 to spin around, but he was not injured.1

1 B1667-1668

151.139 Private 042 gave no evidence to the Widgery Inquiry.

151.140 In his written statement to this Inquiry, Private 042 told us that the task of his platoon was to man the barrier. His own task was to protect those men who were on the barrier and, in particular, his Platoon Sergeant, Sergeant AA.1

1 B1669.001

151.141 Private 042 again described the incident involving the Cortinas. He said that, about 10–15 minutes after the cars had left, he heard three shots being fired at the soldiers from over the waste ground. He attached a map to his statement in which he identified his own approximate location as Point B, Sergeant AA’s location as Point C, and the waste ground as the area circled, with a Point D below the circle. The map is reproduced below.1 Private 042 explained that the map is somewhat misleading, as it depicts houses in areas that were, in January 1972, waste land.2

1 B1669.005 2B1669.001-2

151.142 Private 042 said that he could not recall whether the shots were high or low velocity. The shots were fired in fairly quick succession. He remembered shouting to Sergeant AA, We’re under fire! after the first shot. He concentrated on the waste ground area in an effort to locate the gunman. He said that he was standing side-on in the doorway with his left shoulder forward; the last of the three shots hit the doorway next to his left shoulder, ricocheted, went through the left side of his flak jacket, across his chest and out through the right side of the flak jacket. He did not recall the sound of the bullet hitting the doorway. The shots came so quickly that he was still thinking about the direction from which the first shot had come when the third hit the doorway.1

1 B1669.002

151.143 Private 042 said that he could not recall a shot being fired by Sergeant AA.1

1 B1669.004

151.144 Private 042 gave oral evidence to this Inquiry. He said that he did not see a gunman.1 He acknowledged that his account in 1972 was likely to be more accurate than his current recollections.2

1 Day 379/98

2 Day 379/99

The radio logs

151.145 The Porter tapes contain the following entry, timed at 1640 hours:1

Hello, Zero, this is 90 Alpha … We just heard 3 shots fired at OP Kilo on the City Walls – wrong, 2 shots fired. Three shots have been returned by Quebec call signs.

1 W136

151.146 A minute later, 54 Alpha (1 R ANGLIAN) made the following report:1

Hello, Zero, this is 54 Alpha. Reference report from call sign 90 Alpha on shooting. Our call sign Quebec 23 has had one low velocity shot fired at them from Charlotte Street. Hit one of our solders in flak jacket. Ah, we don’t believe he is a casualty. One round was returned. No hit. Subsequent to that call sign Quebec 21 had one round fired at it and two shots were returned. No casualties on either side.

1 W137

151.147 A summary of these two messages was recorded (not entirely accurately) in the following way in the Brigade log:1

“Serial

DTG

To

From

Event

...

192

1639

22Lt

... 2 shots at wall – Q21 returned three shots.

...

196

1641

1RANG

1 LV shot at sldr of Q23 from Charlotte St. Hit flak jacket. No cas. 1 shot returned, no hit claimed, later 2 shots fired at gunman, no hits recorded.”

1 W49

151.148 The log of 1 R ANGLIAN contains the following entry:1

“Serial

DTG

To

From

Event

...

88

1641

...

2

One man hit in chest no injury one rd returned. Man wearing flak jacket LV man from C/S 23. One rd fired at C/S 21. 2 rds returned.”

1 W106.7

151.149 There is no immediately contemporaneous record in the logs of all of the shots that Sergeant AA and Private AB subsequently stated that they had fired.

151.150 In the log of 8th Infantry Brigade, the shooting in the area of Barrack Street was summarised in the following way as part of a larger report, recorded at 1820 hours:1

“3. 1 x 7.62 at gunman GR 48011629 by C/S 23 (Barrack Street) – stepped into alleyway.

4. 3 LV fired at C/S 23 (Barrack St). 1 shot his [sic] soldiers flak jacket – no cas.
8 x 7.62 returned at gunman GR 43021632. Not known if hit.”

1 W53

151.151 The following entries were made in the 1 R ANGLIAN incident report,1 drawn up after the event. In view of Sergeant AA’s evidence, the timing of the second entry is in doubt.

1 C1347.21

The Official IRA press conference

151.152 At a press conference on the evening of 30th January 1972, the Official IRA confirmed that, in an area outside the immediate district of the march, one of its volunteers had received neck and leg injuries in an exchange of fire with soldiers.1

1 ED12.5

The Observer newspaper galley proofs

151.153 The Observer galley proofs for a proposed article to be published in February 1972 contained lengthy quotations from someone described as the acting commanding officer of the Official wing of the IRA in Derry . He was quoted as saying, Two shots were fired by our volunteer covering Bishops [sic] Street. Those were the only shots we fired. 1

1 ED24.3

151.154 Johnny White (known during the course of the Inquiry as OIRA 3 but from whom anonymity was subsequently removed) was the Commanding Officer of the Official IRA in Londonderry on 30th January 1972.1He had taken command following the arrest two days earlier of the then Commanding Officer.2

