Victims' families call for Northern Ireland secretary to resign over comments made about the Troubles
Karen Bradley said that killings by the security forces at the time were "not crimes".
On Wednesday, Northern Ireland Secretary of State Karen Bradley was asked about legacy issues by DUP MP Emma Little Pengelly, and in response, Bradley said the following:
"Over 90% of the killings during the Troubles were at the hands of terrorists, every single one of those was a crime. The fewer than 10% that were at the hands of the military and police were not crimes. They were people acting under orders and under instruction and fulfilling their duty in a dignified and appropriate way."
While Bradley would later clarify her initial comments, saying they "might have been open to misinterpretation", there had already been a huge swell of reactions.
Speaking to the BBC, two family members of victims of killings by soldiers during the Troubles made their positions very clear on Bradley's comments.
John Teggart, whose father was killed in the 1971 Ballymurphy shootings, made the following response:
"What Karen Bradley said is that the soldiers who murdered my father - 14 bullets went through his body, ripped chunks out of his body - that soldier acted in a dignified and appropriate way.
"You have to remember that all of us citizens live under the one law. It doesn't matter if you're a police officer, it doesn't matter if you're a solider, you're under the same law.
"And for Mrs Bradley to come out with insulting, despicable insults to families, it's an absolute disgrace. If she can't handle her position, she should resign."
John Kelly, whose teenage brother Michael was killed on Bloody Sunday, had the following to say:
"I thought it was totally outrageous. For her to come out, as the Secretary of State, with a statement like that, I thought it was unbelievable.
"I tell you what, I'm very angry about it. And because she said that, I don't believe that she can represent the nationalist people of the north, or anyone who lost their lives at the hands of the British Army.
"I believe she should resign. Her place now is untenable, she should go."
You can watch both of their reactions to Bradley's comments here:
— BBC News NI (@BBCNewsNI) March 6, 2019