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Monday, 15 October, 2001, 14:31 GMT 15:31 UK
Victim told he is 'innocent'
Thirteen people died on Bloody Sunday
Thirteen people died on Bloody Sunday
A lawyer representing soldiers at the Bloody Sunday Inquiry has told a man wounded in the shootings that they accept he was innocent of any wrongdoing.

Edwin Glasgow QC gave the assurance to Patrick O'Donnell on Monday, who was shot in the shoulder in the Bogside area of Londonderry on 30 January 1972.

Thirteen men were killed when Army paratroopers moved into the Bogside and opened fire after a civil rights demonstration. A 14th man died later.

Mr O'Donnell, who was 40-years-old at the time, was shot in Glenfada Park, and was subsequently arrested along with a group of other people sheltering there.

He also said he was hit on the head by a soldier with a baton, suffering a wound that required eight stitches.

Victim arrested

In a written statement to the inquiry Mr O'Donnell said he still felt bitter about what had happened and "that I am probably classed by some people as a gunman and am under suspicion for doing something wrong".

"I am not and never had been involved in that sort of thing," he added.

Mr O'Donnell was giving evidence to the inquiry investigating the shootings, chaired by Lord Saville of Newdigate.

Addressing him, Mr Glasgow said neither he nor other lawyers for the soldiers would make any suggestion that "you did anything that deserved your being shot or that you were guilty of any offence".

Gunman spotted

"Can I make that plain to you in view of what you have said. I make that publicly plain.

"Any resentment you feel, however understandable, is not justified and never has been. There is no complaint against you," he said.

Also on Monday a BBC journalist told the Saville Inquiry he saw a man with a rifle in the Bogside area during the Bloody Sunday shootings.

Noel McCartney, who was working for the Derry Journal newspaper in 1972, said he was going to get help for a man who had been shot when he saw the gunman.

Mr McCartney said he did not remember any more details about the man.

"The light was not good by this point and other than being able to say that this person was male, I am unable to offer any more detail as to his appearance," he said.

Lord Saville of Newdigate is heading the inquiry, which has been sitting in public in Derry since March 2000 and is expected to last another two years.

BBC NI's Paul McAuley reports
"Witness described seeing a man with a rifle"
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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