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Report of the The Bloody Sunday Inquiry
- Volume II - Chapter 19



Other shooting in Sector 1

Chapter 19: Other shooting in Sector 1

Contents

Paragraph

The drainpipe shot 19.1

The evidence of OIRA 1 and OIRA 2 19.8

Did OIRA 1 fire the shot that hit the drainpipe? 19.33

Did OIRA 1 fire before or after the Army shots? 19.38

Evidence from others 19.43

Evidence of a confrontation 19.58

Evidence from the soldiers 19.82

The Sayle Report 19.101

The Sunday Press article 19.109

Other evidence of firing in the area 19.113

Other evidence from journalists 19.149

Other evidence of paramilitary activity 19.160

Conclusions on shooting in the area of William Street 19.169

The effect of the drainpipe shot 19.181

The drainpipe shot

19.1 There is convincing evidence from a substantial number of soldiers that some minutes before 1600 hours, a high velocity shot hit and shattered a drainpipe running down the eastern side of the Presbyterian church, just above the heads of members of Mortar Platoon, who were on the boiler house roof adjacent to the church and partly sheltered by the wall to the east of the church. The arrow on the following photograph indicates the position of the drainpipe.

19.2 According to Major Loden’s Diary of Operations,1 at 1555 hours One high velocity round was fired from the direction of Rossville Flats at the wire cutting party. The shot struck a drainpipe on the East Wall of the Presbyterian Church approx 4ft above the heads of the wire cutting party.

1 B2212

19.3 As already observed, this diary was made up the following day. No note of times was made on the day itself.1 Major Loden was himself on the other side of the church, and though we accept that he heard the shot as it hit the drainpipe, he did not see where it had landed.2 In his written evidence to this Inquiry, Major Loden told us that he could see the drainpipe,3 but we consider his recollection to be mistaken in this regard. In his oral evidence to this Inquiry he agreed that he was on the other side of the Presbyterian church.4 However, it is clear that the shot occurred after Major Loden had ordered Mortar Platoon forward to cut the wire on the wall (at about 1540 hours) and before Mortar Platoon soldiers went back to their vehicles, which must have been very soon after Major Loden received the Warning Order (at about 1600 hours) to deploy his company through Barrier 12.

1 Day 342/35

2 B2219; WT12.7

3 B2283.3-4

4 Day 342/28; Day 342/38

19.4 Several soldiers considered that the shot had come from the direction of the Rossville Flats, which is doubtless why this appears in Major Loden’s Diary of Operations.1 Apart from the fact that there was a clear line of sight from at least the upper floors and roof of those flats to where the shot struck, there was no evidence that suggests to us that the shot had actually been fired from there. It has been noted earlier that Lieutenant N of Mortar Platoon had briefed the soldiers the previous evening that the Rossville Flats were a known sniper point. This may have contributed to their belief that the shot had come from that direction.2

1 B591; B1732.002; C768.2; B1484.002; B1979; B1985

2 B438.033; B575.110

19.5 We are satisfied, however, that during the period in question a member of the Official IRA, known to this Inquiry as OIRA 1, did fire a high velocity shot in the direction of the Presbyterian church from the top floor at the north-eastern end of Columbcille Court. This position would also provide a clear line of sight to where the shot struck and is roughly in the same direction as that of the Rossville Flats. The photograph below shows the relative positions of the Rossville Flats, Columbcille Court and the Presbyterian church.

19.6 The circumstances in which this shot came to be fired are a matter of controversy.

19.7 The principal question we have to consider is whether OIRA 1 fired the shot that hit the drainpipe. There is another question: namely, whether the shot that hit the drainpipe was fired before or after the wounding of Damien Donaghey and John Johnston by Army fire. This latter question was the subject of detailed submissions, on the basis (which we consider below) that it was important to determine whether it was the Army or paramilitaries who fired first in Sector 1.

The evidence of OIRA 1 and OIRA 2

19.8 OIRA 1 and OIRA 2 were members of the Official IRA in Londonderry, on the Command Staff and attached to the Bogside unit.1 They told us that they had come forward to give evidence to the Inquiry at the request of the families of those who were killed or wounded on Bloody Sunday.2

1 Day 395/10; Day 392/12

2 Day 395/158; Day 393/130

19.9 In summary, their evidence to this Inquiry was that after dark on Saturday 29th January 1972, having received orders that all weapons were to be taken up to the Creggan area of the city, they had gone to recover a .303in rifle with a defective or missing front sight, which had been hidden in Columbcille Court by another Official IRA volunteer. However, they abandoned this attempt because they thought that there might be undercover soldiers in the area after a shooting incident earlier in the day.

19.10 These witnesses told us that on the following day they drove to Glenfada Park North. They left the car there and made their way on foot to Columbcille Court. There they recovered a rifle from what OIRA 1 described as some sort of bunker or outside shed on the ground floor level of the north-eastern block of Columbcille Court.1 The rifle had ammunition in its magazine. OIRA 2 said he could not remember where the rifle was.2 They then climbed two flights of stairs to the top floor landing (sometimes described as a balcony) at the north-east corner of Columbcille Court, a place where they could dismantle the rifle to enable them to carry it away concealed from view. This landing faced north and on this side there were horizontal, white-painted, wooden slats. The arrow on the following photograph shows the position that they said they reached.

1 Day 395/59

2 Day 393/47-48

19.11 OIRA 1 told us that after about a minute he heard what he was sure were three high velocity shots and shortly afterwards heard shouting from below that two people had been shot. OIRA 2 said that he did not recall hearing shots but did hear the shouts, though it is not clear from his evidence whether this was before or after they climbed the stairs to the landing. According to their testimony, they looked through the slats across to the Presbyterian church, where they saw a soldier on top of the building in a sniping position behind a low wall, whom they believed had been responsible for the shooting. OIRA 1 then aimed the rifle and fired one shot at this soldier. This happened, according to OIRA 1, a matter of seconds after he had heard the shouts that people had been shot. OIRA 2 thought or assumed that the soldier had been hit, and he and OIRA 1 immediately left the landing and made their way downstairs. As they were coming down the stairs or out of the building they were met by a number of people, some of whom protested at what they had done, while others urged them to continue firing. They then returned to the car in Glenfada Park North, where OIRA 1 put the gun in the boot and locked the car.1

1 AOIRA1.5-8; AOIRA1.26-28; Day 395/68-83, 88-91; Day 396/23-31, 38-45, 53; AOIRA2.3-6; AOIRA2.15-16;
Day 392/73-84, 109; Day 393/46-49, 55-58, 67-71, 75-76, 89-90

19.12 This account, given decades after the event, has similarities with – but also differs in fundamental respects from – an account of what OIRA 1 did written by John Barry of the Sunday Times Insight Team in 1972.1

1 AOIRA1.1

19.13 OIRA 1 denied that he had given any formal interview or made any formal statement to John Barry or any other journalist,1 though he said that he might have spoken to journalists in an informal way. John Barry told us that he had no independent recollection of interviewing OIRA 1 or compiling the notes, but was sure that he had talked to OIRA 1 at the time and had accurately recorded what he had been told.2 OIRA 2 denied that he had told anyone about the firing from Columbcille Court.3

1 AOIRA1.12

2 Day 193/101; Day 194/38; Day 194/93

3 Day 393/85

19.14 According to John Barry’s notes, OIRA 1 had arms stored in the boot of a car in Glenfada Park. He and OIRA 2 had already organised a possible counter-sniping position in Columbcille Court, in one of the areas outside the back door of each flat set aside for washing lines, which was fronted by white, wooden planks giving a slatted effect. OIRA 1 and OIRA 2 had arranged with a woman, the occupant of one of the flats, that she would leave open the gate to her washing area. They were at the junction of William Street and Rossville Street, when they then heard that two boys had been shot by the Army in William Street, so they collected a .303 rifle from the car and went to their counter-sniping positions, where OIRA 1 shot at a soldier on the left-hand side of the church who had been putting his head up very cautiously from time to time. Twice the man put his head up and OIRA 1 didn’t fire. The third time the man put his head up, OIRA 1 fired. OIRA 2 told him he had hit. 1 John Barry made a note that OIRA 1 was actually firing at east side of Church ”.2 We should observe at this point that the word boys is a colloquialism often used in the city to describe men of any age.3

1 AOIRA1.1

2 AOIRA1.1

3 Day 159/68

19.15 John Barry’s notes continued with a description of a violent altercation that then took place on the stairwell or at the entrance to the washing place with three members of the Provisional IRA, one of whom tried to grab the gun and whom OIRA 1 threatened to shoot, but which ended when OIRA 1 agreed that he would not fire again. OIRA 1 then went back to Glenfada Park and put the rifle back in the boot of the car.

19.16 OIRA 1 and OIRA 2 denied in evidence to us that they had arranged a counter-sniping position, that they were at the junction of William Street and Rossville Street when they heard that two people had been shot, that they obtained the weapon from a car in Glenfada Park, or that there were other weapons in the car.

19.17 It was suggested on behalf of OIRA 1 that a number of minor details set out in John Barry’s notes were factually inaccurate.1 This may well be so, and it may be the case that if there were such inaccuracies (for example, that Michael Kelly, one of those killed on Bloody Sunday, was OIRA 1’s cousin), they came from another source. However, we are satisfied that in all essential respects John Barry accurately recorded in his notes what he had been told by OIRA 1 about the latter’s activities on Bloody Sunday. Apart from the fact that we were very impressed by this journalist, the text of the note itself demonstrates, by phrases such as OIRA 1 says , that his source was OIRA 1.2

1 Day 194/91-92

2 AOIRA1.1; Day 194/151

19.18 Furthermore, in an article written by Gerard Kemp and published in the Sunday Telegraph on 23rd April 1972, a somewhat similar account appears. In that article Gerard Kemp wrote that he had interviewed a man in the Official IRA who said to him:1

“I left my car in Glenfada Park and walked over to Columbcille Court waiting for the marchers to come down. A bit of stoning was going on and I then heard two shots. I saw the crowd dragging someone back and knew someone had been hit. It was an old fellow and a young boy. I went back to my car and got my rifle out of the boot. It’s a .303. I walked back to the court and went up to the stairs on the way to the upper storey of the maisonettes. I was behind some vertical white planking and over by the Presbyterian Church I could see two soldiers crouching down behind a small wall. One kept getting up and then I saw him pointing his rifle. I fired one single shot and he jerked backwards. He was wearing a steel helmet with the face guard pushed right back over on to his neck. After I fired that one shot I went back to my car and put the rifle in the boot. ”

1 L210

19.19 In his written statement to this Inquiry, Gerard Kemp told us: I cannot now remember being told any of this – it was many years ago – but I have no reason to doubt that this was told to me at the time and that the quotation in the article was an accurate record of what he [the sniper] said. I also cannot remember the name of the man or his appearance and would not be able to identify him now. 1 We have no reason to doubt that the quotation set out in the article was a faithful reproduction of what Gerard Kemp was told. In view of what he recorded, there is little doubt that the person he interviewed was OIRA 1.

1 M47.1-2

19.20 We should note that in March 1972 Reg Tester, the Command Staff Quartermaster of the Official IRA in Londonderry on Bloody Sunday, gave Peter Pringle and Philip Jacobson of the Sunday Times Insight Team an account of the firing by OIRA 1 that was similar to the accounts recorded by John Barry and Gerard Kemp.1

1 S34

19.21 In these circumstances it is clear that OIRA 1 has given us an account of his shooting that is materially different from the accounts he gave soon after the event to John Barry and Gerard Kemp. The differences are such that they cannot be attributed to the dimming or distortion of memory through the passage of time, but must arise from some other reason, and must indeed entail that part at least of the accounts that OIRA 1 has given of this incident are untrue.

