Immoral Coverage of "Lawful" Killing

Daniel Bradley is critical of BBC coverage of his brother's slaying by the British Army in 1972.

On the 16th May 2012 the BBC seems to have got pleasure out of broadcasting a story with no foundation.

Soldiers acted lawfully in shooting dead a member of the IRA in Londonderry, a report has found. 

This caused a lot of distress and hurt to the Bradley family. The words used came from the HET report who deliberately covered up as well as claim that soldier "A" was dead and soldier "B" has Alzheimer's.

We the Bradley have never believed that soldiers A or B ever actually did the shooting, because Seamus was never shot up a tree nor did he fall from a tree.

On the 31st of July 1972 Seamus was running down Bishops Field. A soldier took a knee position and fired a shot and Seamus fell. He got back up and was shot again. He fell again and a Saracen came down the field and picked him up. By the rules of the Geneva convention Seamus Bradley should have been given medical aid. We know that the army took over St. Peters school to provide medical aid and we also know that Altnagelvin Hospital was only three miles away. But we also know that the army had took over St. Johns School to interrogate prisoners, where MRF soldiers were there.

We now know that Seamus was taken to St. Johns School, tortured and shot at close range while he was naked. We, the Bradley family, do not know these soldiers but we do know that the state ordered the killing of Vol. Seamus Bradley and others if, like Seamus, they had been caught, due to a secret document leaked out, it states clearly that "no soldier shall be held responsible for any of their actions."

It took us 44 years struggling to get the truth and to get a foundation to be able to share this statement of truth. Yet in May 2012 it took less than 5 minutes for the BBC to give a statement to the world, which was lies and deceit.

Furthermore in October 1973 an MOD barrister for the crown produced two black and white photographs to a jury and called my father a liar to this jury. With their lies and deceit again producing these B/W pictures knowing that these photographs would not show up any marks and neck, face wounds. As a family we watched our father weep, broken through these lies.

Today we have struggled for the truth and received it, we have new evidence, new coloured photographs that show the neck, face wounds. On Thursday 18th August we received a document from our solicitors which is a ballistics report. An ex-British soldier with 40 years experience, confirms that Seamus was shot at close range and makes reference to the marks on his face and neck.

With all the new evidence that we now have in our possession, which will be given to the coroner and MOD, now maybe we will get the truth.


  1. Wishing you and your family the best with this - much admiration for the way you are continuing to fight for the truth - hopefully this will be a tipping point.

  2. " He fell again and a Saracen came down the field and picked him up. By the rules of the Geneva convention Seamus Bradley should have been given medical aid. "

    I'm sorry, when did the IRA ever obey the Geneva convention?

  3. Steve,

    I imagine Danny's point is the State claimed some sort of moral superiority when it fact the conventions it claimed to uphold and would castigate others for breaching were in fact treated with contempt by it.

  4. AM,

    It's a bit rich. Neither side can claim moral superiority.

  5. Steve,

    I think it is a bit poor. We do have one side insisting on no equivalence, claiming a richness of ethical character which is belied by the type of impoverished moral actions inflicted on Seamus Bradley.

  6. Steve R,

    A rather lay interpretation on your part. The line you critique is not a bit rich as it is a fact one that does not apply to the BA alone. The BA are not the only standing army that neglect to abide by the rules of the Geneva Convention. It is a bit rich to imply the BA upheld the rules all the time.

    Para-militaries obviously were not bound to these rules for the obvious reasons. Your point is transparent as all you have to defend the BA in this case is a weak line.

  7. Tain Bo,

    Eh? I am not defending the British Army? How could I defend people who killed in cold blood?

    As I said, neither side had any claim to moral superiority. Whinging about broken rules that you yourself have broken is hypocritical, that's all I meant.

  8. I feel for the relatives of all those killed from IRA Vols to the likes of the mother of the last soldier killed at Bessbrook and the wee boys dad in Warrington. But for me TBH if a Volunteer is on active service and armed and gets stiffed then I see no issue with it. Everyone knows what they are into leaving the house. The shoot to kill murders by the RUC of unarmed people whilst talking about saving lives and countering terrorism is just pathetic on the other hand.

  9. Larry,

    You are as always uninteresting with your worthless opinions. You display a crude difference where the relatives of those “killed” gain your false sympathy and the relatives of those “STIFFED” are ignored. Keep on fooling yourself, I would suggest you try that education lark again sober as apparently nothing stuck between your ears.

    Ignore the feelings of the family in this article and turn it into your own personal feelings after all the man was only stiffed.

  10. Steve R,

    Where in the articles does it hint of moral superiority? I take it, you just wanted to say something and picked the line about the Geneva convention.

  11. Tain bo,

    That was in response to Anthony's comment. And yes, I was pointing out the hypocrisy in whining about broken rules when the person would have ignored them himself.

    Why, do you think one side was morally superior Tain?

  12. Steve, I think the Republican/Nationalist was morally superior. Our atrocities/war crimes bore fruit out of defence and latterly desperation. Yours were done to preserve an injust status quo. All this reconciliation is all very good and well but lets not go down the equal blame road. Britian and her minions were and remain the aggressor, the fact we were defeated doesn't alter history. The truth remais the truth.

