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From 1972 killings to charges against soldier — Bloody Sunday timeline

From 1972 killings to charges against soldier — Bloody Sunday timeline

A further 15 people were wounded.

"I wish to clearly state that where a decision has been reached not to prosecute, this is no way diminishes any finding by the Bloody Sunday Inquiry that those killed or injured were not posing a threat to any of the soldiers".

The UK prime minister, Edward Heath, appointed the lord chief justice, Lord Widgery, to produce a report on the events of what became known as Bloody Sunday.

Today the victims' families were dismayed by the announcement that just one of the 17 surviving soldiers responsible for that massacre is to be prosecuted...

The decision means the PPS believes there is sufficient evidence to provide a reasonable prospect of conviction, and that prosecution would be in the public interest. This includes funding all his legal costs and providing welfare support.

"The Ministry of Defense is working across government to drive through a new package of safeguards to ensure our armed forces are not unfairly treated".

"Our serving and former personnel can not live in constant fear of prosecution", he said.

Around 100 people gathered at the former site of the Andersonstown police station on Thursday evening to stand in solidarity with the Bloody Sunday families. David Cameron, then prime minister, apologised for their "unjustified and unjustifiable" conduct.

The inquiry was the longest-running and most expensive public inquiry in United Kingdom history, at an estimated cost £195m (€228.5m). It stated: "We found no instances where it appeared to us that soldiers either were or might have been justified in firing".

He said: "This is a remarkable achievement by the families and victims of Bloody Sunday".

It is signed by the Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, and lays out arrangements for soldiers who "are subject to investigations by the Police Service of Northern Ireland", or "who may be required to participate in other legal processes, such as inquests and public inquiries".

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"In these circumstances the evidential test for prosecution is not met".

The victims' families, as well as the British, Irish and USA governments, saw the findings as a step toward healing one of the biggest wounds left by the four-decade conflict in Northern Ireland that left 3700 people dead.

CAPTION: SDLP leader Colum Eastwood pictured outside Derry's Guildhall this afternoon after the PPS anounced that a single soldier would be prosecuted for his actions on Bloody Sunday.

It followed a previous report into the Bloody Sunday killings which had largely exonerated the British soldiers.

John Kelly, whose 17-year-old brother Michael was shot dead, said: "The dead can not cry out for justice, it is the duty of the living to do so for them".

The complex investigation files included 668 witness statements, numerous physical exhibits such as photographs, video and audio recordings, and a total of 125,000 pages of material.

Hugh Gilmore (third left) clutching his stomach after he was shot during Bloody Sunday.

Soldier F allegedly shot dead 22-year-old James Wray as people ran for cover during the chaos on Bloody Sunday. I think today is their day and I hope they have some closure today'. "Do not deny us justice any longer".

According to RTÉ, the retired soldier is expected to robustly contest the charges.

Victims carried out of the fire line during Bloody Sunday.