19.22 We reject the account given by OIRA 1 and OIRA 2 of making an attempt to recover the rifle on the evening of Saturday 29th January 1972. The reason they gave was that there had been an order that all weapons were to be taken up to the Creggan before the march. In his written statement to this Inquiry, prepared by his solicitors,1 Johnny White, the Officer Commanding the Official IRA in Londonderry on Bloody Sunday,2 told us that this had been the order. Johnny White became too ill to give oral evidence and so could not be questioned about this assertion.

1 AOIRA3.10

2 This witness was also known to the Inquiry as OIRA 3, but the Tribunal withdrew his anonymity in October 2004 after he had spoken to the Press about Bloody Sunday, using his own name.

19.23 However, we do accept the oral evidence of Reg Tester, who as Command Staff Quartermaster could be expected to know about the disposition of the few weapons held by the Official IRA in Londonderry. He told the Sunday Times in March 1972 that there were to be no weapons in the Bogside except for those held by the Bogside Official Unit, and these were to be kept in several safe dumps.1 He told this Inquiry that the rifle in question had gone to the Bogside unit at some time before Bloody Sunday and would have stayed with the unit until such time as they either no longer needed it or the situation changed altogether.2

1 S34 2 Day 414.40

19.24 In addition to the fact that it was not necessary to get the rifle up to the Creggan, the whole account of abandoning an attempt to get the weapon in the dark on the previous evening, because of the feared presence of the security forces, yet going back the next day in broad daylight to do so when there undoubtedly were many soldiers in the area, seemed to us to be so far-fetched as to be unbelievable. We were reinforced in this view by the manner in which OIRA 1 and OIRA 2 sought to answer questions about this topic when they gave oral evidence to us.1

1 Day 395/50-55; Day 395/85-87; Day 395/182-189; Day 396/1-8; Day 392/63-64; Day 392/87-93; Day 393/49-53

19.25 In these circumstances, we do not accept the evidence of OIRA 1 and OIRA 2 that their purpose in going to Columbcille Court on the afternoon of Bloody Sunday was to collect the rifle and take it up to the Creggan.

19.26 The next question is whether, as OIRA 1 told John Barry and Gerard Kemp, on Bloody Sunday they went to Glenfada Park to collect the rifle from the boot of a car in Glenfada Park, or whether they got the weapon from the shed or bunker at Columbcille Court.

19.27 In 1972, OIRA 1 would have had a motive for saying to a journalist that he had gone back to Glenfada Park to obtain a rifle after hearing that the Army had shot two people, for to admit that there was a loaded weapon hidden close to a pre-arranged counter-sniping position would have indicated that members of the Official IRA had prepared themselves in advance to shoot at the Army, rather than keeping their weapons in safe mobile dumps. The public line initially being advanced by the Official IRA at the time was not to admit to any shooting at the Army on Bloody Sunday, so as to avoid giving the Army any possible justification for firing.1 In a press conference called by the Official IRA on the night of Bloody Sunday, their spokesman said that he could not speak for the Provisionals but to the best of his knowledge there was no shooting at all against the Army in the William Street-Rossville Flats area ”.2 OIRA 2, speaking at a rally in Kilburn in London on 5th February 1972, said that the IRA had not fired back until the firing had been going on for 20 minutes. In his evidence to us, OIRA 2 sought to explain this by saying that when speaking at the rally he might have used what he described as a wee bit of poetic licence ”.3

1 Day 395/157; AT6.13

2 ED12.4-5

3 Day 392/123-124

19.28 The policy of not admitting to any shooting at all seems to have been abandoned, modified or ignored at an early stage, perhaps because there was widespread knowledge in the city that paramilitaries had fired on the day and some explanation had to be given. Perhaps OIRA 1 could not resist boasting of what he had done, by giving to John Barry and Gerard Kemp the information to which we have referred.

19.29 There might have been further reasons for saying shortly after Bloody Sunday that the rifle was taken from a car rather than from a place in Columbcille Court. At the time in question, there was fierce rivalry between the Official and Provisional wings of the IRA, the latter being only too ready to seize the weapons of the former.1 It seems to us that to disclose an unguarded place where a rifle was kept would invite the loss of that weapon, unless that place was never used again. In addition, to tell a journalist where the rifle had been kept (other than in the back of a car) would, in our view, run the risk of the security forces mounting a search of the area.

1 AT6.1

19.30 The fact that there might have been reasons for saying to the journalists that the rifle had been taken from a car in Glenfada Park does not, of course, of itself mean that what was said was untrue. However, OIRA 1 and OIRA 2 were insistent that this did not happen, and that they got the rifle from a place very close to where it was fired.1

1 AOIRA1.25; AOIRA1.26; AOIRA1.32; Day 395/94; AOIRA2.14-15; AOIRA2.21; Day 392/95; Day 393/80; Day 393/85

19.31 By the time of this Inquiry, and given (though we do not accept this) OIRA 1 and OIRA 2’s assertion that they went to Columbcille Court simply to retrieve the weapon, concerns about revealing a place where a rifle had been hidden no longer existed. It is therefore possible that what OIRA 1 and OIRA 2 told this Inquiry is correct and that they indeed did retrieve the rifle from its hiding place in Columbcille Court, rather than from a car in Glenfada Park. If this is so, then it follows that OIRA 1 lied to the journalists about this.

19.32 Whether OIRA 1 and OIRA 2 collected the rifle from a car in Glenfada Park or from a bunker or shed in Columbcille Court, and whether or not the rifle had a defective or missing front sight, we are sure (despite their denials in evidence to us) that the real reason why they climbed to the top floor landing with a loaded rifle was not to find a place to dismantle it, but instead to get into a pre-arranged sniping position in order to shoot at soldiers if an opportunity presented itself. Although OIRA 2 suggested that it would not have been safe to shoot from there, since the only protection was wooden slats, he agreed that the slats helped to conceal them.1 His evidence does not alter our view that they went to a sniping position. Neither he nor OIRA 1 could to our minds provide any other satisfactory explanation for going to the top floor of Columbcille Court with a loaded rifle. In his oral evidence OIRA 2 somewhat reluctantly admitted that OIRA 1 was probably a sniper.2

1 Day 392/071; Day 393/051 2 Day 393/014-15

Did OIRA 1 fire the shot that hit the drainpipe?

19.33 In his statement to this Inquiry, OIRA 1 told us:1

“I have heard talk of a shot hitting the drainpipe to the Presbyterian Church, which I understand may be to the east of the church. This is not the direction in which I fired. I am not aware of my round hitting a drainpipe. If it did hit a drainpipe to the east of the church I cannot explain why I missed the soldier I was aiming at so badly, unless this was down to a ricochet, or the defective sight. ”

1 AOIRA1.27

19.34 The drawing he attached to this statement shows the area at which he fired to be on the western side of the waste ground to the south of the Presbyterian church.1 In his oral evidence OIRA 1 said that he had aimed at the left-hand side of the church as he looked at it and that the direction in which he fired was to the south and west of the church.2 Though he did concede the possibility that he had hit the drainpipe that was on the other side of the church, his evidence as a whole indicated to us that he was maintaining that it was not his shot that hit the drainpipe.3 In his oral evidence, however, OIRA 2 said that it was probable that OIRA 1’s shot was the drainpipe shot.4

1 AOIRA1.48

2 Day 395/81-82; Day 396/78-79

3 Day 396/37-38

4 Day 392/83

19.35 OIRA 1 also told John Barry that he fired at the left-hand side of the church, though this reporter put in brackets in his notes (OIRA 1 actually firing at east side of church) ”.1 This observation may have been made because John Barry was assuming that this shot was the one that hit the drainpipe.

1 AOIRA1.1

19.36 In our view, John Barry was correct in his assumption and OIRA 1 did fire the shot that hit the drainpipe on the eastern side of the Presbyterian church.

19.37 We consider that OIRA 1 is incorrect in his assertion that he aimed and fired to the western side of the Presbyterian church. There is nothing to suggest that there were soldiers on that side of the church who were presenting the sort of target described by OIRA 1 and OIRA 2, nor is there any Army evidence of an incoming shot on that side. Furthermore, we discount the possibility that he could have been aiming at the western side of the church but hit the eastern side, for even with a defective gun sight he could hardly have missed his intended target by the width of the church, some 40 feet, at a firing distance of some 120 yards. In our view, OIRA 1 aimed and fired at one of the soldiers of Mortar Platoon who were on the eastern side of the church, but missed and hit the drainpipe above their heads.

Did OIRA 1 fire before or after the Army shots?

19.38 We now turn to the question whether OIRA 1 fired the drainpipe shot before or after Damien Donaghey and John Johnston were wounded by Army gunfire.

19.39 In our view, the importance of this question must not be overemphasised. The drainpipe shot injured no-one. If it occurred after the wounding of Damien Donaghey and John Johnston by Army gunfire, it obviously could have had no relevance to that event, as far as the soldiers who fired were concerned. If it occurred before, the same applies, as there is nothing to suggest that the soldiers who fired from Abbey Taxis were aware of that shot or that it influenced them in any way. We consider later in this report1 what effect the shot may have had on other soldiers, but again, there is nothing to suggest that their reactions were in any way influenced by any belief as to whether the shot had followed or preceded the wounding of Damien Donaghey and John Johnston.

1 Paragraph 19.181

19.40 OIRA 1 has maintained throughout that he fired at the soldier he believed was responsible for wounding Damien Donaghey and John Johnston. However, OIRA 1 in our view untruthfully denied to us that he provided the information recorded by John Barry and Gerard Kemp, gave a false account to us or to John Barry and Gerard Kemp about where he obtained the rifle, lied to us about attempting to collect the weapon the night before and the reasons for doing so, and lied to us about his purpose in going to the top landing in Columbcille Court. In these circumstances we can place no reliance on his evidence as to why he fired.

19.41 OIRA 2 told us in his first written statement to this Inquiry (given to his solicitors),1 that he was in the Columbcille Court area when he heard a number of high velocity shots and then shouts from below to the effect that two people had been shot by the Army. In his written statement subsequently taken by the solicitors to this Inquiry, he told us that he could not honestly say he heard the Army shots himself, but only someone in the crowd shouting, Two boys have been shot ”, after he and OIRA 1 had reached the top floor landing in Columbcille Court.2 In his oral evidence to us he said on more than one occasion that his recollection of events was very poor, and when asked why they had collected the weapon and then gone to the top floor of Columbcille Court, he said that his best guess was that it was in response to the two individuals having been shot earlier, though he could not remember the exact detail ”.3 OIRA 2 also said that the incident occurred before the main body of the march had arrived in William Street and when it was put to him (correctly) that Damien Donaghey and John Johnston had not been shot at this time said: It has always been my assumption that they were actually shot – I do not know the exact timing – it has always been my assumption that they were shot before the main body of the march arrived. 4

1 AOIRA2.3

2 AOIRA2.15

3 Day 393/48-49

4 Day 393/77

19.42 In our view, OIRA 2 now has little or no clear memory of the sequence of events, though he did maintain throughout his evidence to us that OIRA 1’s shot was in reprisal for the Army shots. However, since we take the view that he has failed to tell us the truth about going to Columbcille Court the previous evening and why he and OIRA 1 went to Columbcille Court on Bloody Sunday, we consider that we cannot rely on his evidence that the shot was by way of reprisal, unless there is other material to support this assertion.

