Thursday 18 January 2018

1972 shooting of Derry boy 'unjustified' - coroner

Manus Deery was shot dead
Manus Deery was shot dead

Donna Deeney

The sister of a teenager killed by a soldier in Co Derry has said she feels "a great sense of peace" after a coroner declared the shooting was unjustified.

Manus Deery (15) was killed as he stood outside a chip shop in the Bogside area with friends in May 1972.

He was struck in the head by fragments of a bullet fired by Royal Welch Fusilier William Glasgow that ricocheted off a wall.

Yesterday, Coroner Adrian Colton ruled that not only was Mr Deery "a totally innocent victim", he was "not involved in any unlawful organisation or unlawful activity on the night of his death".

Mr Colton added: "He did not pose a threat to a soldier or to anyone else. I have no hesitation or doubt in making this clear. The outcome of this inquest, above everything else, must be seen to vindicate fully the character of Manus Deery."

Speaking outside court, Manus's sister Helen Deery said she was delighted his name had finally been cleared.

She said: "We always knew Manus was innocent. This has been a long, drawn-out process, there has been lots of hurdles along the way, but it was worth it.

"I loved my brother. I am a bit sentimental today, kind of peaceful too. In a way, it brings closure, there is a peaceful feeling and hopefully we can lay Manus to rest."

Ms Deery also referred to a meeting with John Wilson, who was the army major in charge of Mr Glasgow and a 'Soldier B' at the time of the shooting.

"He [Mr Wilson] was very emotional," she said.

"I accepted his apology. It meant the world to us that he met us and it meant the world to see that he was so sorry about it."

Mr Colton was heavily critical of the versions of what happened given at the time by Mr Glasgow and Soldier B, who were in an army look-out post on Derry's Walls.

Mr Colton did not believe there was any gunman in the Bogside where Manus and his friends were standing, and he described Mr Glasgow's decision to shoot Mr Deery as "unjustified".

Irish Independent

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