1 AOIRA3.16

2 AOIRA9.1

151.155 In his second written statement to this Inquiry, Johnny White told us that he did not recall talking to anyone from the Observer. However, he confirmed that an Official IRA volunteer was present in the Barrack Street area and said that the man was placed there for defensive reasons, in case there was an Army incursion into the Brandywell and Creggan areas. The volunteer was armed with a rifle. He said that the volunteer had fired one shot, not two, and had done so only well after the whole murdering campaign in Rossville Street had taken place .1

1 AOIRA3.18; AOIRA3.22; AOIRA3.29-30

151.156 We have no doubt that Johnny White was the source quoted in the galley proofs.

Mary Holland’s article

151.157 On 6th February 1972 the Observer published an article headed, How the IRA gained a sniper . The article was written by Mary Holland and began with the following paragraphs:1

Londonderry, 5 February

There was one IRA sniper wounded here last Sunday. He was a member of the ‘official’ IRA, and he was posted in an empty house on the corner of Cooke Street and Joyce Street, with orders to cover Bishop Street.

He was wounded by a soldier returning fire from a house opposite after he himself had fired at a soldier in the street beneath. He thinks his bullet grazed the soldier’s flak jacket, but did not injure him.

The Army may well think that they killed him. He was hit in the thigh by one bullet and another ricochetted off a wall to graze the flesh of his eye. By the kind of coincidence common here, the soldier who fired on him was posted on the roof of the sniper’s sister-in-law’s house, and she heard him reporting back to his commanding officer, ‘I think we got him, sir, we saw him fall.’

I talked to the sniper several times this week, while he nursed his gunshot wounds in the bedroom of the new Northern Ireland Housing Trust house into which his family recently moved.

I’ve known this man since 1968.

1 M42.2

151.158 In her written statement to this Inquiry, Mary Holland told us that she could no longer recall with certainty the name of this Official IRA sniper and that in any event she felt that she would be betraying his confidence were she to name him.1 She continued:

I do remember that I had the impression that the shots he fired were fired well away from the marchers and that it was an opportunist shooting and not part of any planned attack on the Army.

1 M42.1

151.159 Mary Holland did not give oral evidence to this Inquiry.

The Sunday Times working papers

151.160 The Sunday Times working papers (which contain drafts for the Insight article that was to be published on 23rd April 1972) contain the following page.1

1 S42

The identity of the sniper

151.161 The identity of the sniper was known to the Royal Ulster Constabulary from an early stage. A Special Branch report dated 18th February 1972 contained the following information:

Local enquiries have revealed that the person mentioned in [Mary Holland’s] newspaper article is in fact:

MICHAEL DOHERTY

DOHERTY has been a Volunteer in the Bogside Unit of the Official IRA from September 1971 after having returned from Dublin, immediately after Internment was introduced…

Apparently when DOHERTY was shot in the thigh he was dragged away by his comrades to St. Columb’s Walk where he received First Aid treatment before being taken to his own home at Lisfannon Park.

151.162 Michael Doherty was known as Red Mickey Doherty. He died in May 2003 following a long illness. As we have noted earlier in this report,1 the Inquiry was unable to obtain evidence from him before his death.

1 Chapter 148

151.163 The representatives of the Command Staff of the Official IRA submitted that Red Mickey Doherty’s shot clearly followed the paratroopers’ actions in the Bogside and had no causative impact on the paratroopers’ conduct. In support of that proposition, they rely on the timing of 1641 hours given in the R ANGLIAN radio log for the relevant shots and on the evidence of Sergeant AA to the effect that the exchange of fire took place after the incident involving the Cortinas at the barrier.1

1 FS13.155-156

151.164 We accept that submission. As we describe in detail elsewhere in this report,1the Cortinas contained casualties of the paratroopers’ firing. By the time of Red Mickey Doherty’s shot, all the casualties in the five sectors had been sustained. What the evidence does disclose is that if any assurances had been given by the Official IRA to the effect that they would not engage in armed activity in the city on 30th January 1972, his firing is an example of failure to abide by such assurances.

1 Chapter 130

Lance Bombardier Z and paramilitary firing from the area of Abbey Street

151.165 As we have described earlier in this report, Barrier 13 was located in Sackville Street and manned by soldiers of A Troop, 11 Battery, 22 Lt AD Regt on the day. Sackville Street runs in a west–east direction from Little James Street to Strand Road, as shown on the following map.

Evidence from soldiers

151.166 Warrant Officer Class I 041 was the acting Platoon Commander of A Troop on 30th January 1972, with 28 men under his command. He described to us seeing rioting in front of Barrier 13, which died down with the rioters dispersing. According to his written evidence he recalled seeing paratroopers running past the west end of Sackville Street , but did not see any vehicles travelling south down Little James Street . After seeing the paratroopers run past, he ordered his men partially to dismantle the barrier and, out of curiosity , moved forward to see what was happening .1 As he did so, he said that paratroopers, whom he had not seen previously, ran past him from behind Barrier 13 and followed the other paratroopers towards William Street. Warrant Officer Class I 041 moved forward with Lance Bombardier Z and Gunner 034 on his left and two other soldiers on his right. After they had moved forward, an incoming shot ricocheted off a wall on the northern side of Sackville Street.