Evidence from others

19.43 In his account to Peter Pringle of the Sunday Times Insight Team, Anthony Martin said that, while on the top floor of Kells Walk, he had heard two high velocity shots from the Presbyterian church/Richardson’s factory area and A few seconds later a .303in shot fired from the corner of Columbcille Court, which he thought it was a racing cert. was a reply to the first two shots. He then saw an altercation between the gunman and some Provisionals who were trying to disarm the man.1 His evidence to this Inquiry was that he heard two SLR shots from the area of the Presbyterian church, that he cleared people off the Kells Walk balcony in order to protect them and that he then heard a .303in rifle shot fired from south to north.2 In his oral evidence he was unable to give any reliable estimate of the time that had elapsed between the first shots and the .303in shot, or the shots and the confrontation with the gunman. He said that he did not see a gun at all.3There was two shots. There was a further shot. There were two shots and then there was some shouting about, asking a cameraman to come over, and then there was a shot and then there was an argument. 4 He did not mention this latter shot or the altercation with members of the Provisional IRA in his NICRA statement.5

1 AM24.3

2 AM24.11

3 Day 176/64

4 Day 176/109

5 AM24.1

19.44 On the basis that Anthony Martin’s account to the Sunday Times of only A few seconds passing before he heard the .303in shot is literally correct, and assuming it to be more accurate than his recollection 30 years later, the evidence of this witness supports OIRA 1’s present account that he fired by way of reprisal very soon after he had heard firing and learned that the Army had shot two people. However, this timescale would not fit with OIRA 1’s account given to the journalists, since much more than a few seconds would have passed if that account were accurate. Of course, the opposite is the case if Anthony Martin’s present recollection is to be preferred. However, we should not read too much into these apparently varying estimates of time, since expressions such as a few seconds are often used not with their literal meaning, but only as indicating a short but otherwise undefined interval.

19.45 We have no reason to suppose that Anthony Martin’s evidence was given other than in good faith, though we bear in mind that in an urban environment, it may be difficult – if not impossible – to identify from the sound the type of weapon being used and from where the shot has been fired.1 In addition, as appears later in this report, we are unable to accept his evidence on a number of matters, including his account that later in the day he came under fire from a low velocity weapon like a Sterling sub-machine gun or a pistol, which to our minds casts further doubt over his identification of the weapons fired in the incident under consideration. In view of this, although Anthony Martin’s evidence provides some support for the proposition that there was a shot following those fired by the soldiers, we cannot treat it as alone establishing this proposition.

1 B1363.002; B1363.007; Day 298/70-72; paragraphs 65.182–187

19.46 In his NICRA statement, Frank Hone recorded that he had heard shots that he knew by their tone to be Army shots and which, as far as he could guess, came from Abbey Taxis or the church roof. He then heard of two civilians having been hit and, about three minutes later, heard a heavier shot fired from a location very close to him in Kells Walk.1 In his written statement to this Inquiry he said that he could not recall hearing of these civilians being hit or hearing the heavier shot. He did not refer in his written statement to this Inquiry to any early Army shots. Referring to his NICRA statement, he commented, I cannot be sure now how much of the evidence is what I saw and how much is what I had heard other people saying or what I wanted to say I saw .2

1 AH80.1 2 AH80.5

19.47 On the basis of what Frank Hone recorded soon after the event, it would appear that there was an interval of minutes between what he believed to have been Army shots and a shot from a location close to him, though again this time estimate cannot necessarily be taken at face value. On his own admission, much – if not all – of his evidence may have been a second-hand account and perhaps of doubtful accuracy.

19.48 Thomas Mullarkey made a written statement, which he signed on 15th February 1972 and gave to the Sunday Times Insight Team.1 In this statement he recorded that he had been in the area of Abbey Taxis, had heard a new crackle of fire after the firing of rubber bullets, saw a young lad fall over and shout that he had been shot, saw another bullet kick up dust along the ground going towards Kells Walk and a soldier in Stevensons (by which it seems to us he was referring to Abbey Taxis) withdraw a rifle. I estimate 4 to 5 shots were fired at this time. A little later I heard a single shot, loud, a revolver, but could not place where it came from. The people still around were stunned for a minute before anyone came to pick up the young lad… In his oral evidence Thomas Mullarkey said that he could not now recall this shot, but had been a member of his university rifle club and so was used to the sound of rifle and revolver shots. He thought that if he had reported it, he must have been certain that it was a revolver shot.2 We found Thomas Mullarkey to be an impressive witness and have no doubt that he was doing his best to assist the Inquiry. However, his evidence that he was certain that it was a revolver shot that he heard, though given in good faith, again cannot be treated as conclusive, for the same reasons as apply to the evidence of Anthony Martin. Thus his evidence may either support the proposition that OIRA 1’s shot followed those of the soldiers, or be evidence of another shot altogether.

1 AM452.15; AM452.6 2 Day 69/57

19.49 Bernard Gillespie told us, in his written statement to this Inquiry, that he was on the waste ground near the Nook Bar1 and that the first live shot that he heard that day was the one that hit a young boy. A second shot was fired shortly afterwards, hitting a middle-aged man who fell to the ground. As he walked away from the waste ground, he saw a row going on in the corner of Columbcille Court between a man armed with a rifle, who was standing behind the slats of a drying area, and a group of seven to eight men who were telling the armed man to go away.2 He made a NICRA statement in which he recorded, I heard another shot just as the young fellow was been [sic] carried away and just then a man was carried into the same house. He also had been shot. He did not refer to the civilian gunman in his NICRA statement.3

1 AG32.3

2 AG32.4

3 AG32.1

19.50 Bernard Gillespie’s current recollection of hearing a second shot that hit a middle-aged man who fell to the ground is in our view a false memory, since in our view John Johnston did not fall when he was shot. Bernard Gillespie’s NICRA account may be explicable on the grounds that he heard more than one of the shots fired by Machine Gun Platoon from Abbey Taxis but ascribed this to a slightly later time than was in fact the case. However, it seems to us more likely that the second shot he heard was either the shot fired by OIRA 1 or another shot altogether.

19.51 Joe Carlin did not co-operate with the Inquiry, which was unable to obtain any statement from him as he lives outside the jurisdiction. He is recorded as having told the Sunday Times in 1972 that he saw Damien Donaghey fall (although he did not hear the shot that hit him), saw him being carried into a house and immediately afterwards heard a shot from an upstairs window of the house to which Damien Donaghey had been taken.1 His account of this shot appears to support OIRA 1’s claim that he shot after the Army shooting. He also told the Sunday Times that, before the shooting of Damien Donaghey, he had heard a single high velocity shot, though this came from the direction of Great James Street, not the direction of the Bogside.2 We return to Joe Carlin’s account of this earlier shot below.

1 AC150.3 2 AC150.1

19.52 David Capper was based in Belfast as a regional reporter for the BBC. In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry, he recorded that while he was at the corner of William Street and Rossville Street, he heard two much louder reports among the sounds of the rubber bullet guns and went up to see what had happened. After some five minutes a man told him that the Army had shot two men. The man asked him to come and see them. As they approached some maisonettes, David Capper saw and joined up with a BBC television crew. He also recalled a fight breaking out and the cameraman, who had been in the middle of the crowd, making a run for it. He then said, I was jostled in the crowd when suddenly a very loud report sounded in my ears … My impression was that someone close to me had fired a shot, presumably at the soldiers about 60 yards away. 1

1 M9.1

19.53 In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry, David Capper said that he thought the two louder reports had been rifle fire, that on his way to the maisonettes he saw two soldiers in a derelict building to the north of William Street,1 and that the very loud report he had heard later was fired about four or five feet from him and which I would have thought it was a revolver, may be a .38 or a .45 and I took it to be a shot fired from amongst a crowd that I was with… 2 Later in his oral evidence he agreed that this report could well have been from something else, though he added The only reason I base that on is that I have experience with a .38 starting pistol and the report was as loud as you would get from one of those. 3

1 WT2.68

2 WT2.68-69

3 WT2.75

19.54 In his written evidence to this Inquiry, David Capper stated that he saw one man fire one round from a pistol towards some soldiers who were in a derelict building near the Presbyterian church on the other side of William Street.1 However, in his oral evidence to this Inquiry, David Capper said that after hearing the bang he looked round and saw a man putting a gun back in his pocket. The man was at ground level,2 facing in the direction of the Presbyterian church.3 He explained that he had not regarded it as diplomatic to say in his evidence to the Widgery Inquiry that he had actually seen the gunman.4 He seemed to agree that his position at the time was probably somewhat to the east of Ma Shiels’ house (where Damien Donaghey and John Johnston had been taken), and he agreed that from what he saw the shot did not provoke any response from the Army by way of gunfire.5 His recollection was that the crowd scattered at the sound of the shot and that there was no altercation between any of them and the gunman that he saw.6

1 M9.17

2 Day 73/123

3 Day 73/11

4 Day 73/65

5 Day 73/68-69

6 Day 73/124

19.55 If David Capper was mistaken in his impression that the very loud report that he said he had heard was from a revolver (and we have already commented on the fact that it may be difficult in an urban environment to distinguish the sound made by different weapons), and since it appears that he did not actually see the man with a revolver fire, it seems to us that what he might have heard was the shot from OIRA 1. If that is so, his account supports OIRA 1’s assertion that he fired after the Army shots. Again, however, the possibility remains that David Capper was describing another shot altogether.

19.56 At this point we should note that David Capper was using his tape recorder that afternoon and that on the recording he made the sound of bangs can be heard, some of which are louder than others. However, in the end, despite considerable efforts (including technical analysis),1 we did not find it possible to draw any conclusions from this recording on the matters under discussion.

1 E9.0143-0145; E3.0075-0090

19.57 We consider the possibility that Thomas Mullarkey and David Capper heard a revolver shot rather than OIRA 1’s high velocity rifle shot, when we have considered other evidence bearing on the question under consideration.

Evidence of a confrontation

19.58 As already noted, Anthony Martin spoke in his account of events of an altercation between a gunman and some members of the Provisional IRA, after the shot he said he had heard fired from Columbcille Court.

19.59 As also described above, John Barry recorded in his note of his interview with OIRA 11 that OIRA 1 had told him that after his shot there was a violent altercation on the stairwell or at the entrance to the Columbcille Court washing area with three members of the Provisional IRA, whose names are recorded in the note. The Inquiry has received evidence from these individuals, each of whom has said that he had taken part in an altercation with OIRA 1.

1 AOIRA1.1

19.60 PIRA 1 told us that he was at the time a member of the Provisional IRA. This witness told us in his written evidence to this Inquiry that he had heard from someone that the Army had shot two people, though he had heard no shots himself.1 He stated that he then did hear a shot and ran up the stairs and saw two members of the Official IRA. He asked them what they thought they were doing firing a rifle with the march going on. He told us the man with the rifle defended his decision to fire a shot by referring to the fact that the Army had already shot two people. In his oral evidence, PIRA 1 said that he had gone up the stairs very soon after hearing the shot.2

1 AM508.1 2Day 409/70

19.61 This evidence supports the proposition that OIRA 1 fired after the wounding of Damien Donaghey and John Johnston. It also supports the proposition that the shot was by way of reprisal for the shooting of Damien Donaghey and John Johnston, though there is nothing in this evidence to support OIRA 1’s claim that he fired at the soldier he believed was responsible.

19.62 RM 1 (who described himself as a republican) said in his evidence that while he was in the Kells Walk area of Rossville Street or in Columbcille Court, he heard a shot from a stairwell behind him, ran up the stairs, found two men there and grabbed the rifle held by one of them. He told us that he did this because he was very angry that someone would fire with all the crowd about. He said that he pushed the man down the stairs and threw the rifle down after him. He told us that he went up the stairs on his own, though when he came down there were others about. He said that he was not listening to what the man was saying, though later he agreed that if either of the men had said they had just shot a soldier who had shot two civilians, he thought he would have remembered this.1

1 ARM1.2; Day 424/1-20

19.63 Apart from this, RM 1 said nothing about the shooting of Damien Donaghey and John Johnston. He told us that he left the scene quickly.1 His evidence, therefore, is only that he accosted OIRA 1 very soon after hearing the shot and does not provide any help on the question whether this shot preceded or followed the shooting of Damien Donaghey and John Johnston.