  13. Steve,

    yes, it was a response you made that prompted my response. I would not view it as hypocrisy or whining.

    Now you are entering the twilight zone is there honesty in your words that the man would not apply the so called rules himself. How do you know or is it just another reduction to imply as factual the man was ethically and morally bankrupt?

    I did not say or even imply one side had a bag full of morals.

  14. Tain Bo,

    "I would not view it as hypocrisy or whining. "

    That's your opinion and you are perfectly entitled to it.

    I just fail to see who is morally or ethically superior between the Para on Bloody Sunday and those who plant car bombs outside pubs and kill civilians, Republican or Loyalist. I guess I am forever stuck in the middle ground, with pacifism and dialogue as the only things I hold in essential regard.


    "Yours"? As far as I am aware I have committed no act which has by purpose or byproduct caused injury to another purpose. You have fallen into the same old way of thinking as some others on this blog as assuming because I am from the PUL community I am thereby responsible for the actions of the Loyalists or the British Army.

    And there are a hell of a lot like me in both communities who just wanted peace when all the shite was going on. I dislike the DUP, OO and the Tories more than most. They don't speak for me.

    But I'll be fucked if I will let you taint me responsible for acts of murder, David.

  15. Tain Bo

    Anyone going out on a mission knew they ran a reasonably high risk of arrest or of getting stiffed. A fact. Your attitude exposes a total lack of knowledge on the matter. I have sympathy for families, they never took that decision and were left without a loved one who did. Not easy to deal with I imagine. But for me all the enquiries are a hindrance rather than a solution to the so called legacy problems. Move on.
    It seems from your barbed comments the multiple stab wounds you inflicted on yourself some time back have yet to heal. In fact it seems they are severely infected. Good luck with that.

  16. Larry,

    I will refer you back to the article, the man was wounded and then placed into custody. Did he receive medical treatment? It is the close range bullet whilst in custody that is alarming. If the man was on active service at the time, then after his wounding and arrest he is no longer on active service but a prisoner. Tortured and shot is not on the list of basic rights for those detained so perhaps in this case the family have a right to complain.

    No idea how to address your bizarre fantasy apart from maybe wishful thinking on your part, then if memory serves you have included me in some odd fantasies of yours before.

    You should champion the scum drug dealers in the Philippines that are being stiffed, I am sure that simple rule applies to them when they are out selling drugs, their life might end or they may have to rot in jail but it’s a choice.

  17. Steve,

    there was no moral high ground all sides had and have their own version content enough to shelter in the moral low ground that we call the troubles.

  18. Am not holding you responsible for anything. Asking the question of morality is deliberately obtuse, thought you were asking a loaded question so you could get a wee rant in return. Disappointed you came back with a fairly balanced response. Replace morality with responsibility and as far as am concerned the Unionist community is responsible for the heartache. Britian gave Unionists their own little statelet and the turned into a sectarian shitehole. Admittedly am biased, though i've yet to hear an Unionist who could alter my outlook.

  19. David,

    Fair enough.

    "Britian gave Unionists their own little statelet and the turned into a sectarian shitehole"

    Britain wanted shot of the whole island, but that would have led to civil war.

    Still, it did turn into a sectarian shithole I agree. But the past is the past, no use hanging on to it when the chance for a better future is there.

    Not that it would happen but I agree with the whole amnesty for historical investigations things as a conduit for putting the past to bed.

    Mind you, it's turning into summer in Oz and the past seems like a distant dream to me!

  20. Steve

    I believe its an inaccurate and misleading over-simplification of our shared history to suggest that Britain always wanted shot of Ireland.

    In the closing years of the nineteenth century and well into the twentieth she had vested defensive interests in maintaining control over what happened on her western seaward flank.
    Some form of decentralisation or devolution for Ireland was possible but I doubt if Britain could have countenanced foregoing total control.
    Opposition to Home Rule by the Conservative Party was as trenchant as it was because they feared (that) it would be a forerunner to full Irish independence. They were aware of the problematic precedent that this would have set for other nationalist separatists throughout Britain's extensive colonies.
    For the reasons outlined its completely understandable that Britain took the positions she did. Integrity of the Empire and control of the waves though were the primary motivators for the positions taken rather than concerns about probable civil war between Nationalists and Unionists.

    Manipulations from British Conservatives coupled with the militant efforts of Irish republicans and nationalists contributed greatly to the besieged and beleaguered mindset of Unionism. That all this resulted in a "sectarian shitehole" of a state-let then is hardly surprising.

    You're right of course that's all in the past.
    And both forgiving and forgetting are adaptive.

  21. Tain Bo

    I was under the impression the victim here was shot and slung into a Saracen/Pig after being shot. Maybe I miss read or didn't see where he was shot whilst in custody or simply permitted to die. THAT is simply evil if true. (my bad) must have just scanned the article.

    As for the Philippines, the policy of stiffing known drug dealers is VERY popular. Who am I to argue with the government there? Obama has issues but then he cannot do anything about black Americans being murdered by USA police for much less than drug dealing. Selling cigarettes on the street, running away from police.... Go figure!!

