Thursday 16 August 2018

'We want his body parts back for a proper burial' - Family of Aidan McAnespie

Aidan McAnespie was shot dead as he walked through an Army checkpoint in Northern Ireland in 1988 (PA)
Aidan McAnespie was shot dead as he walked through an Army checkpoint in Northern Ireland in 1988 (PA)

Kyle Ewald

The family of man who was shot as he walked through an Army checkpoint in Northern Ireland in 1988 said they want all of his body back to give him a proper burial.

Last week marked the 30th anniversary of when Aidan McAnespie was killed as he walked through a British Army checkpoint in Northern Ireland. The 23-year-old was on his way to a local GAA club when he was shot by a Grenadier Guardsman.

Mr McAnespie’s breast bone and part of his rib cage were removed and retained following his death, despite no permission being given by the family to do so. The family believes the body parts are still being held somewhere in Northern Ireland.

Speaking on Sunday with Miriam RTE Radio 1, Sean McAnespie, the brother of deceased Mr McAnespie said  “That’s what my father is looking for, getting his body parts back for a Christian burial.

“He’s 82 now on the first of April and he’s getting no younger and wants the body parts back sooner than later.”

Last week marked the 30th anniversary of when Aidan McAnespie was killed as he walked through an Army checkpoint in Northern Ireland. The 23-year-old was on his way to a local Gaelic Athletic Association club when he was shot by a Grenadier Guardsman.

Following the tragedy, the Irish government launched a full report titled the Crowley report into Mr McAnespie’s death that included the exhumation of his body.

Brian Gormley, the cousin of Mr McAnespie explained how the second post-mortem led to shocking discoveries: “the doctor discovered that part of Aidan's rib cage was missing, it had been removed at that time.

“All our family is looking for is justice and the truth,” said Vincent McAnespie, another brother of Mr Anespie.

Brian explained on air how the Crowley report could give more honest insight into what transpired the day of Mr McAnespie’s death: “There was a complete lack of trust at that time from the nationalist community and a lot of people weren’t comfortable dealing with the RUC, or giving information to them they didn’t know whose hands they were gonna end up in,

“So the Irish government set up the Crowley report, we looked at the Irish government as being an honest broker at this time.”

If the report is not released, Sean said he hopes to at least get names of those who gave statements from the government and make contact with them on his own to see if he can release the information they know: “If we can’t get it published, if we can get the names, see the people who made their statements and see them if it’s alright that we published what they told.”

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