1 B1664.002

151.167 Warrant Officer Class I 041 recorded in his written statement to this Inquiry that Lance Bombardier Z returned an aimed shot at a window of a burned-out factory building on the south-western corner of the intersection of Abbey Street and William Street; in his oral evidence he placed the target further to the south on Abbey Street. After Lance Bombardier Z told him he thought he had hit the gunman, Warrant Officer Class I 041 looked through his binoculars and saw a man’s arm hanging out of a window, which then slumped back from the window and disappeared . He assumed that either the gunman had been hit or he was being pulled from the window. Warrant Officer Class I 041 then reported the incident to his control room at about 1640 hours on his radiophone.1,2

1 B1664.003-10; Day 375/10

2 It seems to us that Warrant Officer Class I 041’s recollection of paratroopers running past the western end of Sackville Street was either a false memory, or referred to a much later stage after Support Company vehicles had gone into the Bogside. We have found no evidence to suggest that at any stage soldiers of 1 PARA went through Barrier 13.

151.168 Lance Bombardier Z told us that while he was still behind Barrier 13, before the paratroopers went south on Little James Street and while there was still rioting in front of the barrier, an incoming bullet cracked on the building above our heads .1 According to Lance Bombardier Z, Warrant Officer Class I 041 then ordered him and other soldiers to return to their Waterloo Place base to collect their rifles, after which they returned to Barrier 13. Lance Bombardier Z told us that he remembered paratroopers being behind Barrier 13 before coming though the barrier in their vehicles. After the paratroopers had gone south on Little James Street, he and other soldiers went as far as that street to see what was happening . Sometime later in the afternoon, once the noise had died down, an incoming shot struck masonry on the southern side of Sackville Street approximately 12ft over his head. He told us he saw a gunman in a window of a derelict tyre factory on Abbey Street at whom he fired a tracer bullet. Lance Bombardier Z thought [he] had taken him out . He assumed Warrant Officer Class I 041 reported his shot. He placed his target as being in one of four windows of the building shown in the following photograph.2,3,4

1 B879.004. It seems to us that this might have been the shot fired at the Embassy Ballroom Army OP, discussed earlier in this chapter, though this was reported after Support Company had entered the Bogside.

2 B879.004-007; Day 372/91; Day 372/103; B879.010

3 As with Warrant Officer Class I 041, Lance Bombardier Z’s recollection of paratroopers being behind Barrier 13 is in our view a false memory. As we have described in the course of considering the events of Sectors 1, 2 and 3, Support Company were in vehicles behind Barrier 12.

4 B879.010

151.169 In his RMP statement,1 Lance Bombardier Z, like Warrant Officer Class I 041,2 had placed the target at the south-western corner of the intersection of Abbey Street and William Street. However, in his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Lance Bombardier Z said that the building ran along Abbey Street from the intersection and that the RMP map was marked with the wrong building .3 Unlike Warrant Officer Class I 041, Lance Bombardier Z referred to an earlier incoming shot and, again unlike Warrant Officer Class I 041, he placed the second of the two incoming shots that he described on the southern side of Sackville Street.

1 B865

2 B872

3 B879.016; Day 372/115-118

151.170 Gunner 034, who was with Lance Bombardier Z at Barrier 13, gave the following description in his RMP statement dated 3rd February 1972:1

At 1650 hours I heard (1) one single high velocity shot fired at our location, the round hit the corner just above our heads, causing chippings of stone to fall on us. Myself and ‘Z’ saw the gunman positioned in a burnt out building on ABBEY STREET he was at the top floor of the building firing from the window. ‘Z’ who was in a kneeling position on the corner took up the firing position and fired one aimed round at the gunman. The round fired was a 7.62 tracer. We saw the gunman was outlined within the window frame. We saw him slump forward onto the window sill his right arm hanging over the window sill. The arm then went slowly back into the room as if someone were pulling him back into the room. No more shots were fired at our location. At the time fire was returned the weather condition were very fine with very good visibility and there were no obstructions between our position and that of the gunman.

1 B1624.005

151.171 Gunner 034, in his written evidence to this Inquiry, told us that he now recalled only that, after Army vehicles went south from behind Barrier 12, he moved from behind Barrier 13 towards the west, after which a shot hit a wall above our heads on the southern side of Sackville Street. That was the only shot that he can remember hearing all day .1

1 B1624.002-003

151.172 Gunner INQ 1997 told us that he recalled being at Barrier 13 with other soldiers including Lance Bombardier Z and that the barrier was opened to permit APCs to pass through. He described an incoming shot that struck a wall on the southern side of Sackville Street. He said that Lance Bombardier Z then fired a return shot at a target in a factory window, a target that Gunner INQ 1997 did not see. He said he believed that this exchange occurred while there was a crowd of civilians in front of the barrier and before the APCs went towards Rossville Street, but he accepted that more than 30 years had passed, which could have affected his memory.1

