FOR Kate Nash, Thursday was the worst day since her teenage brother was shot dead by the British Army nearly half a century ago.

“I was so positive this morning when I set out - very nervous, very agitated because it was a really important day and I expected to get a letter and get a prosecution,” Ms Nash said. “My heart is broken. It is the worst day since Bloody Sunday.”

Her brother died at a barricade. Her father William was shot too as he tried to help his son. He survived after weeks in hospital.

“My brother who I loved very much, he was a good fella,” Ms Nash told The Belfast Telegraph. “He was only 19, had everything to live for and I will continue to work for him until I get justice, or until I die.”

Ms Nash’s sentiments were echoed by other Bloody Sunday families, many of whom had campaigned for decades for justice.

They declared one “victory” - the decision to prosecute Soldier F - but vowed to keep fighting for the other dead and injured.

John Kelly, whose 17-year-old brother Michael was among the 13 shot dead, said: “The dead cannot cry out for justice, it is the duty of the living to do so for them. We have cried out for them for many years, and now we have succeeded for them. Do not deny us justice any longer.”

Mickey McKinney, who is set to see Soldier F in court over the murder of his brother, Willie, said: “For us here today it is important to point out that justice for one family is justice for all of us.”

The families had marched together from the scene of the shootings in Derry’s Bogside neighbourhood to a city centre hotel on Thursday morning to be informed of the PPS’s long-awaited decisions.

Afterwards, many of them visibly upset, they walked the short distance to the Guildhall civic building to give their reaction.

Mr Kelly highlighted there were legal means of challenging the decisions not to prosecute.

“The Bloody Sunday families are not finished yet,” he said.

Ciaran Shiels, a solicitor for a number of them, said they were “disappointed that not all of those responsible are to face trial”.

However, he added: “This is a remarkable achievement by the families and victims of Bloody Sunday.

“Notwithstanding the unprecedented attempted political interference with the independence of the judicial process, the families have not only succeeded in securing the complete vindication and declaration of innocence of all of the victims through the Saville Inquiry, they have now secured the prosecution of Soldier F. “

Some British veterans have said even this prosecution was of “one soldier too many”.

Former Grenadier Guard Alan Barry, who founded the Justice for Northern Ireland Veterans group, said Soldier F was being thrown “under a bus”.

The 54-year-old, who served in Northern Ireland in the 1980s, said: “It’s very one-sided. No soldier should be charged. It happened 47 years ago, a line in the sand needs to be drawn and people need to move on.

“Under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, veterans are being left open to prosecution while terrorists have been cleansed of their past crimes

“It’s all about appeasement: appeasing the IRA, appeasing Sinn Fein, and if that means throwing one or two veterans under a bus then that’s what they’ll do.”

In fact, prosecutors continue to pursue IRA figures for Troubles crimes.

Conservative MP and former British Army officer Johnny Mercer tweeted that the Soldier F charges were the result of “an abject failure to govern and legislate, on our watch as a Conservative administration”.

“When I speak of a chasm between those who serve and their political masters in this country, I mean this,” he added.