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As will be evident, I'm finding this a grimly compelling read. This volume finishes off the story of Volume III, looking at the civilian casualties and, carefully dissecting truth from lies, establishes precisely which soldier fired each shot, usually to a convincing degree of proof.

Before I start on volume IV, though, one point I forgot from Volume III. Sifting through the one of the arrest reports, Saville found that Private 006 had arrested a Mr Dillon for riotous behaviour (and also that this was more or less a fair cop), but that the records showed him as having been arrested by Private 037 for kicking Private 006, an incident that might well have happened but that Private 037 could not possibly have witnessed. Saville then throws in one more piece of information:
[33.45] A possible reason for Private 037 being recorded as having arrested William John Dillon for kicking Private 006, rather than Private 006 being recorded as having made the arrest on the grounds that the youth was rioting or believed to be a threat to soldiers, is that, as Private 006 told us, he was dyslexic and could not deal with paperwork, “so I preferred to avoid arresting people ”.
Which raises all kinds of questions in my mind, but few of them are related to Bloody Sunday.

The first chapter of Volume IV, Chapter 55, is the longest at 117 of the 381 numbered pages. It details the biographies, injuries and stories of the seven people injured, one fatally, in the Rossville Flats area. The first to be hit appears to have been Jackie Duddy, shot through the chest and carried dying off the scene by a small group of helpers led by Father (later Bishop) Edward Daly - one of the iconic photographs of this incident is my userpic for these posts. The shooting of Jackie Duddy radicalised the situation, and Michael Bridge was photographed running towards the soldiers yelling something along the lines of "Why don't you shoot me too, you bastards." They did. Apart from him and Duddy, four other men and a woman were also injured neaby in time and space, three of the other men probably by ricochets or by small objects propelled by shots, the others all by direct fire.

Oddly enough, not a single one of the soldiers seems to remember seeing either Jackie Duddy, lying in plain view of the world's press as he died, or Michael Bridge, running at them though unarmed and yelling, because they were too busy shooting at the various gunmen in their accounts of whom history has left no other trace. (Sergeant O, Saville admits, quite possibly did exchange shots with a real gunman, but failed to hit him or - luckily - anyone else.)

Ironically, the one paramilitary who Saville agrees was present and firing - he was seen by Edward Daly and others, firing a revolver in the general direction of the Paras after Duddy and Bridge had been shot in full view of the crowd, and is thus known to Bloody Sundayologists as 'Bishop Daly's gunman' - was definitely not seen by the British soldiers, or at least none reported seeing him among their various more spectral targets. This was a second case - after the 'drainpipe shot' back in Volume II - of the Official IRA taking inaccurate pot-shots more or less on a whim, and being persuaded to disarm and desist by bystanders; in this case the bystanders who intervened were civilians rather than Provos. As with the 'drainpipe shot', the OIRA man responsible testified to Saville, but was dramatically taken ill shortly after mounting the witness stand and did not complete his account. One gets the sense that quite apart from the well-chronicled evolution of their internal political thinking, one of the reasons that the Officials may have given up their armed campaign may have been that they simply weren't very good at it.

Having considered all of this, Saville sums up by allocating, as far as possible, responsibility for the casualties in this part of the overall set of events of the day (64.96); Lieutenant N probably shot Michael Bridge, Lance Corporal V shot Margaret Deery, Private R shot Jackie Duddy, Private Q shot Michael Bradley, Private T's shooting caused Patrick Brolly's injury, and Sergeant O, Private R and Private S between them fired the shots that indirectly injured Patrick McDaid and Pius McCarron. This summary is preceded by the following analysis:
64.2 In the first place, we are satisfied that the known casualties in Sector 2 were the only casualties of Army gunfire in that sector. It follows that the soldiers did not shoot any gunmen or bombers in Sector 2.

64.3 In the second place, we are satisfied that none of the casualties was doing anything that could have justified any of them being shot...

64.10 It follows from the conclusions stated above that these soldiers must, between them, have been responsible for shooting Jackie Duddy, Margaret Deery, Michael Bridge and Michael Bradley and for the shots that caused injury to Patrick Brolly, Patrick McDaid and Pius McCarron...

64.11 In short, the soldiers insisted that they had shot gunmen and bombers, which in our view they had not; and denied, or did not admit, that they had shot the known casualties in Sector 2, which in our view they had. As we have already observed, to our minds it inevitably follows that this materially undermines the credibility of the accounts given by the soldiers who fired. The evidence of one or more of them must be significantly inaccurate and incomplete.
The unbiased reader will by now be thinking of pithier synonyms for "significantly inaccurate and incomplete".

This takes us to page 284 of the 386 numbered pages. The final two chapters leap forward in time somewhat jarringly, and deal with the arrival in this area of C Company of 1 Para, and the arrest of the people who had taken  refuge in the last house in Chamberlain Street by 8 Platoon of C Company. Saville finds that the arrests were not justified and that those arrested were abused physically and verbally, particularly by an individual identified by several witnesses as a small Scottish soldier.
66.41 The arrest photographs show that Private INQ 12, at 5 feet 6 inches, was the shortest of the three arresting soldiers. In his oral evidence to this Inquiry, Private INQ 12 confirmed that this was his height and that he was of stocky build and a Scotsman.
But it's a slightly odd coda to the catalogue of murder of the last few hundred pages. Unfortunately, there is more to come.

Volume I | Volume II | Volume III | Volume IV | Volume V | Volume VI | Volume VII | Volume VIII | Volume IX | Volume X and conclusions


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jul. 13th, 2010 09:26 pm (UTC)
The whole thing is quite scary - I mean, it always was but to have peoples worst impressions of the events be so clearly laid out and proven (proven is wrong word, can't think of right one) - I guess somewhere inside I had hope that it wasn't true since the alternative was lies and cover ups to an amazing degree...
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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