Derry News
15 June 2012

A niece of Gerald Donaghey has vowed to clear her uncle’s name.

Geraldine Doherty says she knows her uncle is innocent and insists she will “never stop telling people the truth.”

Geraldine says she particularly wants to establish her uncle’s innocence for her mother, Mary Donaghey, who passed away just months after the publication of the Saville Report.

She says: “I was so happy, and my mum was so happy, when all of those who died on Bloody Sunday were declared innocent.

“We were so happy for the other families, but our own happiness was tainted by the claim that my uncle Gerald ‘probably’ had nail bombs in his pockets when he was shot.

“It was painful for us that the report could not reflect the evidence and just state that he didn’t. My mum was very ill at the time and this was her chance to have her beloved brother’s name totally cleared, but she didn’t get what she wanted, and she died just a few months later with that stain still on his name.

“But she knew, and I know, and anyone who reads or has read the evidence will know, that my uncle Gerald was not carrying nail bombs when he was shot; he was totally innocent like all the rest.”

Geraldine says her uncle was “a very loving and caring boy.”

“Whenever he walked into a room, he would light it up,” she says. “He was a big gentle giant who loved football and fishing, the dances and, of course, the girls.”

She also recalls that Gerald was only three weeks old when he was adopted by her grandparents.

“I remember my mum telling me that, when they brought Gerald home to Wellington Street, they brought him round all the relations to show him off; they were so proud of him.”

She adds: “My uncle Gerald had ten wonderful happy years with his family until December 1965 when my grand-dad died and, then, my granny just four weeks later, in January 1966.

“Gerald was only ten then and my mum only nineteen when they lost both their parents in the space of a few weeks. Some members of the wider family thought Gerald should be put back into care, but my mum was determined that she would raise Gerald herself and she did. Even though she was only nine years older than him she took on a mother’s role and brought him up herself.”