Northern Ireland

Soldiers' reaction to Bloody Sunday report

The reaction of soldiers and their representatives to the Bloody Sunday inquiry report.

SIR MIKE JACKSON, FORMER HEAD OF THE BRITISH ARMY WHO WAS SERVING IN DERRY ON THE DAY

"Over the 38 years of the Army's operational deployment in the province, the vast majority of the some 250,000 soldiers who served there behaved admirably, often in the face of severe provocation, and with the loss of several hundred lives and over six-thousand wounded.

Northern Ireland today is a very different place to what it was those forty years ago, not least because of those sacrifices.

And I ask that Lord Saville's report be seen in this context."

STEPHEN POLLARD, LAWYER FOR SEVERAL SOLDIERS

"I think Lord Saville felt under very considerable pressure after 12 years and £191m to give a report which gave very clear findings, even in truth where the evidence didn't support them.

"What's he's had to do is to adopt the pieces of evidence that fitted the theory and abandoned those that didn't."

SIR DAVID RICHARDS, CHIEF OF THE GENERAL STAFF

"We must never forget the tragic events of Bloody Sunday. In the 38 years since that tragic day's events, lessons have been learned.

"The way the Army is trained, the way it works and the way it operates have all changed significantly.

"We should also remember that the overwhelming majority of the military personnel deployed over 38 years in Northern Ireland conducted themselves with utter professionalism, restraint and humanity.

"The cost was high, with 651 service personnel killed, and over 6,000 wounded."

TONY CLARKE, FORMER PARATROOPER

"Members of 1 Parachute Regiment, deployed on Bloody Sunday, damaged the reputation of those who served with honour.

"I think instinctively you feel that there is more to the story than - 'yeah, they all had weapons'.

"I am glad that the truth is out and glad for the families who waited for so long".

Colonel Richard Kemp, veteran of several tours in Northern Ireland

"It's been a very long time, unfortunately and I think it's tragic it has taken so long for the truth to come out for the relatives and the soldiers.

"The most important thing is that we have the truth and it's in the most comprehensive form we can find.

"I think most of the lessons learnt about restraint and professionalism were learnt in the aftermath and through mistakes made in this and similar events."