1 C1997.2; Day 295/92; Day 295/100-104

151.173 Gunner INQ 631 told us he also recalled having moved forward of Barrier 13 when Lance Bombardier Z fired in the direction of William Street. As Gunner INQ 631 did not hear an incoming shot, he asked Lance Bombardier Z why he had fired. Lance Bombardier Z replied that he had identified a gunman in a window of a building at the intersection of Abbey Street and William Street.1

1 C631.2; Day 371/10

151.174 Lieutenant 009, of 11 Battery, 22 Lt AD Regt, was in command of Echo OP on the roof of the Embassy Ballroom. His job was to report what he saw to the Operations Officer at Battery Headquarters. In an RMP statement dated 3rd February 1972, Lieutenant 009 described an incoming shot from the direction of Abbey Street towards the road block in Little James Street that was immediately followed by a return shot which I now know was fired from Sackville St by Z . Sometime before [a]bout 1659 hrs , he saw a movement at a window of a derelict building in Abbey Street when an arm appeared over the sill of an upstairs window. Afterwards, he noticed that the arm had disappeared. Although he said he remembered much of the day, he told us he recalled nothing of this incident.1

1 B1392.6-10; Day 316/96

151.175 Lieutenant 109, of 11 Battery, 22 Lt AD Regt, was responsible for manning Barrier 12 in Little James Street. In an RMP statement dated 5th February 1972, Lieutenant 109 recorded that at 1656 hours he heard a high velocity round strike the wall in
Sackville ST
and that a return round was fired from that street. In his written statement to this Inquiry, he told us that he believed that the incoming shot was fired from the western end of William Street and hit a wall on the northern side of Sackville Street. A high velocity shot was then fired from Sackville Street that he assumed was in response to the incoming shot.1

1 B1722.1-5

151.176 Two soldiers, Gunner 023, a sniper, and Bombardier 015, were positioned very close to and above Barrier 13 in the Peter England Shirt factory at the north-eastern corner of the intersection of Sackville Street and Little James Street.

151.177 In an RMP statement dated 3rd February 1972, Gunner 023 recorded that during or just after general firing in the area of ROSSVILLE FLATS/COLUMBCILE COURT/GLENFADA PK ”, he saw a gunman with a rifle in the window of a derelict house at 57 William Street. The gunman’s location was shown on an attached plan as a building on the northern side of William Street, a short distance west of the electricity sub-station at the north-western corner of the intersection of William Street and Little James Street. Gunner 023 recorded that he then heard a high velocity shot that hit a wall below his position. When the man reappeared in a different window in the same building, Gunner 023 heard a high velocity shot being fired from the road below his position and saw the man fall backwards. In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 he told us that he did not recall a man in the window of 57 William Street, wherever this may be or of him falling backwards. In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, he initially said that he recalled seeing a man with a rifle, but did not remember being fired upon. When questioned further, he said that he vaguely recalled the incident and but then seemed to become certain.2

1 B1525.1

2 Day 360/26; Day 360/42; Day 360/47

151.178 Despite the differences between Gunner 023 and Lance Bombardier Z as to the location of the gunman, it seems to us that they were probably describing the same incident.

151.179 In his RMP statement dated 3rd February 1972,1Bombardier 015 described an incident similar to that described by Gunner 023 in his RMP statement. Bombardier 015 recorded that he heard a bullet hit the building below his position and immediately thereafter a high velocity round being fired from below me . In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry,2Bombardier 015 described hearing the crack and thump of a bullet hitting the building somewhere below me, and the sound of a high velocity shot fired in reply . In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry, he repeated his description, elaborating that the return fire was a 7.62 by the sound of it .3In his written statement to this Inquiry,4he added that after he heard the crack and thump of a bullet being fired in his direction and the bullet hitting the building in which he was positioned, he received a message from below to look west up William Street for a sniper as an arm had been seen in the upper window of a derelict building . He told us that he could not see enough of a target to do anything about it . It seems to us that this evidence also refers to the incident involving Lance Bombardier Z.

1 B1415

2 B1425

3 WT16/37

4 B1434.005

Log entries and the Porter tape

151.180 References in various logs relate to this incident.

151.181 Warrant Officer Class I 0411 told us that he would have reported to his battery radio controller that there was an incoming shot by a gunman located at the corner of William Street and Abbey Street. Warrant Officer Class I 041 explained that this message would go through three stages: to his battery radio controller (11 Battery), who would report to the regimental operations room (22 Lt AD Regt), who would pass the information on to Brigade (8th Infantry Brigade).

1 Day 375/18-21; Day 375/42

151.182 Serials 71 and 74 of the 22 Lt AD Regt Operations Room log1 recorded reports from 11 Battery:

“[71] 1 x shot around SACKVILLE St NO STRIKE observed.

[74] 1 Rd fired at G/man in factory ABBEY ST/WILLIAM St claimed hit. Seen to fall.”