    Steve Ricardos

    A distant dream? I am 500% certain the word you were seeking is NIGHTMARE.

  22. Steve, it's impossible to move forward without acknowledgement of past mistakes, from all sides obviously. Amnesty for historical investigations would only work with complete honesty, don't hold your breath for that. Enjoy your summer, lucky bastard

  23. Larry,

    “simply evil if true” why bother reversing a few yards when the “if true” would imply you are in neutral.
    The article does not sound exaggerated if it was untrue then I am positive the Brits could easily produce the evidence proving it as a fabrication.

    I would be more accurate stating you did not read the article as it is noting complicated and certain details jump out. Then why worry about it as you excuse yourself away with misread and “my bad” which is something youngsters say sarcastically.

  24. Tain Bo

    Allegations and new information as yet unseen being presented as fact. When it all gets a public airing we will know. You write as if you have seen the evidence personally. Or are you simply biased and incapable of being neutral?
    I am not neutral. Neither on the arbitrary killing of IRA men or of Brits/RUC etc. It was a fact of life at the time. Like I said earlier it is easy to feel for the families who played no part. But for volunteers and soldiers like the two corporals in W. Belfast who drove into the funeral it was always a possibility. For me it is cringe worthy to hear republicans (not the families) whinge about a Vol being shot while armed or on a mission. That's just my opinion. It cost me no pain when the UVF man Robinson was shot dead armed on a motorbike in Belfast allegedly en route to kill Catholics.

    Steve R

    People/relatives carrying pain here for 40yrs and more is hardly conducive to a settlement and a new beginning. Maybe a lump sum of compensation across the board and some time in the tropics or Benidorm could do them all some good, on both sides. It seems to be OK for the RUC to get big pay offs. As if they even needed them!

  25. Larry,

    perhaps a poor metaphor on my part. After you read the article your comment was in reverse even though I did not detect any sincerity hence you were sitting in neutral. Meaning you give the appearance of altering your position but did not alter it. (covered it up)

    “Allegations and new information as yet unseen being presented as fact. When it all gets a public airing we will know.”

    Are you not so politely calling Mr. Bradley a liar? Considering you did not read the article then made excuse in a comment defending yourself.

    “On the 16th May 2012 the BBC seems to have got pleasure out of broadcasting a story with no foundation.”

    Again, I refer you to the article. It is highly unlikely that a news agency would hold a bias or present a story detailed and factual after all if the BBC said it is so, then shite, it must be so. (Sarcasm)

    No, I am neutral on many issues that I have no interest in or those I lack the basic knowledge of. I would not say one is biased if one is discerning. I certainly would not hide under a hierarchy of victimhood. The man paid with his life that does not mean a family or a family member have no right to challenge the circumstances or is it just easier to imply those whom attempt to do so are guilty by association.

    You are fooling yourself again, I sincerely doubt you hold any true sympathy for the innocent people killed. Reading your add on comment to Steve might suggest that a few shillings would cure you but some people have morals and a few shillings in “compensation” would still leave them short changed I prefer to believe most if not all would be content with truths.

  26. Tain Bo

    I don't think I called anyone a liar. 3000 victims over 30 years and I think you will find that in a great many of the historical enquiry calls the 'pound of flesh' or / and compo is a big part of the issue. Not saying that's the case here either before you go off on another wee rant. It is great to know you have such high and superior morals though. I'm sure you will know 1972 was the ugliest year of the troubles. I think over 200 deaths. You're bound to remember you have been on the go a while. You were stalking the streets of Whitechapel in London back in 1888 were you not? lol

  27. Larry,

    For Jesus sakes, now you are lying, saying I have morals, surely, you are confusing me with yourself. That was sharp, trying to stitch me up for the Whitechapel affair (points for creativity, Guv.) I will put another falsehood to rest, I did not sell the knife to Charlotte Corday on the day she assassinated Jean-Paul Marat. I have a sworn deposition from Robespierre that I was with him in the Jacobin club playing billiards and cards boozing it up.

    It is an entirely different issue; I do not have a problem with anyone accepting compensation. On a personal level, I would not ask for compensation. I do not know enough on the issue as I said “I chose to believe most would not want it but admit perhaps facts and figures may well prove my own belief wrong. Though facts and figure only explain that one aspect and not the reasons why individuals would accept it.

    Yes, 1972 inflicted the highest death toll, civilian deaths 249, the security forces in the 100 plus range and paramilitaries well below 100. That pattern dropped significantly by 1977.
    In a sense the worst year of the troubles for many would be the day/year they lost a family member.

    That is cracker, you believe I have preemptive rants lined up. I pity anyone who reads my rants as I would not bother.

  28. Tain Bo

    All slagging aside. I think those who lost loved ones should ALL get a huge compo payout. The money should come from a fire-sale of ALL assets belonging to Adams McGuinness and SF and the DUP. They had the biggest laugh of all, three decades worth and are laughing still.

  29. Larry,

    That idea would certainly wipe the grins from their faces.
    No harm in a bit a slagging I am sure that will become a hate crime in time. The Whitechapel jibe had me laughing.