Loughgall soldier advised 'not to tell'

Published Tuesday, 20 March 2012
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An SAS soldier shot an armed IRA member as he lay wounded on the ground but did not tell police on the advice of the Army, an inquest has heard.

Loughgall soldier advised 'not to tell'
Soldier D recalled how a senior colleague fired the first shot at the scene. (© UTV)

Republicans Dessie Grew, 37, and Martin McCaughey, 23, were killed when soldiers fired 72 bullets at them near farm buildings at Loughgall, Co Armagh in October 1990.

A man known only as Soldier D recalled how he opened fire on the men after a senior colleague fired the first shot.

It later emerged that two men did not shoot and the soldiers have said they were firing at flashes they now believe were caused by their own bullets.

Barrister for the families, Karen Quinlivan, cross-examined Soldier D on Tuesday about differences in statements he gave in 1990 and 2011.

The soldier gave evidence from behind a curtain at Laganside courts in Belfast. He confirmed that in the first few seconds after the shooting started, he shot McCaughey, who had already been felled by the first bullets shot by Soldier A.

When asked why he had not revealed to police at the time that he had shot a man while he was on the ground, Soldier D replied: "My legal adviser told me to say that."

Ms Quinlivan said: "And you were told by your legal adviser not to communicate that to the RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary)?"

The soldier said that was correct and added: "I wasn't very happy about that. And I reported that after the event."

He said he fired because he believed McCaughey was still a threat.

He said of the advice given to him by the military: "I raised it when I went back to my organisation."

Soldier D said: "I did complain. I complained vigorously."

The inquest continues.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
David Tanner in Castlecaulfield wrote (1,040 days ago):
These men where terrorists and planning an operation. The sas done there job, what the british government sent them to do end of story
rob in Belfast wrote (1,040 days ago):
totally tru rob north down. when things don't go their way all you hear is gurning. Those terrorists were not on a shopping trip . complete waste of public money
Billy in Manchester wrote (1,040 days ago):
You're right, the IRA were at war and should expect these things and do accept these things...but the British Government refused to admit it was a war, that makes what they (the British Government) did criminal, as they were in the eyes of the British Government dealing with civilians. However, if you want to claim it was a war situation, then these soldiers should be tried before a war crimes tribunal. Regardless, you can’t have it both ways..
Rob in North Down wrote (1,041 days ago):
These men were believed to be terrorists planning an operation, and were found beside guns. The IRA said there was a war going so - so they should expect casualties. This inquest is to appease republican supporters and families - but shouldn't even be taking place.
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