1 ARM1.2-3

19.64 Sean Keenan Junior was a member of the Provisional IRA at the time. In his written statement to this Inquiry he agreed that he had been involved in this incident. He told us that he was in Rossville Street when he was approached by a woman who told him that there were two or three boys with a rifle in a house; and who took him and his companions to an area in Columbcille Court. He also told us that he did not know whether or not the rifle had been fired: When the incident occurred, I was not aware that anybody had been shot by the army or that any shot had been fired by the Officials. He said that while there was a heated exchange, no-one tried to grab the rifle nor did OIRA 1 threaten to shoot them, and the argument ended with the Officials just going away with the weapon.1 Sean Keenan was too unwell to give oral evidence to the Inquiry. On the basis of Sean Keenan’s evidence, it would appear that neither OIRA 1 nor OIRA 2 said anything in his hearing about firing by way of reprisal for the shooting of Damien Donaghey and John Johnston.

1 AK46.2-3

19.65 We should note that the person known to us as OIRA 7 told this Inquiry that he was a member of the Official IRA at the time. He said that he was in the area and, though he could not say that he had heard the shots fired by soldiers, he learned that the Army had shot someone. He said that he heard a single high velocity shot, which he was sure followed learning that “Bubbles Donaghey had been shot. He then told us that he witnessed an altercation at the bottom of a stairwell in Columbcille Court and recognised OIRA 1 and OIRA 2, the former with a rifle.1 It is to be noted, however, that neither OIRA 1 nor OIRA 2 recalled the presence of OIRA 7 and they did not say to the journalists that he had been there. We remain unconvinced that OIRA 7 was present.

1 AOIRA7.7-8; Day 398/36-41; Day 398/144-150

19.66 The evidence from RM 1 and PIRA 1 is to the effect that the confrontation with OIRA 1 took place shortly after OIRA 1 had fired. This is consistent with and supports the account given by OIRA 1 and OIRA 2. OIRA 1 stated that having fired the shot, he and OIRA 2 decided we needed to leave the area as quickly as possible ”.1 OIRA 2 stated that after OIRA 1 had fired, we didn’t hang around for long... ”.2

1 AOIRA1.7; AOIRA1.28 2AOIRA2.16

19.67 OIRA 1 stated that he and OIRA 2 were still on the stairs when they were met by people coming up towards them.1 OIRA 2 stated that the confrontation took place as they reached the bottom of the stairs.2

1 AOIRA1.28 2 OIRA2.16

19.68 There is evidence from others of an altercation in this area.

19.69 Peter Mullan told John Barry of the Sunday Times Insight Team in 1972 that he witnessed the shooting of Damien Donaghey and sought to prevent a fight at the Shiels’ house between those assisting Damien Donaghey and John Johnston and a television crew.1 He then heard someone say that people should Get clear because someone here wants to get into action ”. He witnessed an altercation between a number of people, one of whom, he told this Inquiry, was Sean Keenan Senior2 and another a man with a rifle, whom he identified to the Inquiry as OIRA 1.3 The armed man expressed anger at the shooting of a little boy and an old man and said, Those bastards cant get away with that ”. In his written statement to this Inquiry, Peter Mullan told us that he heard a rifle shot and saw Damien Donaghey fall.4 A few minutes later he was aware of a second rifle shot. He looked round and saw an elderly man on the ground.5

1 AM450.1-2

2 On Day 152/205-6 Peter Mullan wrote down the name of someone whom he said he had recognised. The name was not disclosed publicly at the time but was that of Sean Keenan Senior.

3 AM450.8

4 AM450.6

5 AM450.7

19.70 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Peter Mullan reverted to his Sunday Times account and said that he did not hear a second shot.1 He stated that he did not hear any further shots and thought that he would have heard a rifle shot had one been fired in the vicinity.2

1 Day 152/192 2AM450.8

19.71 Peter Mullan told the Sunday Times that he thought that OIRA 1 was approaching, rather than leaving, the Columbcille Court sniping position1 and said to us that he had no impression that OIRA 1 had already fired.2

1 AM450.7 2Day 152/203

19.72 Peter Mullan’s identification of one of those concerned as Sean Keenan Senior must be wrong, as Sean Keenan Senior had been interned.1, 2 However, we have no reason to doubt his identification of OIRA 1 as the man with the rifle. Peter Mullan’s evidence of the altercation suggests that this took place some time after Damien Donaghey and John Johnston had been injured by Army gunfire; though of course it is possible that his evidence refers to some other altercation altogether.

1 Raymond McClean, The Road to Bloody Sunday, Dublin: Ward River Press, 1983, p112.

2 Sean Keenan Senior was the father of the Sean Keenan to whom we have referred above.

19.73 Eamonn Gallagher is recorded as having told John Barry that he was in Rossville Street and heard three rifle shots that he thought could have been fired from Great James Street or from Little Diamond: There were three – bang-bang-bang (regularly spaced, half second intervals). 1 According to this account, he heard a woman in the Columbcille Court area cry out that two men had been shot. He saw the wounded being carried away and saw a television crew. A man carrying a rifle then appeared, coming, as far as Eamonn Gallagher could tell, from the direction of the Shiels’ house. The armed man said that he wanted to go onto the roof and shoot because other people had been shot. The crowd pleaded with him and there was a tug of war with the gun. The man went towards the Rossville Street end of the block and disappeared. In his written statement to this Inquiry, Eamonn Gallagher told us that he saw the man with the rifle and witnessed an altercation, in the course of which the rifle was dismantled, before hearing any shots at all.2

1 AG8.6 2AG8.2

19.74 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Eamonn Gallagher denied that the Sunday Times account was accurate. He said that he did not recall seeing anyone wounded in the area of Columbcille Court.1

1 Day 66/87

19.75 We are sure that John Barry did correctly record what Eamonn Gallagher told him and that the latter’s 1972 account is to be preferred to his recollection decades later. As with Peter Mullan, his evidence suggests that a confrontation with a gunman took place some time after the wounding of Damien Donaghey and John Johnston. This could have been the altercation with OIRA 1 or some other altercation altogether.

19.76 William Burke, in his NICRA statement,1 recorded that while he was at Aggro Corner he heard five high velocity shots. A group of people gathered; he later learned that two people had been injured. He walked towards Kells Walk and about this time he heard three or four shots and saw people persuading three men to move on and break off firing back at the soldiers because of the risk to innocent people around ”. In his written statement to this Inquiry,2 he told us that he was on the march and heard shooting while he was in the area of the Presbyterian church. He assumed it was IRA fire but did not know where the shots had come from. He then saw a boy being carried away. He made his way to Columbcille Court and saw a group, including women, arguing with two to three men whom he believed to be members of the IRA. The women were saying that they did not want the IRA to be present. He saw no weapons. The Inquiry lost contact with this witness and he did not give oral evidence.

1 AB105.1 2AB105.3

19.77 William Burke’s account of hearing three to four shots does not tally with the single shot that OIRA 1 told us he had fired. William Burke may have been mistaken about the number, though it is also possible that he heard other firing altogether, or that one of the shots was that of OIRA 1 and that others were fired at about the same time. Again, however, his account suggests that the altercation he said he witnessed occurred some minutes after the shooting of Damien Donaghey and John Johnston.

19.78 Thomas Columba Doherty told us in his written statement to this Inquiry1 that, while standing on the eastern side of Kells Walk, he heard one or two high velocity shots. He did not know the direction from which the shots had come. He heard that two people had been shot. He then saw a man with a shotgun or rifle in a doorway, which he thought was in the northern end of Kells Walk. He gave a similar account in his oral evidence to this Inquiry.2 According to this, the gunman was accosted by a group of men, who told him there was to be no shooting today , and the gunman was pushed back into the house. Thomas Columba Doherty made a NICRA statement in which he did not refer to seeing a civilian gunman accosted by a group of men.3

1 AD106.1

2 Day 67/115

3 AD106.7

19.79 Thomas Columba Doherty’s evidence suggests that there was an altercation between a gunman and other men after Damien Donaghey and John Johnston had been shot. Again, however, it is possible that this was another altercation.

19.80 On the evidence we have considered, we are satisfied that there was an altercation involving OIRA 1 and OIRA 2 and others, after OIRA 1 had fired the shot that hit the drainpipe. We should add at this point that we do not accept Vinnie Coyle’s assertion to John Barry that the “bloke who fired ” was not an Official but a freelance.1 If, as PIRA 1 and RM 1 have stated, this altercation took place soon after OIRA 1’s shot, then in view of the other evidence that indicates that the altercation occurred quite a time after the shooting of Damien Donaghey and John Johnston, there is support for the proposition that OIRA 1’s shot followed that shooting. At the same time, it could be said that if this had been the sequence of events, both RM 1 and Sean Keenan Junior would have learned that Damien Donaghey and John Johnston had been shot when they arrived on the scene.

1 AC109.2

19.81 We now turn to consider other evidence about the sequence of the shots by the Army and the shot fired by OIRA 1.

Evidence from the soldiers

19.82 As far as the soldiers’ evidence is concerned, Major Loden’s Diary of Operations recorded that the drainpipe shot occurred a few moments before the firing by Machine Gun Platoon.1 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry,2 Major Loden recorded that he heard the crack of a shot that he believed had been fired at the Mortar Platoon wire cutting party and that a few minutes later he heard several shots from Machine Gun Platoon and turned and saw one man fall. In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry, Major Loden said that it was very shortly after hearing the incoming shot that his attention was drawn to firing from Abbey Taxis.3

1 B2212

2 B2219

3 WT12.7

19.83 It is noteworthy that while Anthony Martin, whose evidence we discuss above, said initially that it was a few seconds after Damien Donaghey and John Johnston were shot that he heard a shot in reply, Major Loden said that it was A few moments before, and both later gave evidence that extended the time interval. In neither case does it seem to us that this alone devalues their testimony, since, as we have said above, expressions such as these are often not used in their literal sense but rather as indicating a short but otherwise undefined period of time.

19.84 In his written evidence to this Inquiry, Major Loden told us that he recalled the drainpipe shot, but that he did not now remember seeing the shooting of a civilian by Machine Gun Platoon.1 In his oral evidence he repeated that he had no recollection of seeing a man fall, but was emphatic that the firing by Machine Gun Platoon followed the drainpipe shot.2 It was suggested to Major Loden that he had not heard, but had only been told of, the drainpipe shot, but Major Loden rejected this suggestion.3 We accept his evidence on this point.

1 B2283.003; B2283.010

2 Day 342/35; Day 348/65

3 Day 347/39

19.85 Captain 200 was the Commander of Composite Platoon (Guinness Force). In his written statement to this Inquiry he told us that some time in the days immediately following Bloody Sunday, he wrote a report of everything material that he had witnessed on that day, which was typed up on an RMP statement form. In this report Captain 200 described the drainpipe shot as following a warning by his lookout that there was a lot of movement in the top storey stairway at the north end of the Rossville Flats.1 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry,2 he recorded that access to William Street from the Presbyterian church was difficult. There was an 8 foot drop down to which there was only narrow exits and above it there was a strong wire fence. At the bottom there was a coil of dannaert [sic] wire. While work to improve access was going on I was standing just behind the gap of a small building – perhaps a boiler house – when a high velocity round hit the church. ” He added that he was certain that it was a high velocity shot from the noise of the round passing overhead, though he did not hear the discharge of the rifle.

1 B1979 2 B1984-5

19.86 Captain 200 also prepared a handwritten document, in which he set out a “Sequence of Events ”.1 Under the heading Church ”, Captain 200 wrote:

“a. Access

b. HV shot (Warned by K)

c. MG Pl

d. Return to vehs. ”

1 B2022.060

19.87 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Captain 200 agreed that the phrase Warned by K could have been a reference to the warning his lookout had given him about activity in the Rossville Flats, and that the use of the cipher “K ” indicated that this document had been prepared after the Widgery Inquiry had assigned ciphers to soldiers.1 He also agreed that the reference to Machine Gun Platoon could be a reference to firing by that platoon.2

1 Day 367/72 2 Day 367/71

19.88 Captain 200 gave oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry, during the course of which he said that he recalled hearing only one SLR shot from Machine Gun Platoon in Abbey Taxis, but before that he had heard a high velocity shot while he was with the wire cutting party.1

1 WT15.50

19.89 Although Captain 200 gave oral evidence to this Inquiry, he was unable to add anything further on the question of the sequence of shots.

