should they be charged with murder

  roger.roger 13:53 13 Mar 2019

or get off scott free?

"Sectarian tensions are rising in Northern Ireland — and not only because of Brexit and the possibility that the island of Ireland will once again be divided by a so-called "hard border."

The province is also on edge about whether former British paratroopers will face trial for the deaths of 14 unarmed protesters, who were shot 47 years ago in a massacre that became known as Bloody Sunday."

the decision will be made tomorrow

  Forum Editor 11:45 17 Mar 2019

"Can a trully neutral Jury be found?"

I very much doubt it and therein lies the rub, as they say. It is easy with the benefit of hindsight to criticise the way that some British soldiers behaved in Northern Ireland, but less easy to understand just how terrifying it must be to patrol streets where just around that next corner there might be a terrorist ambush, or a crowd of young men throwing petrol bombs.

That is exactly the kind of fear that young men in uniform were facing every day and night back then, and most people would acknowledge the fact that in such fraught circumstances errors of judgement must have occurred on many occasions. In the context of The troubles (as they are called) decisions might have been made in seconds, and the consequent errors of action could result in someone's death - no time to consider the finer points of rules of engagement when you see, or think you see a man about to shoot you. Is he a Terrorist with a gun, or an innocent civilian? There must surely have been many cases of shoot first, ask questions later.

There are people much better informed than me who will have their views, and I am certainly not excusing murder if it occurred. I'm simply making the point that long after the events in question, satisfying a jury beyond reasonable doubt of a defendant's guilt will be a challenging task.

There's an argument that says if we want men and women to wear a uniform, carry a weapon and put their lives at risk in the service of their country, we must be prepared to support them in what they do, as long as they act according to law and the rules of engagement. If we cannot offer them that assurance (so the argument goes) we are not entitled to expect anyone to volunteer for service in the first place.

  john bunyan 12:18 17 Mar 2019

Some far more problematic cases were not pursued eg


I agree with FE; If we are not careful it will deter decisive action in future conflicts. This soldier was under command of an officer, who presumably issued the order to fire, yet he and the overall commander have not been charged. In any event if a prosecution is justified, it should have taken place in a year or two. To prosecute a pensioner 47 years later is a farce, when the “known “ killer of Airey Neave is running a bar in Spain and visits NI from time to time

  BT 12:58 17 Mar 2019

Two of my Nephews served in Northern Ireland. They weren't involved with this incident as they were there several years later. Talking to them they are of the opinion that there will never be a final peace as the opposite sides are so entrenched in their political, religious and cultural beliefs to ever finally be brought together in harmony. Sad though this incident was there were many hundreds of others killed by their own countrymen and who never answered for their actions.

One of my Nephews, when he was in NI had to serve under an assumed name, as his surname had an Irish connotation to it.

  Al94 13:04 17 Mar 2019

The audio on this link is worth listening to.

  Al94 13:14 17 Mar 2019

BT, your nephews are absolutely correct. This recent piece by a NI commentator in the Irish Times makes depressing reading but is acknowledged by many as a very true representation of the dire situation in Northern Ireland. Irish Times

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