A Coroner has ruled that killing of a 19-year-old member of the IRA in Derry 47 years ago was unjustified.
The conclusions of a fresh Inquest into the death of Seamus Bradley at the hands of the British Army was announced in Belfast a short time ago.
The killing by Royal Scots Regiment took place during what was known as Operation Motorman-a large scale British Army incursion into the no go districts of nationalist areas in Derry on July 31, 1972.
The incident has been a point of major contention for over 40 years. The British Army claimed at the time that the teenager was armed and in a tree when he was shot and suffered further injuries as he fell to the ground on a laneway outside St Mary's Church in Creggan.
However, Seamus Bradley's family consistently maintained that he died later having been taken away from the scene in an army saracen and sustained fatal injuries whilst being subjected to torture during interrogation.
The Coroner, Judge Patrick Kinney, however ruled out both versions of the events. He said that he was satisfied that Seamus Bradley was killed by a soldier who got out of a Saracen, fell to one knee and opened fire.
Seamus Bradley's brother Danny who has pursued the case for decades told the Derry News: “ First of all I would like to make a statement referring to my brothers first inquest in 1973. The prosecution showed this black and white picture to the jury and then turned to my father and called him a liar and said your son was not tortured.
“This same man was aware that there were coloured pictures showing that Seamus' neck was badly marked and which the black and white images failed to show.
“Seamus was stripped naked and badly beaten about the face and shot three times at close range. At the original inquest one soldier claimed that Seamus fell out of the Saracen onto his face, but the army medical officer said that never happened.
“Sadly, the police at the time did not show the Bradley family any of the pictures and it took to 2001 for the police to show nine black and white pictures. Then in 2015 the Coroners office showed us 10 coloured pictures. It can be safely be said that both the black and white and coloured pictures went missing to save the security forces embarrassment.
“The Police Ombudsman and the Irish government have promised me that they would investigate after this inquests findings.”
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