Two Army veterans facing historic murder charges from the Northern Ireland Troubles will not face trial.

The cases of individuals known as Soldier F and Soldier B date back to 1972.

It marks the end of potential prosecutions over Bloody Sunday.

Soldier F was to be prosecuted over the deaths of James Wray and William McKinney on Bloody Sunday in January 1972. He was also facing five counts of attempted murder.

Soldier B’s case relates to the death of 15-year-old Daniel Hegarty, who was shot twice in the head in Londonderry in July 1972, and the wounding of his cousin, Christopher.

The Northern Ireland Public Prosecution Service (PPS) informed the family of Daniel Hegarty it was discontinuing the prosecution at a meeting in a Londonderry hotel on Friday morning, according to the family’s solicitor Des Doherty.

Mr Doherty said: "This morning we met with the director (of the PPS) and his legal team. Under instruction from the family and under much protest – and we made that clear that it was under protest – we accepted letters from the PPS advising that they no longer would be proceeding with the prosecution of Soldier B, for murder."

The discontinuation of the prosecution of the soldiers comes after the PPS reviewed the cases in light of a recent court ruling that caused the collapse of another Troubles murder trial involving two military veterans.

A court in Belfast ruled in May that statements by Soldiers A and C, accused of murdering IRA man Joe McCann, were inadmissible. As such the case against them collapsed and the pair were acquitted.

Grieving relatives and thier supporters march from the Bloody Sunday Memorial to the Guildhall in Londonderry

Credit: Geoff Pugh

Senior Public Prosecution Service lawyers met in Londonderry with the families of Liam Wray and William McKinney, two men killed in the 1972 Bloody Sunday shootings by soldiers, and with the family of 15-year-old Daniel Hegarty, who was shot dead in Derry six months later.

Daniel Hegarty was shot and killed by a member of an Army patrol on duty in the Creggan area of Londonderry on July 31 1972, during what was known as Operation Motorman.

Soldier B was also to be charged with wounding with intent after Daniel’s cousin Christopher Hegarty, then aged 17, was also shot and injured in the incident.

Pre-trial proceedings against Soldier F had already commenced but the Soldier B case had not yet progressed to court.

Discontinuing the prosecutions will involve a court hearing which the PPS is asking to be scheduled in the coming days.