Para wanted to shoot Martin McGuinness
A former British soldier who wanted to take Sinn Fein's Martin
McGuinness "dead or alive" on Bloody Sunday claimed he had him
in his rifle sights during earlier street disturbances in
Soldier L said he was waiting for the order to shoot Mr
McGuinness dead after he believed he had seen him throwing
bricks and bottles.
Cathryn McGahey, counsel to the inquiry, asked whether he was
sure it was Mr McGuinness.
"Positive, I had him in my rifle sights and I was just waiting
for the order to shoot him dead," he replied.
Soldier L has made other extraordinary claims regarding the
events of January 30, 1972, when 14 civil rights demonstrators
were shot dead by British soldiers in Derry.
In his statement to the inquiry, Soldier L, who fired a number
of shots on Bloody Sunday, claimed that the former Bishop of
Derry, Edward Daly - then a parish priest - concealed two
rifles under his cassock.
He also claimed he saw another soldier fire so many shots into
a body at point-blank range that when colleagues lifted it to
put it into a body bag, it split in two.
The soldier said he saw plastic explosives at a rubble
barricade in Rossville Street, where four of the victims were
Soldier L, who was threatened with contempt of court
proceedings for refusing to appear before the inquiry last
month, finally gave evidence from behind a screen today.
Another former British army paratrooper described the 26
civilians shot by members of his regiment as "casualties of
He said the victims had taken part in an "illegal" march.
"They were all illegal and I have maintained that later in
this statement, you know, if they had not gone on an illegal
march, none of this would have happened and we would not be
In other testimony, a former soldier who drove a car
containing the body of Gerald Donaghy, told the Inquiry he had
found no nail bombs on the body.
Donaghy was later photographed by the British Army with nail
bombs in his pockets, which relatives believe was a propoganda
Soldier 150, a corporal, said he would not have driven the
vehicle to a Britsh Army post on Craigavon Bridge if there had
been explosive devices on the body.
"I am sure if there had been a nail bomb or bombs in the man's
pockets I would have seen them. Had I seen them, I would have
told my officer and the thing would have unfolded from there.
"Had he had anything in his jacket or trouser pockets, I think
I would have seen them," he added.