1 W98

151.183 Although serial 71 is recorded as being sent at 1635 hours, it is out of sequence with the remaining entries in the 22 Lt AD Regt log and is also at odds with the timing of serial 204 of the 8th Infantry Brigade log, to which we refer below.1 We are satisfied that the last two digits were transposed in error and that the message was received at 1653 hours. Serial 74 is recorded as being received at 1656 hours.

1 W50

151.184 The 8th Infantry Brigade log1 contains two entries that seem to relate to those in the
22 Lt AD Regt log. Serial 204 of the Brigade log records the following message from
22 Lt AD Regt at 1653 hours:

“1 shot from area of Rossville Flats into Sackville St. NTR [nothing to report].”

1 W50

151.185 Serial 210 of the Brigade log1 at 1704 hours contains the following unattributed message:

“At 1656 1 x 7.62 fired at gunman at Factory Abbey ST/William St. Hit claimed.”

1 W50

151.186 The Porter tape of 8th Infantry Brigade messages provides us with a transcript of those two messages. Serial 204 of the Brigade log is reflected at serial 538 of the Porter tape.1

“Hello, Zero [8th Infantry Brigade], this is 90 Alpha [22 Lt AD Regt]. One shot from the area of the Rossville Flats at our call sign junction Sackville Street/Little James Street. No strikes or casualties. Over.”

1 W138

151.187 Serial 210 of the Brigade log is reflected at serial 552 of the Porter tape:1

“Hello, Zero, this is 90 Alpha. At 16:40 hours one 762 round fired at a gunman in the factory, junction of Abbey Street/William Street. Hit claimed. Over.”

1 W139

151.188 The Porter tape contains another message from 22 Lt AD Regt to Brigade at some stage between about 1706 and 1711 hours, at serial 571:1

“Hello, Zero, this is 90 Alpha. We reported shooting at a gunman in a factory junction Abbey Street/William Street at 16:40 hours. This was wrong. He was shot at 16:56 and a man was seen to fall. Over.”

1 W140

151.189 As this message is not found in the Brigade log, it is likely that the Brigade serial 210 is an amalgam of the Porter tape serials 552 and 571. The obvious discrepancy between the messages is that the incoming shot was reported in the Brigade log as coming from the Rossville Flats, while the 22 Lt AD Regt log contains no such reference.

151.190 However the discrepancy crept into the report of the incoming shot, it seems to us that the portions of the logs quoted above record the incident under discussion. We are sure that the incoming shot was fired from the derelict factory on Abbey Street, that it struck a wall at the western end of Sackville Street and that within three minutes Lance Bombardier Z returned one shot.

151.191 The various descriptions of the movements of the gunman afterwards are not conclusive evidence that he was hit. He might have withdrawn or been pulled back from the window. We have found no other evidence that suggests to us that there was a casualty in that area. As we have already mentioned, Major INQ 2225 told us that soldiers tended to assume that when they fired and saw their targets move, they had hit their target.1Our examination of the material held by the security services discloses nothing to suggest that Lance Bombardier Z killed or seriously injured his target. In our view he is unlikely to have done so. We have found no evidence to suggest that anyone was injured at all.

1 C2225.7

151.192 However, the incident is another illustration of the fact that civilian gunmen were active during the events of Bloody Sunday. Neither the Provisional IRA nor the Official IRA, nor any member of either organisation who gave evidence to us, admitted either knowledge of or responsibility for firing the shot to which Lance Bombardier Z responded.

Stephen Peak’s evidence of firing in the area of Abbey Street

151.193 Stephen Peak, then a student at the London School of Economics (LSE), took part in the march along with two other LSE students. According to his account, he and a friend, Sarah Harrison, one of the two students, were at Free Derry Corner when shooting broke out. They remained there for what he described as the shooting at Lecky Road and Westland Street to stop. They then went towards William Street via the rear of the buildings on the west side of Abbey Street, where he saw a figure he took to be a soldier holding a rifle with a telescopic sight on the first floor of a semi-derelict building to the west of his position.1 He indicated the building on a photograph attached to his written statement to this Inquiry, and in his oral evidence to this Inquiry he marked the building with a yellow arrow.2 He also marked the building and his position behind the Abbey Street buildings on a plan attached to his second written statement to this Inquiry.3

1 AP16.1-43

2 AP16.45; Day 182/15-19

3 AP16.42

151.194 In both the photograph and the plan, Stephen Peak placed the building behind the derelict factory at which, as we describe above, Lance Bombardier Z fired a shot. Stephen Peak said the figure he took to be a soldier fired one shot between him and Sarah Harrison. He told us that the man purposely missed as he could have shot us if he had wanted to and that he did not think Sarah Harrison saw the man.1

1 AP16.33-34

151.195 Some time the following week, Stephen Peak, with the help of Sarah Harrison and the other LSE student who was with them in the city that day, wrote an account of their experiences that did not mention this incident.

