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Wednesday, 3 October, 2001, 11:33 GMT 12:33 UK
Witness tells of 'running for life'
The inquiry is looking into events on Bloody Sund
The inquiry is looking into events on Bloody Sunday
A Londonderry man has described trying to get away from the gunfire on Bloody Sunday only to see the three men in front of him shot from a different direction.

James McNulty said he immediately turned and ran back to the shelter of the gable wall after the shootings and stated: "I was running for my life."

Giving evidence to the Saville Inquiry on Wednesday, Mr McNulty also said he may later have seen a soldier shoot one of the casualties of the day as he lay already dead or dying.

The inquiry is investigating the events of 30 January 1972 when paratroopers opened fired on civil rights marchers in the city killing 13 men. Another man died later.

Inquiry is compiling evidence from hundreds of witnesses
Inquiry is compiling evidence from hundreds of witnesses
But from the witness box, he said he was unsure whether the incident happened at the rubble barricade across Derry's Rossville Street - east of where he was standing - or the courtyard of Glenfada Park North, which was west of his position that day.

He said he also saw a soldier shoot a second casualty "who was already dead" but from the witness box said he believed it was with a rubber bullet.

Mr McNulty, 50, took the stand on day 151 of the public hearings of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry.

He said he took shelter behind the gable wall between Rossville Street - the main road into the Bogside - and Glenfada Park North listening to the shooting on Rossville Street with mounting alarm.

His written statement, made public as he entered the witness box at the Guildhall in Derry, said: "It seemed like there was a lot of shooting going on then and so my first reaction was to get away from there.

"I ran further into Glenfada Park North towards Abbey Park (beyond the Glenfada complex). There were three men who were running in front of me and they fell."

Account

Mr McNulty said he looked across the square to see some soldiers coming in the north-eastern entrance, one of whom went down on his knee and pointed a rifle in his direction.

He said from the witness box: "When he was down on his knee, I knew that when these three boys were shot, it could have been me next, so I had to turn back."

Three men are known to have fallen in Glenfada Park North after being shot on Bloody Sunday - Jim Wray and William McKinney, who died, and Joe Mahon, who survived.

Mr Mahon says in his own account that a soldier "finished off" Mr Wray as he lay already wounded on the ground.

The Bloody Sunday Inquiry, chaired by Lord Saville of Newdigate, was established in 1998 and is currently examining civilian eyewitness accounts of events in its public hearings.

It began taking oral evidence in March 2000.

The inquiry is expected to last two years.

See also:

02 Aug 01 | Northern Ireland
Inquiry soldiers must return to NI
21 Aug 01 | Northern Ireland
Inquiry's reserve judge resigns
26 Jun 01 | Northern Ireland
Photographer 'feared for his life'
12 Mar 01 | Northern Ireland
Inquiry hears of 'bad day's work'
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