19.90 We have no grounds for supposing that the testimony of Major Loden and INQ 200 on this matter was given other than in good faith, but once again it cannot be treated as conclusive. Major Loden’s Diary of Operations was composed on the following day and Captain 200’s note made days or weeks after that. It must be borne in mind that the drainpipe shot was of very little consequence indeed in comparison to the events that followed when 1 PARA went into the Bogside a few minutes later. In these circumstances it could be that Major Loden and Captain 200 were mistaken in thinking that the drainpipe shot occurred before the shooting by Machine Gun Platoon when, after the day, they sought to recollect the order of events at the Presbyterian church.

19.91 Corporal A, in his written statement to this Inquiry,1 told us that before he moved forward to Abbey Taxis, he was aware, having heard them or having been told of them, that one or possibly two shots had been fired. However, he had not previously mentioned hearing these shots and there is no military evidence to suggest that any shot or shots had been fired in the direction of the Presbyterian church by this stage.

1 B20.002

19.92 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry,1 Corporal P recorded that he was on top of the boiler house (the building on the eastern side of the Presbyterian church) when he came under fire from a high velocity rifle from the area of the Rossville Flats. He said this was at around 1530–1540 hours, but in our view this timing is unlikely to be correct, as we are satisfied that it was not until about 1540 hours that he and the other soldiers were deployed forward to the Presbyterian church. In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry he identified this shot as the drainpipe shot and agreed that he could not put a time on it with any accuracy.2 He also said that he assumed that the shot had come from the area of the Rossville Flats.3 Then in reply to a somewhat leading question he said that he had also heard five shots very close together, and that he knew where they had come from and that it was not the Rossville Street area. The matter was not pursued at the time and Corporal P told this Inquiry that he now had no recollection of events.4

1 B591

2 WT13.44

3 WT13.53

4 Day 353/9

19.93 Private 112 recorded the drainpipe shot in his RMP statement.1 In his written evidence to this Inquiry he told us that he had climbed onto a flat roof with a baton gun and that Corporal P was behind him carrying a rifle to give him cover. He estimated that he had fired about eight to ten baton rounds at rioters in front of him and that after an interval (about five minutes, though he was not sure of the exact time) witnessed the drainpipe shot. He said that after this shot he carried on firing baton rounds. He recalled that after Lieutenant N had climbed up to enquire whether any soldier had fired a shot Private 112 stayed for a period of time (“possibly 5 minutes ”) before being ordered to get down from the roof. He said he could not remember whether, before he got down, he had heard any further gunfire or whether there were any explosions. There was a lot going on and whilst I do recall hearing a number of loud bangs, I cannot say whether these were baton rounds or blast bombs as they both sound very similar. 2 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry Private 112 said that he did not know that Machine Gun Platoon had deployed forward to Abbey Taxis but that he had heard various shots fired, although he could not tell what sort they were.3 It is right to note that Private 112 told us that he was an alcoholic and that a lot of his memory was blurred.4

1 B1730

2 B1732.003

3 Day 320/94

4 Day 320/86

19.94 As we have observed earlier, there were many soldiers in the area of the Presbyterian church who heard the drainpipe shot, but apart from Major Loden, Captain 200, Corporal P and possibly Private 112, none apparently heard or recalled any of the shots fired by Machine Gun Platoon. Some in their RMP statements recorded that at about 1600 hours they were located in the forecourt of the Presbyterian church and had been in this location for about five minutes when they heard the drainpipe shot,1 but in our view it would be wrong to accept this evidence as indicating that the drainpipe shot was fired at about 1605 hours, since in our view the starting time of 1600 hours is almost certainly wrong and it is much more likely that these soldiers were in or near the forecourt of the Presbyterian church some 20 minutes earlier. Private 024 recorded in his RMP statement that it was about 15 minutes after he had witnessed the drainpipe shot from the yard of the Presbyterian church that Guinness Force got into their vehicles.2 In our view the latter event must have been very soon after Major Loden had received the Warning Order to redeploy his company through Barrier 12, which was at about 1600 hours.

1 Lance Corporal 018 B1485; Sergeant 014 B1409; Private 032 B1613; and Sergeant 035 B1625

2 B1526

19.95 In his RMP statement dated 4th January 1972 (which must be a mistake for 4th February 1972), Lance Corporal 010 recorded that during the approximate half-hour period he was in front of the Presbyterian church one bullet hit the church and I heard another pass some way from [sic]. I did not see who fired these shots but estimate that they were fired from the direction of William Street. 1 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Lance Corporal 010 said he thought that both these shots had come from the same direction, but that he had heard no SLR fire at all.2

1 B1393

2 Day 355/85

19.96 Lance Corporal INQ 627, in his written evidence to this Inquiry,1 told us he recalled two shots in quick succession, one of which hit the drainpipe.

1 C627.3

19.97 In view of the preponderance of Army evidence that there was only one shot at or about the time when the drainpipe was hit, it seems likely that Lance Corporal INQ 627 was mistaken in his recollection of two shots in quick succession. It is possible, though, that Lance Corporal 010 did hear two shots, separated in time, one of which hit the drainpipe.

19.98 Sergeant K, in his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry, recorded that the drainpipe shot occurred while attempts were being made to breach a gap in the fence behind the church.1 Private INQ 24 told us the same in his written statement to this Inquiry and that his officer immediately told the wire cutting party to get down; though it must be borne in mind that this witness made no statement in 1972 and was seeking to recall an incident from many years before.2 The same is the case with Lance Corporal INQ 768, who recalled being on the roof with Corporal P when he witnessed the drainpipe shot, and quickly got down.3

1 B297

2 C24.1-C24.2

3 C768.2; Day 323/137

19.99 We have considered the evidence of a number of other soldiers who gave evidence about the drainpipe shot, but in our view they add nothing material to the evidence that we have summarised above.

19.100 On the basis of the timing in Major Loden’s Diary of Operations,1 his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry, and the fact that at about 1600 hours he received the Warning Order and would in our view have immediately deployed his soldiers back to their vehicles, we consider that the drainpipe shot was probably fired at about 1555 hours.

1 B2212 2WT12.8

The Sayle Report

19.101 Harold Evans was editor of the Sunday Times newspaper in January 1972. Immediately after the events of Bloody Sunday, he sent general reporters Murray Sayle and Derek Humphry, along with Peter Pringle of the Sunday Times Insight Team, to Londonderry. Philip Jacobson, another member of the Insight Team, was sent to Belfast but he then travelled to Londonderry. Later that week Murray Sayle, Derek Humphry and Peter Pringle telephoned in their findings. Harold Evans told us that these findings ran into two difficulties. In the first place, those in charge of the Insight Team were concerned whether the sources had been exposed to close enough scrutiny. They were strongly against publishing as it stood what came to be known as the Sayle Report. The second consideration in Harold Evans’ mind about the Sayle Report was that Lord Widgery, the Lord Chief Justice, made it clear that he would regard publication during his inquiry as a serious handicap, so much so that he would regard such publication as a contempt of court. These two considerations Ied Harold Evans to decide not to publish the article, but to conduct another parallel investigation, using the Sunday Times Insight Team, led by John Barry.1

1 M24.2-4

19.102 In the typed-up version of the Sayle Report, dated 3rd February 1972,1 Murray Sayle and Derek Humphry, having referred to the shooting of Damien Donaghey, wrote:2

“One official IRA man was, however, nearby in a burned out building opposite Richardson’s factory. He had been posted there as an observer and was armed with a .38 pistol – although his orders were that he was to be unarmed. After Damien Donaghy was shot he says he fired a single round at the soldiers on the GPO sorting office roof. We make the range 50 yeards [sic] – an impossible range for accurate shooting with a pistol. This is the only Official IRA shot we can trace during the afternoon.

The spirit of mutual help is strong in the Bogside; Johnson was one of a score or more of demonstrators who ran towards the wounded boy. Another shot rang out and Johnson was hit in the leg. Seconds later there was another shot and Johnson was hit in the shoulder by what Dr McLean says was a ricochet. We have no doubt the Army fired both these rounds. ”

1 M71.21 2 M71.26

19.103 There is a note by Peter Pringle and Philip Jacobson made on or about 3rd February 1972, which contains a similar account:1

“We have established beyond doubt that a member of the official IRA fired a single shot from a decimal .45 pistol at an army sniper on the roof of the post office sorting building in William Street (map). The IRA man was in a burnt out house on the corner of William Street and Rossville Street. He believes he hit the soldier but we have been unable to confirm this from the army. The range, almost 100 yards, was extreme for an accurate pistol shot. The action of the lone official gunman was, therefore, unauthorised, but the officials claim nevertheless that it conformed with standing orders on retaliation. According to an eye witness (we know him but can not name him) the soldier who was fired at was the man who, some ten minutes earlier, had shot the 16 year old boy hit in the leg (map) and then shot and wounded Mr. Johnson (map). The official is said to have waited until the soldier showed himself again and then fired. Immediately afterwards he was involved in an angry confrontation with half a dozen civilians, some of whom we know were provisionals, and the official gunman then left the area. This part of the Bogside is strong provisional territory. ”

1 ED20.31

19.104 Peter Pringle told us that he thought that he had contributed the account that appeared in the Sayle Report and that the source was Reg Tester, the Command Staff Quartermaster of the Official IRA in Londonderry.1 However, Derek Humphry thought that he (Derek Humphry) had spoken not to Reg Tester but to the gunman. The drafting material from the unpublished report indicates that Derek Humphry and Murray Sayle added the section on this gunman to the report on 4th February 1972, the day following the date of the Pringle/Jacobson note.2

1 Day 190/15 2 S25

19.105 In our view it is likely that material from the note was used in the Sayle Report. However, there are inconsistencies between the details in the note and those contained in the Sayle Report. For example, the interview note records that the gunman fired with a .45 pistol from a building on the corner of William Street and Rossville Street. The Sayle Report states that the gunman used a .38 pistol from a building opposite Richardson’s factory. We think that the most likely explanation for these differences is that the Sayle Report drew on two separate sources. Derek Humphry is probably correct in his recollection that he interviewed the gunman, who provided the information that does not appear in the Pringle/Jacobson note.

19.106 The Sayle Report contains further inconsistencies with the materials subsequently collected and the conclusions reached by the Sunday Times Insight Team. Peter Pringle and Philip Jacobson both told us that many of these inconsistencies were the result of confusion arising from the first interview with Reg Tester; and that incorrect information provided or recorded in the first interview was superseded by the second account that he gave them.1 Reg Tester was interviewed by Peter Pringle and Philip Jacobson on 3rd February 1972 and again on 15th March 1972.

1 Day 190/19; M45.7

19.107 In his second interview Reg Tester did not refer to a man with a pistol firing from William Street, but, as we have pointed out above, gave an account similar to that given to the Sunday Times Insight Team by OIRA 1.

19.108 In these circumstances we are of the view that the Sayle Report, though doubtless based on what the reporters were told, contained an inaccurate account of the shot fired by OIRA 1 from Columbcille Court.

The Sunday Press article

19.109 In an article in the Sunday Press newspaper of 6th February 1972, Vincent Browne wrote:1

“When the second volley of British gunfire occurred the four members of the active service unit were immediately alerted. Two of them had, in fact, to return to a maisonette in the Bogside to collect a couple of rifles – there is some dissension in the Official I.R.A. on this point, for the local North West Command is annoyed that arms were not near to hand.

Meanwhile, the two other members of the unit moved into what they described as ‘sniping positions’ but what in fact were only street corners. Both of these were armed only with short arms, .38 revolvers.