151.196 There is evidence of firing in the area of Abbey Street, namely the incident concerning Lance Bombardier Z, as well as evidence from a report by 1 CG of shots in the Little Diamond area. These events took place at a late stage, as we describe when considering the later events of Sector 3.1 This might well have been the time when Stephen Peak and his companions had reached the area of Abbey Street. However, we have found nothing to suggest that an Army sniper was in the building described by Stephen Peak, and in our view it is highly unlikely that one was there, as he would have been in the Bogside and isolated from other soldiers. Warrant Officer Class I 041 told us that he did not believe that Lance Bombardier Z’s shot could have gone towards the building identified by Stephen Peak.2

1 Chapters 121–124 2Day 375/13

151.197 In our view, while Stephen Peak may have heard the exchange of fire described by soldiers, we are not persuaded that anyone fired between him and Sarah Harrison. Had such an alarming incident occurred, we believe that this would have been mentioned in the account of their experiences that they compiled a few days after Bloody Sunday.

Paramilitary firing in the area of Long Tower church

151.198 At approximately 5.15pm, there was an incident involving a gunman near St Columba’s church.

151.199 St Columba’s Roman Catholic church is located on the western side of Long Tower Street and is more frequently referred to as the “Long Tower church”. Long Tower Street ran roughly westwards and parallel to the City Walls from Bishop’s Gate until it met Nailor’s Row when it continued in a south-westerly direction to its junction with Joyce Street and St Columba’s Walk.

151.200 We have evidence about this incident from three journalists, Simon Winchester, Nigel Wade and Anthony (Tony) Fry. Simon Winchester and Nigel Wade gave evidence to this Inquiry and we have Tony Fry’s written statement for the Widgery Inquiry.

151.201 Simon Winchester, then a Guardian newspaper correspondent, wrote about the incident in a Guardian article that appeared the following day:1

During one stage I was sheltering in a Roman Catholic church and as, with two other reporters, I went around a corner, a civilian, armed with a .22 rifle, opened up at us. He may have been a short-sighted IRA man, but whoever he was he was firing from a Protestant part of the city.

1 L45; M83.45

151.202 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry,1 Simon Winchester recorded that he was walking down Lecky Road with Daily Telegraph correspondent Nigel Wade and BBC reporter Tony Fry. They were attempting to make their way to the city centre from the Bogside, when they met a group of people who advised them to go to the Long Tower church and then make their way through a series of alleys to the city centre:

“We went up to the church and as we rounded a corner a man with a rifle – who I did not see – fired about five shots at us. We fell to the ground and crawled back into the church. Wade saw the gunman and said that he was a civilian. After sheltering for ten minutes we went back down the steps into Lecky Road and as it was by now totally quiet made our way down to Foyle Road and thus back to the city centre where we arrived at about 5.30 pm.”

1 M83.20

151.203 In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry,1 Simon Winchester said that the three of them went into the church, where they found people sheltering. When they thought it was safe, they left the church:

… I did not see him [the gunman], but I certainly heard him, a sniper open up at very close range and fire about five shots. I would say again a .22 rifle, it was that sort of crack.

1 M83.30

151.204 According to Simon Winchester, they dropped to the ground and then crawled back into the church, where they sheltered along with about 20 others. After five to ten minutes the three journalists left the church and made their way back eventually into the city .1

1 M83.30

151.205 In his book In Holy Terror, written by Simon Winchester in 1974 from notes he had made in 1972, he again described the incident:

On the way out of the area – we had to go the long way around, down Lecky Road and to the river and back to the hotel through the town – one curious incident occurred. Firing was still going on in sporadic bursts, and at one point we decided to try to climb up a flight of steps that breached the Walls, and leave the dangers through a churchyard. Since it was a Protestant area that we would pass through this way, there would, we thought, be few attendant dangers.

But in the churchyard we were suddenly and startlingly confronted by an armed man: he fired two shots at us, from the hip. He seemed to be carrying a .22 rifle, and his shots, which missed us by a massive margin, sounded like those from a small sporting rifle. We hurtled into the quiet of the church, where perhaps a dozen weeping men and women were sitting out the dangers, and waited until we felt certain he had gone. Then we dashed out and down the steps into the Bogside again, which to us now seemed rather safer, by contrast. The important thing that struck us both was that the gunman who confronted us at 5.15 that night at the Long Tower church was, in all probability, a Protestant. Ian Paisley had warned of possible use of force by his cohorts: and it seemed more than possible that some small loyalist force might become involved in the shooting match. That loyalist gunmen might have been in action that dreadful day – in my account I wrote ‘He may have been a short-sighted IRA man, but whoever he was he was firing from a Protestant part of the city’ – was never to be considered seriously by those who would later write about that Sunday.

