The Northern Secretary, Karen Bradley, has claimed that British soldiers in the North never committed a crime because they were following orders. Her comments reflect the real attitude of the British establishment – namely that their army should be given a blank cheque to act as they feel like.
If these comments go unchallenged by an Irish government, it will lead to an atmosphere of criminal impunity by British security forces into the future.
Karen Bradley’s statement was a calculated response to the possibility the Public Prosecutor in Britain may have to bring charges against British soldiers who shot dead people in Bloody Sunday after the Saville report finally acknowledged that the victims were innocent.
A systematic campaign of propaganda is underway by the Tories to prepare the ground so that the soldiers involved walk free and never have to face charges.
Bradley’s comments indicate that the murder of Irish civilians marching or civil rights is regarded as a far less serious crime than police or army murders on the British ‘mainland’.
The Irish government should call in the British ambassador and insist that there can be no whitewashing of British army actions on Bloody Sunday.
The ambassador should be firmly told that the soldiers involved must face trial. They should also demand the resignation of Bradley.