After the second burst of army gunfire, the Officials took up positions and one shot was fired by one of the men with the short arms at a soldier in William St, but it missed. No other shot was fired then by anybody until the actual murderous assault on the Bogside by the paratroopers. ”

1 L171

19.110 According to the article, the Active Service Unit was that of the Official IRA.

19.111 Vincent Browne was unable to recall the sources for his article, but assumed he had spoken to members of the Provisional and Official IRA.1

1 M8.1

19.112 We have found no evidence from any source that suggests to us that there were two volleys of Army gunfire before soldiers entered the Bogside, though it seems to us that this is probably a reference to accounts (in our view mistaken) that Damien Donaghey and John Johnston were wounded in two Army firing incidents separated in time. The Sayle Report was to the same effect. In these circumstances it seems to us that, like the Sayle Report, the Sunday Press article contained an inaccurate account of the shot fired by OIRA 1.

Other evidence of firing in the area

19.113 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry,1 Ciaran Donnelly, an Irish Times newspaper photographer, described being overcome by gas in William Street, moving back and photographing stone-throwing in Little James Street and then walking up William Street. I then saw a crowd throwing stones at a derelict house near Tanner’s Row in which some soldiers were posted. One man from the crowd fired a single pistol shot at the soldiers. No fire was returned. Ciaran Donnelly then described returning to Little James Street and then moving south along Rossville Street.

1 M22.1

19.114 In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry, Ciaran Donnelly said that he had not seen the gunman, but had heard from somewhere nearby a loud bang which appeared to be a revolver shot and which he assumed had come from within the crowd. He told the Widgery Inquiry that most of the people, not wanting to be connected with a gunman, ran away ”, as he did.1

1 WT2.79

19.115 In his written statement to this Inquiry,1 Ciaran Donnelly told us that he had seen a gunman firing a shot from a small handgun or possibly a starting pistol at a derelict building. He described this man as aged 40 to 50, about five feet six inches tall with dark hair, wearing a blue suit jacket, dark trousers and a white, open-necked shirt. This was the only shot I saw fired by a civilian all day.

1 M22.20

19.116 In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Ciaran Donnelly first said that he did not see the man fire but only heard the shot; that people gathered round the man and were sort of hustling him away ”; and that when he asked what had happened they said so and so had fired a shot or something ”.1 However, later in his oral evidence, after being reminded of his written statement, Ciaran Donnelly told us that he had maybe seen the gun.2

1 Day 71/16 2Day 71/70

19.117 In his evidence to this Inquiry, Ciaran Donnelly told us that the gunman appeared to be drunk.1

1 M22.20; Day 71/15

19.118 We are of the view that the derelict house to which Ciaran Donnelly referred was probably the Abbey Taxis building. This could be described as near Tanner’s Row, which was an alleyway which was west of Aggro Corner, led north off William Street and then turned westwards towards the waste ground south of the Presbyterian church. We have no evidence of any other derelict building occupied by soldiers and at which people were throwing stones.

19.119 In view of his changing evidence, we cannot be sure whether Ciaran Donnelly actually saw a gunman fire, but on balance it does seem to us that he did see a man with a handgun fire at the soldiers in Abbey Taxis, though neither they nor any other soldiers appear to have noticed this shot. We consider that this shot must have been fired before the soldiers had wounded Damien Donaghey and John Johnston, for there is no evidence that suggests that people were continuing to throw stones after that event. We should add that in our view this was not the Presbyterian church drainpipe shot, as we are sure that this was a high velocity shot that could not have been fired from a handgun.

19.120 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry, Cyril Cave (the BBC cameraman) said that he was with Jim Deeney (his sound recordist) and on the Rossville Street waste ground when they heard shots that seemed to come from the William Street area.1 They ran into William Street and met a crowd opposite the City Cabs office who told them that two men had been shot and that they would take them to see the men. Cyril Cave and Jim Deeney were taken to a house in Columbcille Court, but there met a very hostile reception and were jostled by the crowd. They moved back towards Rossville Street, and as they did so a shot rang out which chipped the wall of the maisonettes facing towards William Street. Cyril Cave stated that the shot appeared to come from the other side of William Street.2

1 M13.2-3 2M13.2-M13.3

19.121 In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry, Cyril Cave said that the shot that rang out (which sounded very close to him) buried itself in the wall up Kells Walk ”. There was then this exchange:1

“Q. How far away were you?

A. A few feet.

Q. Did you see where that [shot] came from?

A. I did not see where it came from.

Q. Did you hear where it came from then? Could you judge from where it came?

A. It sounded very close. ”

1 WT1.62

19.122 When asked whether anyone else was around, Cyril Cave said, Just myself and my sound recordist. 1

1 WT1.62

19.123 In his evidence to this Inquiry, Cyril Cave said he thought it was a high velocity shot that came from an elevated position among some derelict buildings on the north side of William Street and hit a garden wall beside him. He recalled that splinters of concrete hit his clothing, though he could not place where this had happened on the maps and images provided by the Inquiry.1

1 M13.25; Day 141/84

19.124 In view of his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry, we are of the view that Cyril Cave was mistaken in thinking that the shot had come from the north side of William Street; and that in fact he knew no more than that it sounded and landed close to him. We have no reason to doubt that a shot did land close to where he was, and though it is not clear from his evidence exactly where this was, it is probable that this was somewhere near Kells Walk.

19.125 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry, Jim Deeney recalled being on the Rossville Street waste ground with Cyril Cave and going to William Street in front of the City Cabs office, where they were told that two men had been shot. Unlike Cyril Cave, he did not suggest that it was hearing shots that caused them to go into William Street. He also recalled the hostile reception they received when they got to Columbcille Court. He said that on the way back to Rossville Street they heard two or three single rifle shots that appeared to come from the area of the bakery north of William Street and that they struck buildings in Columbcille Court.1 Jim Deeney did not give oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry.

1 M20.2

19.126 In his written evidence to this Inquiry, Jim Deeney said that as he and Cyril Cave were walking back from the house in Columbcille Court along a path to the rear of Kells Walk , someone fired a shot at them. I heard a bullet whistle past us and hit a wall. 1 He made no mention of hearing two or three rifle shots. He did not give oral evidence to this Inquiry.

1 M20.6

19.127 We are not persuaded that Jim Deeney heard two or three shots as he and Cyril Cave made their way back from the house in Columbcille Court. Had this happened, we consider that Cyril Cave could not have failed to notice such firing. To our minds it is more likely that Jim Deeney had got the order of events wrong and had transposed in time the shots that Cyril Cave said had caused them to go towards William Street. In his written evidence to this Inquiry, Jim Deeney recalled1 that it was after paratroopers had gone through Barrier 14, that he and Cyril Cave had gone to Columbcille Court. This is another example of getting the order of events wrong, since we have no doubt (as Cyril Cave told the Widgery Inquiry2) that the paratroopers went in after Cyril Cave and Jim Deeney had been to Columbcille Court and returned to Rossville Street and then Chamberlain Street. In these circumstances, though we have no doubt that Jim Deeney was doing his best to help us, we cannot place much reliance on his evidence of the events under consideration.

1 M20.5-6 2 M13.3

19.128 In his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry,1 John Bierman (a BBC reporter) stated that he was with Cyril Cave and Jim Deeney. He described being with them at the junction of William Street and Chamberlain Street when CS gas drifted their way, which he said affected him and made him not perfectly clear about what happened in the next four or five minutes. However, he recalled that not long after the CS gas was thrown, he heard sounds of firing, which after he had recovered from the gas he was satisfied was ball ammunition, and not baton rounds and that the sound of firing seemed to be coming from their left, from down William Street. He stated that he was a little vague about the route they then took, but that at some point along William Street they were told by a group of people that two members of the Bogside community had been shot in the leg. He also recalled the hostile reception of which his colleagues had spoken.2 He said nothing in this statement or in his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry3 about hearing a shot or shots as he made his way back to the Rossville Street waste ground. In his written evidence to this Inquiry,4 John Bierman recalled that during the incident with the hostile crowd, he had got separated from Cyril Cave and Jim Deeney, respectively his cameraman and his sound recordist. The fact that John Bierman did not mention hearing any shots may be explicable on the basis that he had become separated from the others by this stage.

1 M6.1 3M6.9

2 M6.4 4M6.26

19.129 John William Porter was at the time a Company Quartermaster Sergeant in the Irish Army. In his Keville interview1 he is recorded as saying that when he was standing at the corner of Kells Wells [sic] he heard people saying that two people had been shot at the back of burned-out buildings on the side of William Street and Kells Court I think you call it ”. He said that he went up there to investigate and saw a British camera crew enquiring about these people. He then said that a girl came up and told the crew that if they wanted the evidence, they could film people who were shot in the flat. He said he followed the crew and a girl came out with a handkerchief full of blood. While we were standing there a high velocity bullet was fired from the SLR in the direction of William – between Stevensons Bakery and Rossville Street flats … this shot was fired embedded on the sides of the – you know the – aluminium strips, goes around the side of the flats here in Kells Court, that bullet embedded in there. I pulled round the side of Kells Flats and er – at this stage there were two people shot earlier…

1 AP11.24

19.130 In his NICRA statement,1 John Porter recorded that on Bloody Sunday he had made his way to the Kells Walk–Columbcille Court area, after hearing that two men had been injured. There he saw a TV film crew and a woman holding a bloody handkerchief, before being (verbally) stopped by a young man from the surrounding crowd. In his NICRA statement, he stated that as he stood in this area he heard the crack of a high-velocity bullet … and the sound of the bullet striking something metal at that side of Columbcille Court. I looked up and saw the strips of galvanised sheet metal covering the fronts of these houses. This shot came from the army line from Stevenson’s Bakery to Little James Street from an elevated position. 2 John Porter stated that he subsequently moved from this area towards Glenfada Park.

1 AP11.1 2AP11.1

19.131 John Porter gave a similar account in his evidence to the Widgery Inquiry.1

1 WT8.44

19.132 There is a Sunday Times map attributed to John Porter.1 This shows where a bullet hit the building, but we have no interview notes accompanying the map, so its precise provenance is unclear.

1 AP11.22

19.133 John Porter’s description of where the bullet struck something metal at the side of Columbcille Court differs from that given by Cyril Cave, which was that the bullet hit a wall (in his evidence to us Cyril Cave recalled a garden wall ”) close by them in the area of Kells Walk.

19.134 John Porter is dead and gave no evidence to this Inquiry. As will be seen later in this report, we are of the view that when he described events that occurred later in the day in Sector 4, he got the order of events wrong. To our minds he also did so when describing this shot, and what he observed was far more likely to have been one of the shots fired by soldiers shooting at Damien Donaghey, which ricocheted up into Columbcille Court.

19.135 There is also the evidence of Sean Barr (who was 16 at the time) and Charles James McGill. The former in his NICRA statement stated that just after he had helped John Johnston to cover another shot rang out and hit the wall behind.1 In his written evidence to this Inquiry2 Sean Barr stated that he no longer remembered this shot. In his written evidence to this Inquiry, Charles McGill told us he recalled shots from one of the soldiers on the flat church roof as he was helping John Johnston,3 but in his NICRA statement,4 though he recalled hearing shots and then going to the aid of John Johnston, he made no mention of another shot shortly afterwards. In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Charles McGill resiled from his suggestion that there was a shot after he had gone to the aid of John Johnston.5 Michael McGuinness, in his written evidence to this Inquiry,6 told us that he did not recall hearing any further shooting as he and Charles McGill helped John Johnston towards Ma Shiels’ house.

1 AB19.8

2 AB19.5

3 AM230.3

4 AM230.8

5 Day 69/92

6 AM283.3

19.136 In our view Charles McGill was correct in having second thoughts about his initial recollection of Army shots as he was helping John Johnston. It seems to us possible that Sean Barr may have confused the order of events and that the shot he described in his NICRA statement was one that had been fired at Damien Donaghey; but equally what Sean Barr recalled at the time could be said to support the account given by Cyril Cave of a later shot.

