Man wounded on Bloody Sunday suffers sectarian abuse from soldiers, hears Supreme Court

The High Court heard that a man wounded on Bloody Sunday was then allegedly subjected to sectarian abuse and hit on the head with a club.

Family lawyer Patsy O’Donnell claimed he was horrified by soldiers calling him a “Fenian bastard” and inflicting further injuries after he was mistakenly arrested during the events in Londonderry on 30 January 1972.

It has been alleged that the father of six, who died in 2006, was also persecuted by the army for years due to his connection to the massacre, which he carried as a lifelong burden.

Relatives of a father of six are suing the Ministry of Defense (MoD) for damages in connection with Bloody Sunday.

Thirteen unarmed people were killed and several injured when members of the Paratroopers opened fire on a civil rights march in the city.

In 2010, the Saville investigation into the shooting found all the victims innocent.

These findings led David Cameron, then prime minister, to issue a public apology for the soldiers’ actions.

He called the killings “unjustified and unjustified”.

Since those who have lost or been injured assume responsibility in lawsuits brought against the MoD, the amount of payments that must be made is at the center of the proceedings.

Mr O’Donnell, then aged 40, was hit by a soldier while trying to hide from gunfire in Glenfada Park North.

Opening his family’s lawsuit, Karen Quinlivan QC said he was arrested along with other civilians and forced to stand against a wall where he struggled to get into a search position due to his injuries.

“Patsy’s alleged soldiers shouted insults, poked him in the back and called him a Fenian bastard,” Quinlivan said.

She claimed that one paratrooper threatened: “You have a bullet in you, and when we let you down to the barracks, you will have another one. You remember my words.

The same soldier allegedly told his colleagues: “Guys, there will be blood tonight.”

When Mr. O’Donnell was released and made his way to the William Street Taxi Depot, the court heard that another soldier dragged him back out into the street and hit him on the head with a club, inflicting lacerations that required up to eight stitches.

After being discharged from the hospital, he was unable to keep up with his previous job, but later started his own roofing business, where he worked until his retirement in 2004.

It was alleged that the army often stopped him and raided his house after Bloody Sunday.

His work as a roofing contractor was also allegedly derailed by detention while traveling across the border to County Donegal.

“Patsy O’Donnell considered her identification with Bloody Sunday a lifelong burden,” Ms Quinlivan said.

In a statement to the Saville Inquiry before his death at the age of 74, Mr O’Donnell expressed bitterness over what had happened to him and that some may have misclassified him as a gunman.

“I don’t and never have done such things. I hope this investigation gets to the truth,” he said at the time.

But unlike some of the other victims, Mr. O’Donnell died before he could justify the tribunal’s findings.

“His resentment was essentially for life,” the lawyer said.

The lawsuit includes claims for aggravated damages, false imprisonment and a contested charge of harassment.

Ms Quinlivan argued: “It is hard to imagine more outrageous misdeeds than when an army tasked with protecting citizens is instead responsible for: shooting a completely innocent person in a public place without the slightest justification; the arrest of an apparently injured man and, instead of providing medical care, delaying his access to medical care; and attacking him because he couldn’t follow the instructions due to the injury.”

The case continues.