Soldier denies lying about Bloody Sunday gunman

A soldier today denied lying about seeing a civilian gunman and hearing non-British army gunfire in Derry on Bloody Sunday.

A soldier today denied lying about seeing a civilian gunman and hearing non-British army gunfire in Derry on Bloody Sunday.

Soldier 110, a second lieutenant in the Parachute Regiment, told the Saville Inquiry in London he could clearly recall seeing a gunman and hearing low velocity fire that day.

The former paratrooper said he saw a young man with a rifle running between two blocks of the city’s Rossville Flats on January 30, 1972 when 13 civil rights marchers were shot dead by soldiers. A 14th man died later.

Barry MacDonald QC, representing most of the families of the dead and wounded, asked: “Are you sure it was not suggested that it would be helpful to provide some evidence about hearing a Thompson even when you had not, and evidence of seeing a civilian gunman even when you had not?”

“I can clearly recall those incidents on that day,” the soldier replied.

Mr MacDonald asked: “You can clearly recall hearing the Thompson?”

“I can clearly recall hearing low and high velocity gunfire, yes,” he replied.

The soldier also rejected a suggestion from Mr MacDonald that he had invented the account of seeing a gunman.

“I am quite clear about what I saw, which was a man crouching, crossing from Block A to Block B,” he said.

“He had a weapon underneath his right arm and I can clearly see it now, of that I have no doubt.”

Mr MacDonald said: “I want to suggest to you what I suggested to you at the start, Lieutenant 110, that you were asked to give evidence, to talk about civilian gunmen, hearing Thompson sub-machine guns and you duly obliged, when you knew that what you were saying was just not true, is that not right?”

“No,” the soldier replied.

Soldier 110 said he went through a crowd control barrier and down William Street with his men on Bloody Sunday.

“The aim of my platoon as the men went through barrier 14 was to clear the area, prevent further civil disorder and make as many arrests as possible,” he said.

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