Hegartys' demand 'full investigation'

Published Friday, 27 July 2012
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The family of an innocent teenager fatally shot by a soldier during Operation Motorman in Londonderry are demanding a full investigation into his death.

Hegartys' demand 'full investigation'
Daniel Hegarty, pictured, who was fatally shot in July 1972. (© Family photo)

The Public Prosecution Service has written to the Chief Constable asking the police to re-investigate the killing of 15-year-old Daniel Hegarty in 1972.

But, his family fear the PSNI is not fully committed to the case.

The police have warned that any investigation must be balanced against their current workload of live cases and the increased number of legacy cases.

Next week marks the 40th anniversary of the teenager's death. He was killed during the bloodiest year of the Troubles.

The teen suffered two gunshot wounds to the head after a soldier opened fire in the Creggan Estate on 31 July, 1972 during a major army operation to clear republican no go areas in the city.

His sister Margaret Brady told UTV that on the day of his death, he had simply gone out to look at the army's tanks - not to do any harm.

However, he was fatally shot and his cousin injured.

His family fought for decades to clear his name and in December 2011, the inquest into young Daniel's death found that the soldier who killed him opened fire without warning.

The jury found that Daniel had posed no threat - and that soldiers made no attempt to administer medical attention to him or his cousin.

The initial investigation into the death was conducted by the military - not the police - and was found to be flawed and inadequate.

'Soldier B' - the soldier who killed Daniel - said in his account that he had shouted three warnings at him before opening fire.

At the end of the five day inquest in December, this was rejected by the jury.

The Hegarty family want 'Soldier B' prosecuted.

Ms Brady told UTV: "Ten jurors didn't believe the soldier.

"It's there in black and white - what more do you need."

Daniel's surviving siblings say no matter what the cost they deserve a full investigation and for the person who pulled the trigger to be prosecuted.


© UTV News
Comments Comments
Peter in Belfast wrote (910 days ago):
@Lauren The British army were nothing compared to the IRA. The British army killed 303 people, the provisional IRA alone killed 1800+ and i'm not trying to brag because murder is for ill minded people but to say the British army were worse when the IRA killed literally 6 or 7 times more people than them including 700+ British soldiers that's when you no you want to think the British were worse which is pretty sad. The figures show the republican community lost less and caused violence that could have been avoided but do we try to brag about that?? no... murder is sad
OldSod in Fermanagh wrote (910 days ago):
Lauren, I am glad you asked me that: In the eyes of physical force Irish republicans and specifically Sinn Fein "who declared that the Provisional IRA was the legitimate successor to the 1938 Army Council and, as such, was the legal embodiment of the Irish Republic". So according to the IRA themselves and Sinn Fein, at the time, they (the IRA) were the only legitimate army and government of Ireland. Now, we all know how history turned out, I'm assuming Sinn Fein no longer hold this view.... now explain to me again, why we should we be engaging in political point scoring over the murder of innocents? I only question it because we all know how these discussions turn into the usual "them'uns are worse" exercises by both loyalists and republicans alike. All i'd like is a little consistency, if the murder of one innocent was wrong, then they were all wrong,... not the "some were wronger than others" angle some people engage in when it suits their political perspective (we see it all the time on the UTV website). Again, I'll make very clear, those who murdered Daniel should face justice!
John in Canada wrote (910 days ago):
@Lauren Please do some research before spewing hate on UTV. The British government confirmed that the IRA had gotten at least $9 million from 1971 to 2011 and the CIA and Irish American community also sent money to families who knew someone interned and that's pocket money considering Gaddafi donated the arms and explosives so to think they didn't get paid with all the evidence there is fairly sad my friend. Also there will never be sympathy for things like this until the republican community shed some sort of light on the massacred soldiers and police officers. They were mainly young men, for example 2 of the 1000+ security members killed was two 18 year old boys from Wales who had been attending a fishing tournament before being kidnapped, tortured and murdered. The Bloody sunday apology showed national sympathy for republican victims and the queen did the same so its time to consider the mass murders of British soldiers and citizens before trying this stuff
Lauren in Antrim wrote (911 days ago):
Oldsod in Fermanagh, to answer your question, yes. Yes the British Army were worse than the IRA. How can you compare the army, taking orders from the government, professional, meant to protect, getting paid by the government to do a job, to the IRA, nothing more than a group of volunteering thugs? Answers on a postcard please. People who make this comparison are totally ignorant, there is NO excuse for government representatives to hurt or kill anybody. Can you imagine the PSNI murdering someone today?
Ceiteach in tyneside wrote (911 days ago):
i agree completely with the comments above. No matter how long ago these killings happened and no matter the age and or health of any British soldiers and also Ruc who were responsible for them, there should be full open and independent inquiries and where they find that the soldiers and or police acted illegally killing innocent people including children then those responsible should face prosecution to the full extent of the law and sentences of the same duration as nationalists convicted for murder, meaning life sentences with no amnesty. These individuals should serve tariffs of twenty five years upon conviction since they were in positions of trust with rules which prohibited shooting at civilians.The same should happen to the shooter of Daniel Heggarty. There were rules forbidding shooting civilians and have been since the 19th century The Geneva Convention. The second World War strengthened these rules of engagement. I would like to ask the British Government why it thinks it is ok to ignore murders carried out by it's soldiers and forget the victims just so long as they happened forty years ago while convicting soldiers doing the same thing in Iraq today. I would add to this why does the British government think it is right and just to prosecute and imprison for life an old Nazi aged 88 caught finally two years ago for the cold blooded shooting of Jewish children in 1942 in Poland yet not wish to pursue the same level of justice for the murderer of Daniel.
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