No prosecutions over Bloody Sunday family procession

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The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) will not prosecute seven people – including SDLP leader Colum Eastwood - in relation to an unnotified procession involving some Bloody Sunday families.

In August of last year the Foyle MP accompanied some of the families to a court hearing in Derry involving Soldier F.

In January police submitted a file to the Public Prosecution Service reporting seven people.

On Thursday the PPS said prosecutions were not in the public interest.

However, the PPS said the seven individuals had participated in a public procession that had not been subject to the legal notification requirement.

In Northern Ireland, you must give 28 days' notice if you want to hold a parade or procession.

“However, the purpose of having legislative regulation of parades and processions in Northern Ireland is to control public disorder and damage, to minimise disruption to the life of the community and to enhance community relations,” a PPS spokeswoman said.

“In this particular case, it was clear that the procession investigated did not raise any of those risks and therefore the public interest would not be served by pursuing criminal proceedings,” she added.

Mr Eastwood described the PPS decision as “the right one”.

Writing on X, the Foyle MP said: “Bloody Sunday families walked together to court on an important day in their fight for justice. The complaint was disgraceful. The process has been appalling".

In December, the Foyle MP went to Strand Road police station in Derry but walked out after 20 minutes when, he said, no one came to speak to him.

The Bloody Sunday Trust also confirmed at that time that some relatives of the civil rights marchers who were killed or injured in Derry on 30 January 1972 had been asked to attend for police interview.

The former British soldier, known as Soldier F, is to stand trial for two murders and five attempted murders on Bloody Sunday.

Thirteen people were shot dead and at least 15 others injured when members of the Army's Parachute Regiment opened fire on civil rights demonstrators in the Bogside.

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