Coroner to hold "witness surgery" over British army killing in Derry of Kathleen Thompson

Derry mother Kathleen Thompson, who was shot dead by a British soldier in November 1971.
Seamus McKinney

THE Coroner’s Office is to hold a “witness surgery” to gather evidence about the 1971 killing of Derry mother, Kathleen Thompson.

Mrs Thompson, a 47 year-old mother of six, was shot dead by a British soldier in the garden of her Creggan home in Derry on November 6 1971.

Following a fresh investigation into her death by the Historical Inquiries Team (HET), Attorney General John Larkin ordered a new inquest into the killing. Mr Larkin said the original investigation had not been thorough.

Mrs Thompson had gone into her garden during a raid into Creggan by the British army. She was found moments later by her 12-year-old daughter.

As part of the new inquiry in 2013, the HET interviewed the soldier who fired the fatal shot. Known only by the cipher Soldier D he is expected to be called to give evidence at the new inquests which takes place at Derry Court House on October 23 this year.

In advance, the Northern Ireland Coroner’s Service has issued an appeal for information about Mrs Thompson’s death.

A spokesman said: “The Coroner, Mr Patrick McGurgan, requests that if anyone can assist this inquest in examining this death, they should make contact with the coroner’s service.

“There may, for example, be persons with relevant information concerning the death but who have not yet brought that information to the attention of the authorities.”

A witness surgery will be held tomorrow at Derry’s Verbal Arts Centre at Bishop Street between 10am and 7pm.

Anyone with information about Mrs Thompson's death can call into the surgery where they will be met by officials who can record their evidence.

The spokesman said anyone with information about Mrs Thompson’s killing could also contact the Coroner’s Office directly.

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