Derry woman disgusted at suspension of inquest into brother’s shooting

The sister of a Derry youth shot dead by the British army in 1972 has said she is 'disgusted' at the decision by coroner John Lecky to suspend new inquests into 14 deaths that were ordered by Attorney General John Larkin.

Mr. Lecky suspended the hearings and referred the matters back to the Secretary of State on the grounds that he believed the Attorney General had exceeded his powers and that there were 'national security issues.

Helen Deery, whose brother Manus was shot dead in May 1972 in the Bogside described the decision as another assassination of the victims.

Manus Deery was 15-years-old when he was shot dead by a British soldier on May 19 1972.

In February this year the Deery family were critical of an Historical Enquiries Team report into the death which said the soldier had been justified in firing. However in June the Attorney General ordered a fresh inquest into the death.

At the time the soldiers claimed they were firing at a gunman in the rear of the Bogside Inn during the no-go area a claim supported by the HET report.

However, witnesses who were in the area at the time all denied seeing any gunman.

Speaking after yesterday's hearing, Helen Deery said her brother was shot dead as he stood eating a bag of chips, asking "Where is the national security issue in that?"

Calling on the Stormont Assembly to act, she added all the witnesses to Manus' death were ready to come forward and tell their story, asking if the state is afraid of what may come out of the inquest.