Victims of Bloody Sunday commence legal battle for damages

Bloody Sunday 1972

Victims of the Bloody Sunday shootings are set to commence a legal battle for damages.

Claims against the Ministry of Defence (MoD) brought by the families of two of those killed and one of those wounded will get underway at the High Court in Belfast next week.

Thirteen people were shot dead when British Army paratroopers opened fire on civil rights demonstrators in Derry in January 1972.

One of the others wounded on the day died later.

In 2010 a major inquiry chaired by Lord Saville said those killed or injured on Bloody Sunday were innocent.

Following those conclusions the then British Prime Minister David Cameron issued a public apology for the actions of the soldiers.

He described the killings as “unjustified and unjustifiable”.

Law firm Madden & Finucane has now been instructed in 21 civil actions taken on behalf of people either shot dead or wounded.

Three of the writs have been selected as test cases and are due for trial hearings on the issue of damages. Those bringing the actions are:

:: Michael Quinn, a 17-year-old schoolboy in 1972 who was shot and seriously wounded in the face in Glenfada Park.

:: Gerard McKinney, a 35-year-old married father-of-eight shot dead at Abbey Park in the city.

:: Michael McDaid, a 20-year-old single man who was shot dead near a barricade on Rossville Street.

Ahead of the start of the hearings, Peter Madden of Madden & Finucane said: “In January 2011, I wrote to the then Prime Minister David Cameron asking for his proposals on how to properly compensate the families and wounded and reminded him that he had told the world’s media that the events of Bloody Sunday were both unjustified and unjustifiable.

“A reply was received some weeks later from an official within the MoD stating that they would like to resolve this issue as ‘quickly and efficiently’ as possible.

“The families are disappointed that the MoD have not fulfilled that commitment and that they have to go to court and relive the events of the day.”

Belfast Telegraph