Social Democratic and Labour Party Leader Colum Eastwood MP has described a decision by the Public Prosecution Service to discontinue the prosecution of soldiers accused of the murder of James Wray and William McKinney on Bloody Sunday and teenager Daniel Hegarty as bitterly disappointing and has raised significant concerns about the way families have been treated.
Derry’s MP said that the families have been badly let down on too many occasions and will have the SDLP’s full support in their efforts to secure justice and accountability for their loved ones.
Colum Eastwood MP said:
“This is a devastating news today. Devastating for the Bloody Sunday families and the family of Daniel Hegarty who have placed their faith in process after process only to be let down badly as they seek justice and accountability for the murder of their loved ones. But devastating also because of the message it sends to the world. That British Army soldiers can come on to the streets of Northern Ireland, shoot children dead, and they’ll get away with it. Where is the justice in that?
“It is galling that these cases appear to have collapsed because the British Army’s historical investigation process was so deficient that the evidence collected is considered to be inadmissible. These families are now in a position where their loved ones were killed by members of the British Army and their prosecutions have been discontinued because of the conduct of the British Army. It is totally unjust.
“The Bloody Sunday Families and Daniel Hegarty’s family have been through worse days than this and they have marched on with dignity, decency and pride. The people of Derry have stood with them on every step of their long march toward justice, we’re with them today and we’ll be with them until the end. The SDLP will continue to stand with them in the next phase of this campaign. This is not over.”