Coroner: 1972 Army Killing Was 'Unjustified'

The killing of an IRA man by a British Soldier in L'Derry in 1972 has been ruled by the coroner as unjustified.

Seamus Bradley was shot and killed in the Creggan area of the city on 31 July 1972, at the age of just 19.

The shooting happened during Operation Motorman, an Army attempt to reclaim 'no-go' areas established by republican paramilitaries across Northern Ireland.

The Army had claimed that the teen was shot while in a tree and suffered additional injuries as he fell. His family alleged he sustained the fatal injuries later, including a broken neck, when he was interrogated by soldiers.
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Coroner Judge Patrick Kinney rejected both versions of events at Belfast Coroner's Court on Thursday. He said he was satisfied Seamus Bradley was killed by a soldier who got out of a Saracen vehicle, dropped to one knee and opened fire. The coroner had not been able to confirm the identity of the soldier.

"He was running across an open area of ground, he had no weapon and he was clearly visible," Judge Kinney commented on the case.

"The use of force by the solder was entirely disproportionate to any threat that might have been perceived."

Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney said the ruling that Seamus Bradley's killing was unjustified is welcome.

The Foyle MLA said: "The Bradley family have been campaigning for the truth about what happened to Seamus for many years.

"All families bereaved by the conflict are entitled to access to the truth about the deaths of their loved ones.

"We need to see the British government implementing the legacy mechanisms agreed at Stormont House so that families and campaigners can get access to truth."


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