151.206 Simon Winchester’s remark about Dr Ian Paisley’s warning was referred to during the latter’s oral evidence to this Inquiry; Dr Ian Paisley said that he warned that people would be forced to take the law into their own hands if the powers that be did not carry out their duties as the law keepers and I made that clear .1

1 Day 205/20-21

151.207 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Simon Winchester told us that the three of them went into a church, where they found people sheltering. After three or four minutes, he said the three left the church and headed up towards the city , when they came under fire. They returned to the church for cover. He did not think the shots were coming in his direction or were aimed at them, because the gunman was at very close range and could not have missed had he been aiming at us . Simon Winchester stated that he did not see the sniper, who fired five shots from what he said was a .22 rifle. They returned to the church, where they remained for about five or ten minutes. He repeated his belief that the gunman was, in all probability , a Protestant, again citing Dr Ian Paisley’s remarks and the area from where the shots came.

1 M83.6-M83.7

151.208 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry,1 Simon Winchester said that he did not know whether he actually saw the gunman. He told us he was certain that none of the civilians in the church was armed and described them as cowering, afraid, worried about when it would be safe to go out… 2

1 Day 116/69

2 Day 116/107

151.209 In a written statement for the Widgery Inquiry, Nigel Wade recorded that a single shot was fired as they were climbing the stone steps leading to the Long Tower church. The statement continued:1

Then we made a dash up the stairs, and going around the corner of the church wall 3 shots were fired at us in quick succession and as I spun round to take cover again I glimpsed a short man in a brown top coat taking aim at us with a rifle from about 10 yards. We went into the church and found about two dozen men and women there. They said someone had been shooting at people going in and out of the church. I said the man I had seen was not a soldier, and their opinion was the gunman was a Protestant from the Loyalist area around Fountain Street, nearby.

1 M79.5

151.210 Nigel Wade gave a similar account of the incident in his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry1 and in his written statement to the present Inquiry.2 He also related much the same account in his oral evidence to this Inquiry, adding that the gunman was middle-aged.3

1 WT7/48

2 M79.22-23

3 Day 109/143-148; Day 109/216-218

151.211 Tony Fry described the incident in his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry, in the following terms:1

I met Simon Winchester and Nigel Wade in St Columb’s Wells … and in an attempt to return to the City Hotel by a short route proceeded up the St Columb’s church steps. As we passed the main entrance to the church and into an open space I caught a very brief glimpse of a man with a rifle and some shots were fired. We ducked into the main entrance of the church. Where some other people were also taking shelter. They informed us that they had also come under fire from that gunman. After what appeared to be about 20 minutes we decided to run back down the church steps and return to the City Hotel.

1 M27.3

151.212 In their statements for the Widgery Inquiry, Nigel Wade1 and Tony Fry2 recorded that they were fired on before they entered the church for the first time, a position Nigel Wade maintained throughout. This account differs from that given by Simon Winchester. In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry, he recorded that they were fired upon as they rounded the corner and then they crawled back into the church , which suggests that they had been in the church before being fired upon. In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry and in written his statement to this Inquiry, he said that they had been in the church beforehand. In his book In Holy Terror, however, he said they had been fired on as they entered the churchyard from a flight of steps.

1 M79.1-5 2M27.1-3

151.213 Nigel Wade said that three shots were fired, while Tony Fry said that some shots were fired. In his Widgery Inquiry accounts and in his written statement to this Inquiry, Simon Winchester said that five .22 calibre shots were fired, while in his book In Holy Terror he said that two shots were fired. Nigel Wade described the gunman as a civilian, as did Simon Winchester in his account in the Guardian on the following day and in his book In Holy Terror. In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry, in his written statement to this Inquiry and in his oral evidence to us, Simon Winchester said either that he had not seen the gunman or was not sure whether he had done so.

151.214 All three journalists described civilians sheltering in the church. Both Nigel Wade and Tony Fry said that some of those sheltering had told them that civilians had been shot at while entering or leaving the church.

151.215 Thomas Cassidy, who is now dead but who was then the editor of the Derry Journal newspaper, gave a written statement for the Widgery Inquiry. He was not called to give oral evidence to that Inquiry. He described making his way up St Columb’s Wells, with others, towards the Long Tower church. As the group were passing the steps leading up to the church from Wells Street Terrace , he stated that he heard a shot, which passed close to us . The immediate reaction of the group was to go to ground. Thomas Cassidy identified those with him as Kieran Gill of the Irish Press and two other people .1 He made no mention of other journalists being present, nor did he name Simon Winchester, Nigel Wade or Tony Fry.

1 M12.2

151.216 Kieran Gill made a written statement to this Inquiry in which he described making his way to St Columb’s Wells, where he met Thomas Cassidy. Kieran Gill’s recollection was of walking with Thomas Cassidy and others, who may have included Simon Winchester . They decided to cut through the grounds of the Long Tower church towards Bishop Street. Kieran Gill said that a man appeared at the top of steps that led from St Columb’s Wells to the church. The man was about 30 yards above him and his group. This man was in his late twenties or early thirties, black hair, slim and wore a brown sports jacket, dark pants and had an automatic or semi-automatic rifle from which he fired several shots, perhaps four or five, from mid-chest level over our heads . According to Kieran Gill, this gunman could have hit the group had he wanted to. He and his companions dived for cover. He noticed that a middle-aged woman a few yards ahead of the group had also fallen on the steps. When Kieran Gill looked up, the man had gone – in the direction of the church. Kieran Gill said that the meaning of the shots seemed clear: we were not to proceed in that direction ”. His subjective view of the gunman was that he was an Army officer in civilian clothing and that he did not look in any way ‘local’ – judging by his features . Earlier, he had recorded that there was sporadic fire still coming from the general direction of Rossville Street .1