19.137 The source of the shot witnessed by Cyril Cave is unclear. There is no Army evidence of a shot or shots being fired across William Street at this stage. It is possible that a soldier did fire but did not admit to doing so, but to our minds this is unlikely, as he would have run the risk that other soldiers (including commissioned and non-commissioned officers) would have witnessed what he had done. It is also possible (and to our minds somewhat more likely) that the shot was fired by a civilian, not to hit but perhaps to frighten off the BBC crew who, as observed above, had met a very hostile reception when taken to the house in Columbcille Court.

19.138 It seems most unlikely that what the witnesses heard was the shot fired by OIRA 1, since this was fired from Columbcille Court and directed towards the Presbyterian church.1

1 Day 141/131-132

19.139 We now consider the accounts of other civilian witnesses who have stated that they heard a single shot fired.

19.140 Charles Gallagher in his NICRA statement1 recorded that he was standing with a group of people at Abbey Street when he heard one shot ring out which seemed to come from the derelict building to the right of Stevenson Bakery ”. He heard no other shooting as he went down the street to the right of Colmcille Court on his way to Free Derry Corner. In his written evidence to this Inquiry,2 he told us that he was on the march and about 100–200m behind the lorry, though it is not clear whether this was still the case when he got to Abbey Street. In his oral evidence he said that at the time he heard the shot, William Street was fairly crowded, but also described his recollection of this as vague ”.3 He stated that he was surprised that there appeared to be no reaction by the crowd to the shot. He also stated he did not see anyone in the William Street area throwing stones or shouting at soldiers.

1 AG6.7

2 AG6.1

3 Day 105/54

19.141 Sheila McLoughlin (now Sheila Ingram) also gave similar evidence in her written statement to this Inquiry.1 She recalled being somewhere near the middle of the march (nearer to the back end of the middle ”) and that when she was about midway down William Street she heard a high velocity shot which she thought had come from a height and from the north side of William Street. She recalled that those around her also looked in this direction. For a few seconds there was a feeling of anxiety among the crowd, but as the shot was not followed by any further shots, people soon carried on walking and the march proceeded along William Street ”. Sheila McLoughlin said that she had not seen anyone throwing stones or anything else in William Street. Sheila McLoughlin does not appear to have given a 1972 account.

1 AI1.7

19.142 Martin Hegarty, in his written statement to this Inquiry, estimated that he was quite close to the back of the march and thought that it was as he was walking along William Street and opposite Abbey Street that he heard a single high velocity shot which he recognised as much as one can as being from an Army weapon. He said he thought that it was some time after 3.30pm when he heard this shot. He said that he could see soldiers on buildings on the north side of William Street. He added that although he did not make any connection between the shot he heard and the soldier he saw, the people around me certainly seemed to think that the shot had come from the direction of the old factory to our left ”. Martin Hegarty told us that there was no panic when the shot rang out and people did not run, albeit that they probably could not have done so because there were so many people packing the street ”. He went on down to the junction of William Street and Rossville Street. He said he could not remember if there were people on the waste grounds to either side of William Street, but heard no reports that anyone had been hit by the shot that he had heard.1 Martin Hegarty also does not appear to have given a 1972 account.

1 AH62.2

19.143 Charles Gallagher, Sheila McLoughlin and Martin Hegarty all thought that the shot had come from the north side of William Street. They could be wrong about this, because of the difficulty in an urban environment of telling where firing had come from. In the case of Charles Gallagher, it is difficult to tell where the march had got to at this time, though he had a vague memory of William Street being fairly crowded. Sheila McLoughlin described herself as being somewhere near the back of the middle of the march. Martin Hegarty described William Street as being packed with people.

19.144 In our consideration of the wounding of Damien Donaghey and John Johnston, we concluded that by the time of that event, there were few marchers still coming down William Street. If the recollection of these witnesses as to the state of the crowd is accurate, it seems unlikely that what they recalled hearing was one of the shots fired by Machine Gun Platoon at this time. Their evidence could be said to support the proposition that what they heard was the shot fired by OIRA 1, before the wounding of Damien Donaghey and John Johnston; or indeed that they heard another shot altogether. However, Charles Gallagher was the only one of these three who appears to have given a 1972 account, and this account does not describe the state of the crowd in William Street at this time. To our minds it is equally possible that the recollections of these witnesses of the numbers of people in William Street, given so long afterwards, are faulty and that what these witnesses heard was either one of the shots fired by Machine Gun Platoon, or OIRA 1’s shot after that event, or the shot heard by Cyril Cave and (possibly) by Sean Barr, or another shot altogether.

19.145 John Brown told us in his written statement to this Inquiry that while he was in the Kells Walk area of Rossville Street he heard a sharp crack, which he thought was a rifle shot.1 According to his NICRA statement, The sound seemed to come from Upper William Street over Kell’s Walk .2 For us, he marked on a map the area from which he thought it had come, which included the laundry waste ground to the south and the buildings on the north-west side of Aggro Corner,3 although he added that he could not say exactly where it was fired from, or in which direction it might have been fired ”. He said that, a few minutes after hearing the shot, he heard a girl call out from Kells Walk or the Rossville Flats that someone had been shot.4 John Brown said he heard no other shots that day.5 He thought that the march was still in progress when he heard the single shot.6

1 AB93.2

2 AB93.6

3 AB93.5

4 AB93.2

5 Day 54/59

6 Day 54/67

19.146 John Brown’s evidence is that he heard only one shot. It is possible that this was one of the shots fired by soldiers from Abbey Taxis since, as with other witnesses, he may not have heard all the shots fired from there. It is equally possible that what he heard was the shot fired by OIRA 1, or indeed another shot altogether. Although he recalled hearing this shot when he thought that the march was still in progress, he was not in William Street and thus would not have known of the state of the crowd there when he heard the shot.

19.147 Kathleen Turner1 and William Martin Hegarty2 also gave evidence of hearing a single shot, but associated this with the wounding of Damien Donaghey. It seems to us that what these witnesses heard was probably one of the shots fired by soldiers from Abbey Taxis. Eileen Doherty3 also recalled hearing a single shot that had come from William Street while she was at the junction of this street and Rossville Street, but we formed the view when listening to her that after so many years her testimony, though undoubtedly given in good faith, was such that we could place no reliance on it.

1 AT19.2; Day 54/23

2 AH65.1

3 AD64.1; Day 113/101-102

19.148 Professor McCormack (to whom we have referred when considering the shooting of Damien Donaghey and John Johnston) said that he thought he was in the middle of the march.1 He said that a soldier on the GPO roof fired a shot at a time at which the march was static in William Street. He accepted in his oral evidence that the soldier may just have pointed his rifle, not fired.2 There are others who recall a soldier in this position pointing but not firing his rifle. In view of Professor McCormack’s uncertainty over whether he actually saw the soldier fire, it seems to us that his evidence on this point does not take the matter much further.

1 Day 113/122 2 Day 113/101-2

Other evidence from journalists

19.149 Nigel Wade of the Daily Telegraph, Simon Winchester of the Guardian and David Tereshchuk of Thames Television all gave evidence to the Widgery Inquiry to the effect that at about 4.00pm they were together at or near the doorway of City Cabs in William Street. All three of these journalists said that at this time they heard a single shot. City Cabs is indicated by an arrow on the following photograph.

19.150 Nigel Wade said in his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry that at the time he did not know where the shot had come from and that just after the shot was fired a woman said to him: Go on, do your duty, there’s a boy shot up there. 1 He also said that he believed that the shot had come from the GPO sorting office, but only because he had since heard that the Army fired a shot at this point. In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry he said that it was the very first shot he had heard that day.2

1 M79.2 2 WT7.48

19.151 Simon Winchester recorded in his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry that he thought this was a high velocity shot that had come from the direction of Little Diamond and he remarked to his colleagues Provos , thinking it was from an IRA sniper. He said that this shot was fired between 4.00pm and 4.05pm and that he had noted it in his notebook.1 In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry he recalled a woman reacting by saying to him Be sure and get it right who fired that shot ”, but that this was the only reaction from the three or four people who were near him.2 In his book In Holy Terror he said that this shot had been fired at an Army wire cutting party, but in his oral evidence to this Inquiry he said that this information had come from IRA people to whom he had spoken in Belfast much later.3

1 M83.16

2 WT3.11

3 Day 116/147-148

19.152 In his written evidence to this Inquiry,1 Simon Winchester said that the shot was a low velocity one and that it came from the direction of Glenfada Park or the Rossville Flats, but we had the impression from his oral evidence that he was not certain whether the shot he heard was high or low velocity, but merely different from the sounds of baton guns he had heard earlier in the afternoon.2 As to the direction of the shot, he could really say no more than that it came from behind him and the arc of what could be behind me would … include the Little Diamond and Rossville and Glenfada ”.3

1 M83.3

2 Day 116/30-31

3 Day 116/31

19.153 David Tereshchuk recorded in his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry that he heard a single rifle shot that seemed to come from further up William Street.1 In his oral evidence to the Widgery Inquiry he said that it was the first shot that he had heard that afternoon.2

1 M77.1 2WT3.82

19.154 None of these journalists appears to have heard more than one shot. As we have already pointed out, it does not follow that what they heard must have been something other than one of the shots fired by soldiers from Abbey Taxis, since other witnesses also recall hearing only one shot from that location. In the end, we formed the view that the evidence of these journalists did not enable us to determine whether the shot they heard was the shot fired by OIRA 1, one of the shots fired by soldiers in Abbey Taxis, or another shot altogether.

19.155 The Observer newspaper had intended to publish a substantial article about Bloody Sunday in its edition of 6th February 1972, but did not proceed because of a concern that publication might be regarded as contempt of the Widgery Tribunal. The following appears in the galley proofs of that article, attributed to the acting Commanding Officer of the Official wing of the IRA in Derry, Johnny White (OIRA 3):1

“‘On Sunday, most of our members were taking part in the march and were unarmed. We had two marksmen on duty, but with strict instructions not to use their weapons until the area was clear of civilians. One was covering Rossville Street from the corner of William Street and Rossville Street. Another was in the Little Diamond covering William Street … We fired only one shot in the area, and that was after the Army had finished shooting. A soldier went into the street by himself and our man covering Rossville Street thought he could get him.

He fired one shot and then realised it would be dangerous to go on because, although the immediate street was clear, people were huddled in doorways and running to safety whenever the firing stopped.

Two shots were fired by our volunteer covering Bishops [sic] Street. Those were the only shots we fired.’”

1 ED24.9

19.156 Bishop Street lies to the south-east of the Rossville Flats, starting at the Diamond in the walled part of the city, and is nowhere near William Street.

19.157 We have no reason to doubt that the account in the Observer galley proofs came from Johnny White (OIRA 3) and was accurately reported, but it is clearly an inaccurate and incomplete account, since apart from anything else, it does not refer to the shot undoubtedly fired by OIRA 1 from Columbcille Court. The reference to a gunman covering Rossville Street and firing a shot at a soldier on the street may be a reference to an incident concerning Reg Tester in the area of Free Derry Corner, which occurred after soldiers had gone into the Bogside. We consider this incident later in this report.1 However, the article does provide evidence that at some time there were two Official IRA gunmen in the area of William Street.

1 Chapter 148

19.158 We have referred above to the article in the Sunday Press of 6th February 1972 by Vincent Browne. Earlier in the same article he wrote:1

“The Officials had an active service unit of four men on duty. They were all either to be armed during the parade or to have immediate access to arms should they become necessary. In addition, a number of other volunteers in the parade were armed for their personal protection.

It is important to emphasize that at no stage during the initial part of the parade did any IRA men open fire. By the time that some of them did so one man was dead and three people were injured. ”

1 M8.2

19.159 Although Vincent Browne could not recall his sources, it seems to us that this account provides further evidence that in addition to OIRA 1, there were other members of the Official IRA in the area under discussion, who were armed or who had ready access to arms.

