Bonfire set ablaze in Derry in protest of 'Soldier F' and Bloody Sunday
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Bonfire set ablaze in Derry in protest of 'Soldier F' and Bloody Sunday

BONFIRES HAVE been burning through the night in Derry.

The annual occurrence is part of a Catholic holiday for the assumption of the Virgin Mary into heaven.

However, religion took a back seat in Derry's Bogside as thousands gathered to watch the bonfire be set alight while covered in Parachute Regiment material, with particular reference to ‘Soldier F’.

The soldier, whose identity has been protected, is the only member of the British paratroopers who will face trial for his actions on Bloody Sunday, 1972.

Fourteen people lost their lives when the British Army opened fire on a crowd of civil rights demonstrators.

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Soldier F will face murder charges for the deaths of James Wray and William McKinney, who were both shot in the back as they ran for cover. Mr Wray was shot again as he lay dying.

He will also face charges for the attempted murders of Joseph Friel, Joe Mahon, Michael Quinn and Patrick O’Donnell.

The bonfire, which held placards and signs furiously denouncing Soldier F and state terrorism, was set ablaze last night, 15 August, and drew large crowds to watch it burn.

There was a heavy Fire Brigade presence due to the size of the large blaze, and nearby buildings were doused with water to prevent the fire from spreading.

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The trial of Soldier F is expected to begin next month.