1 M105.11-M105.12

151.217 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Kieran Gill was questioned on the basis of whether he was describing the same incident as Nigel Wade, Simon Winchester and Tony Fry. He confirmed that the gunman fired while he was at the very bottom of the steps and that he aimed above our heads , but could not recall specifically if there was still shooting to his north, although he assumed that there was.1

1 Day 206/101-102

151.218 Although there are more discrepancies than similarities in the evidence of the five journalists, there are sufficient similarities to satisfy us that only one shooting incident occurred at the Long Tower church. Nigel Wade, like Thomas Cassidy, described only one shot while he was at the foot of the steps. The four or five shots described by Kieran Gill may have been the shots described by Simon Winchester, Nigel Wade and Tony Fry. Nigel Wade and Kieran Gill both described the gunman as wearing a brown outer jacket. Both Kieran Gill and Simon Winchester were of the opinion that the range was so short that the gunman could not have been targeting them.

151.219 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 William O’Connell told us that his two sisters-in-law and their friend had told him about encountering Simon Winchester at the Long Tower church:

Either later that day or afterwards I spoke to my two sisters-in-law and their friend who I had helped get to St Columb’s Wells. They said they had sheltered in the Long Tower church, and then in the churchyard. They said that with them was Simon Winchester (the journalist) along with Matt Morrison. I got the impression from the girls that Simon Winchester had introduced himself to them. At some stage, as they tried to leave the churchyard, shots were fired at them all from a raised position, to the north east of them. They said that bullets were bouncing off the churchyard as they tried to leave, and that Simon Winchester was lying on his stomach in the yard trying to shelter. The girls didn’t know whether the shots had been aimed at them, at Simon Winchester or at someone else. However, their clear impression was that the shots had been fired at them from the City Walls.

1 AO7.6

151.220 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, William O’Connell identified his two sisters-in-law as Myra McGinley and Bernadette McAnee. He also identified their friend privately to the Inquiry. None of the three has given a statement about the events of Bloody Sunday; nor has Matt Morrison, whom William O’Connell described as A local person .1

1 Day 181/12-13

151.221 In his Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association statement, Paul Gill described moving up the Long Tower steps (from the Wells) when four high velocity shots were fired and two people (a man and woman) who were at the top of the steps almost, dropped down to take cover . He was with his brother, Kieran Gill, and two others, Martin Harrigan and Monica O’Donnell.1 Kieran Gill did not name his brother in either his written statement or his oral evidence to this Inquiry. Martin Harrigan and Monica O’Donnell have not made statements, nor did Paul Gill make a statement to this Inquiry.

1 AG29.2

151.222 George Moore told us that he was among the civilians running south on Rossville Street towards Free Derry Corner when shooting on Rossville Street began. He continued running towards the Long Tower church, which he described as a safe haven that day. He entered the church and found about a dozen people inside . He went twice to a door with a view to leaving, but heard rifle fire both times. He said that after about 30 minutes the firing died down and he left the church to make his way home. George Moore said that all the shots he heard that day were high velocity shots.1 From his account, it seems to us that he had left the church before the incident described by the three journalists. It is possible, however, that some of the civilians that he saw sheltering were still there when the journalists arrived.

1 AM406.2-AM406.3

151.223 In her written statement to this Inquiry, Ann McFaul, who was not called to give oral evidence, recalled that she and her mother had been outside the Rossville Flats when shooting started. They moved to Free Derry Corner and then made their way to the Long Tower church. According to Ann McFaul, they were in Long Tower chapel for about 15 minutes. She did not say anything about hearing gunfire nearby or seeing a gunman.1

1 AM215.2

151.224 In his written statement to this Inquiry, Finbar O’Kane, who did not give oral evidence, described meeting Nigel Wade on Bloody Sunday. Finbar O’Kane told us that, as he was running along St Columb’s Wells towards Long Tower, he saw a large number of people tumble out of the church. Nigel Wade was one of them and he warned Finbar O’Kane there is a man with a gun in there . Finbar O’Kane was not aware whether Nigel Wade meant the grounds of Long Tower or inside the church itself.1

1 AO47.14

151.225 Despite the discrepancies in the accounts given by the journalists, we are satisfied that they did hear fire from a civilian gunman in the vicinity of the Long Tower church at approximately 5.15pm on Bloody Sunday. We have insufficient evidence to determine whether the gunman was firing at a target or firing warning shots not intended to hit anyone. We have no evidence that enables us to identify the gunman or to determine whether, as Simon Winchester first reported, the gunman was a member of the IRA or, as he later thought, a Protestant, though since it was a Protestant area, the latter would perhaps seem somewhat more likely.