Other evidence of paramilitary activity

19.160 Teresa Bradley told us that while she was on the laundry waste ground, with her eyes streaming from gas, she saw a boy on the ground wearing a white jerkin, denim jeans and motorbike goggles, who appeared to have been shot in the leg. She had heard shooting but thought it was rubber bullets.1, 2 Her recollection was that her husband went with those carrying the boy to Dr Raymond McClean, who was standing nearby. She started to walk after them, but then stopped and waited. She recalled that at this time she saw a gunman on the first floor of Kells Walk: He was not right to the north end of the Walk, where there were stairs; he was a short way back and may have come out of a slatted area where the tenants dried their washing. 3 The gunman was standing completely alone and was firing a handgun to the north. He shot several times. It was not a heavy gun and the firing sounded like ‘pops’. ” Teresa Bradley said that the crowd around her who had also seen the gunman fire got very irate and were shouting at the man to stop shooting. The man when she next looked had disappeared.

1 AB70.1

2 Day 64/24-75

3 AB70.2-3

19.161 Teresa Bradley had made a NICRA statement1 in which there is no reference to this gunman, nor to another later incident where she recalled seeing men with guns in a car, though in her evidence to us she was sure that she had mentioned these incidents to the person writing her statement.2 That person was William Smyth, who denied that Teresa Bradley had mentioned these matters, on the basis that if she had done so, he would have included them in her statement.3 It seemed to us that William Smyth did not in fact remember taking this particular statement. We preferred the evidence of Teresa Bradley on this point. In our view she probably did give this information to William Smyth, though we do not know why he did not record it.

1 AB70.9

2 AB70.5; Day 64/48-49, 71-73

3 AS27.2; Day 83/154

19.162 Teresa Bradley is almost certainly wrong about the presence of Dr McClean, as there is convincing evidence that he was fetched to Ma Shiels’ house after Damien Donaghey had been taken there.1 Apart from this, however, we believe that this witness did see a gunman as she described, though it is possible that, with the passage of years, her memory of some of the other details of what she saw may have become distorted. The fact that she did not appear to recall hearing the shot fired by OIRA 1 or the altercation with him does not in our view undermine her testimony, nor the fact that there is no other evidence of this gunman, though in this connection it is possible that the shots heard by William Burke, whose evidence we discuss above, were from this source. It is also possible that David Capper saw the gunman described by Teresa Bradley, but this seems unlikely if he is right in his recollection that this gunman was at ground level.

1 AM105.4-5; H3.13

19.163 According to Teresa Bradley’s account, the gunman was on the same balcony as Anthony Martin, whose evidence we have considered earlier. He made no mention of seeing a gunman there, but this may be explicable on the basis that these two witnesses were describing events at different times.

19.164 Although we are sure that Teresa Bradley saw the gunman she described to us fire a number of shots, none of these in our view could have been the shot that hit the drainpipe. In our view the soldiers who heard this shot were correct in describing it as a high velocity shot and so it could hardly have come from a handgun, which, according to Teresa Bradley, made (unlike a high velocity weapon) little noise when it was discharged and was notheavy ”.

19.165 Ann O’Donnell made a NICRA statement dated 1st February 1972 in which she described hearing a shot fired from the Presbyterian church wall in Great James Street where at least two British soldiers were positioned:1

“This shot injured a youth in the legs. This was the first shot fired, and it definitely came from the British army. A man appeared with an old rifle behind the taxi office in William Street and fired one shot hitting nothing. Other bystanders advised him to put the gun away as it would only draw fire, which he did immediately. ”

1 AO20.1

19.166 Ann O’Donnell is dead and gave no evidence to this Inquiry. On the basis of her account, it would seem that she was in the area of William Street near Columbcille Court and was describing a gunman somewhere south of City Cabs in William Street. Though in our view she was mistaken in attributing the shot that injured a youth in the legs to soldiers on the Presbyterian church wall, we have no reason to doubt that she saw a gunman fire from somewhere near where Damien Donaghey and John Johnston were shot, as she recounted to her daughter Grainne O’Donnell.1 According to Grainne O’Donnell’s written statement to this Inquiry, her mother said that she had seen a young man shot and taken to Ma Shiels’ house; after that, she had seen a man with an old style gun come out of a house in the block on the south side of William Street between the laundry waste ground and the Abbey Street waste ground. The gunman fired a shot into the air.2 In her oral evidence, Grainne O’Donnell told us that her recollection was that her mother had said that the gunman was in William Street, in a derelict building near a taxi office. Grainne O’Donnell said that she was aware that there was a taxi office in William Street but, on being shown photographs of the area, could not recall the location of the office.3 It is possible that this was a shot heard by some of the witnesses discussed above. It is also possible, though to our minds unlikely in view of the evidence as a whole, that this was the shot that hit the Presbyterian church drainpipe.

1 AO30.5

2 AO30.5

3 Day 105/139

19.167 We should mention at this point that in his written evidence to us, Stephen McGonagle recalled that after Damien Donaghey and John Johnston had been shot he saw a young man with a revolver in Rossville Street just south of the junction with William Street, followed by two IRA activists who quickly disarmed him.1

1 AM253.1

19.168 Stephen McGonagle did not mention this in his NICRA statement, nor in his written statement for the Widgery Inquiry.1 He was too ill to give oral evidence to this Inquiry and died during its course. His written evidence to this Inquiry contains some matters that raise doubts as to the accuracy of his recollection. It is possible, however, that he did see one of the Official IRA gunmen who, according to Johnny White’s (OIRA 3’s) account to the Observer, was stationed in the area.

1 AM253.1; AM253.2

Conclusions on shooting in the area of William Street

19.169 It can be seen from the foregoing that the evidence of shooting in the William Street area is in large measure confusing and conflicting; and we have not found it possible to be certain on many of the points that arose.

19.170 As far as the shot fired by OIRA 1 is concerned, however, we consider that on the evidence we have considered this probably did follow the wounding of Damien Donaghey and John Johnston.

19.171 It does not follow that because OIRA 1’s shot probably followed this event, OIRA 1 fired by way of reprisal, as he and OIRA 2 have said. Apart from the unreliable accounts given by OIRA 1 and OIRA 2, the only evidence from other sources that this was the case comes from PIRA 1 and Anthony Martin.

19.172 PIRA 1’s evidence does to a degree support the claim that OIRA 1’s shot was by way of reprisal, but if OIRA 1 was claiming immediately after the event that he fired by way of reprisal, it is odd that neither RM 1 nor Sean Keenan Junior recalled that OIRA 1 had made this claim.

19.173 Anthony Martin, in his account to the Sunday Times, described it as a racing cert. that the shot was a reply to the Army shots.1 This was said in the context of also saying that the gunman shot a few seconds after the Army shots. Were this the case then it could be inferred that the shot was by way of immediate reprisal and that OIRA 1 and OIRA 2 had believed that their target was the soldier who had wounded Damien Donaghey and John Johnston. However, it seems to us that it was very soon after OIRA 1’s shot that there was the altercation with members of the Provisional IRA and RM 1, and that this altercation took place a considerably longer period than a few seconds (perhaps as long as some minutes) after Damien Donaghey and John Johnston had been wounded. On this basis it is difficult to see how Anthony Martin could be sure that the shot was by way of immediate reprisal. As already noted, he was unsure in his evidence to us how much time had passed between the soldiers’ shots and that of the gunman.

1 AM24.3

19.174 In these circumstances, since we are sure that OIRA 1 and OIRA 2 had gone to a pre-arranged sniping position, it remains in doubt whether they fired by way of reprisal for the shooting of Damien Donaghey and John Johnston, or simply because a target presented itself at the time in question. On balance we consider that the latter was more likely to be the case. It was to our minds obviously in the interests of OIRA 1 and OIRA 2 to seek to give what they thought might be an acceptable reason for their conduct. In our view a matter of minutes rather than seconds passed between the wounding of Damien Donaghey and John Johnston, and the shot fired by OIRA 1. In those circumstances, and in view of the unreliability of the evidence given by OIRA 1 and OIRA 2, we are unpersuaded that, even if they knew of the shooting of Damien Donaghey and John Johnston, they had any belief that the soldier they fired at was the one responsible.

19.175 As far as the evidence of other shots is concerned, there is the evidence of Teresa Bradley and Ciaran Donnelly of a gunman firing a handgun in the direction of the soldiers to the north of William Street, though they appeared to be describing different shooting incidents, one before and one after the shooting of Damien Donaghey and John Johnston. It also seems to us likely that Ann O’Donnell saw a rifleman fire.

19.176 As to Thomas Mullarkey, he may have heard the shot fired by OIRA 1, though if his timing is right, ie that the shot he heard was before anyone went to help Damien Donaghey, then what he heard is unlikely to have been this shot and may indeed have been a shot from a revolver.

19.177 As to Bernard Gillespie, it seems to us that it is likely that the second shot he heard was the shot fired by OIRA 1. As to Joe Carlin’s account of hearing a high velocity shot before seeing Damien Donaghey fall, we cannot say more than it is possible either that this was one of the shots fired by the soldiers from Abbey Taxis, or that it was another shot altogether. As to David Capper, again it seems to us that while it is possible he that he heard the shot fired by OIRA 1, but mistakenly thought that this was fired at ground level, it is at least equally possible that he did hear a shot from a gunman in the crowd at ground level. As to Charles Gallagher, Sheila McLoughlin and Martin Hegarty, it seems to us that though they probably heard a shot, their evidence does not assist in determining who might have fired it.

19.178 We should note at this point that it was reported at 1549 hours that two shots had been directed at the Mex Garage from Kildrum Gardens.1 This was about a mile from the area of the Presbyterian church and Columbcille Court. In our view it is unlikely that these shots (which we describe in more detail elsewhere in this report2) were those that the witnesses we have been considering say that they heard.

1 W125 serial 136; W102 serial 65; W45 serial 136

2 Chapter 151

19.179 As to the evidence of Cyril Cave, we have already observed that the source of the shot he recalled remains unclear, though in our view it appears unlikely that this was fired by a soldier. It is possible that John Porter and Sean Barr also observed this shot, though in their cases it is more likely that they got the order of events wrong and were describing one of the shots fired at Damien Donaghey.

19.180 As we have stated, the evidence of paramilitary gunfire in Sector 1 is confusing. However, we have no doubt that OIRA 1 fired the shot that hit the drainpipe on the side of the Presbyterian church; and we equally have no doubt that there was other paramilitary gunfire in this sector before soldiers of 1 PARA went into the Bogside. The evidence suggests to us that this was probably firing by members of the Official IRA. We have found nothing to suggest that any member of the Provisional IRA fired at this stage. Elsewhere in this report1 we consider in more detail the organisation of the Official and Provisional IRA and their activities on Bloody Sunday.

1 Chapters 146–154

The effect of the drainpipe shot

19.181 With the possible exception of Lance Corporal 010, the only shot that soldiers seem to have heard was the shot that hit the drainpipe on the eastern side of the Presbyterian church. Some soldiers gave evidence that this shot brought home to them that there were snipers about and that it changed a riot control situation into a gun battle, as, for example, did Private 0131 and Sergeant K.2 Others, for example Private INQ 748,3 said that they were not concerned, as they were used to sniper fire in Belfast. Since some of the soldiers thought that the shot had come from the Rossville Flats, this probably reinforced their belief that these flats were a likely place for snipers. Sergeant O told us in his written and oral evidence to this Inquiry, which we accept on this point, that the drainpipe shot caused more soldiers to carry SLRs instead of baton guns when they went into the Bogside than would otherwise have been the case, though he denied that the drainpipe shot had caused any change in the plan to go in to make arrests.4

1 B1408

2 B311.005

3 C748.1

4 B575.110; Day 375/14