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'We have travelled a long road to get justice for mum'

Kathleen Thompson (47) who was shot dead by the british army at her home in the Creggan estate, Derry City during November 1971. An inquest into her death takes place at Derry Court starting Monday 5th March 2018. Picture Margaret McLaughlin © 5-3-18.

THE daughter of a 47 year-old Derry woman shot dead by the British Army in 1971 told an inquest into her killing yesterday that the family "hope to get truth and justice for her".

Minty Thompson was giving evidence as a fresh inquest was opened into the death of mother-of-six Kathleen Thompson, who was shot dead in the garden of her Creggan home during an Army raid on the estate.

The inquest, being heard at Derry courthouse, will examine the circumstances surrounding Mrs Thompson's death and is expected to hear from the soldier who fired the fatal shot.

A 1972 inquest into her death returned an open verdict. The new inquest into the death of the 47-year-old was ordered in September 2013.

Opening proceedings, Gerry McAlinden, QC for the coroner, said the disputed circumstances surrounding Mrs Thompson's death have caused major concern down the years to her family.

Mrs Thompson's daughter Minty told the coroner that on the night of the killing, her mother had gone to a neighbour's house which at the time was being raided by the British Army.

DERRY COURT 5-3-18 INQUEST INTO 1971 KILLING BY ARMY OF KATHLEEN THOMPSON / / Minty (Marie Louise) Thompson and her sister Patricia outside Derry Court on Monday for the inquest into the death of their mother Kathleen Thompson (47) who was shot dead by the british army at her home in the Creggan estate, Derry City during November 1971. Minty who was 12 years old when her mother was killed is the first witness to give evidence at the hearing. Picture Margaret McLaughlin © 5-3-18.

Ms Thompson, who was then aged 12, recalled how some time later her father told her to go and find her mother but they realised she was not at their neighbours' property.

She told how her father then stood on a wall outside their home and looked into the back garden where they saw her mother's body lying.

Her mother was then carried into the kitchen.

Ms Thompson, who did not hear the shot which killed her mother, said she had been involved in the Women’s Action Committee and was " well respected lady".

She told how her mother could have been banging bin-lids "to alert local people to the fact the British army was raiding a family home" when she was shot.

DERRY COURT 5-3-18 INQUEST INTO 1971 KILLING BY ARMY OF KATHLEEN THOMPSON / / Thompson family members are greeted outside Derry Court on Monday before the inquest into the death of mother of six Kathleen Thompson (47) who was shot dead by the british army at her home in the Creggan estate, Derry City during November 1971. The family invited other bereaved families and supporters to join them for the first day of the hearing. Picture Margaret McLaughlin © 5-3-18.

Ms Thompson said it had been 47 years since her mother’s death and told how all their lives had changed.

She added: "We have travelled a long road to get where we are today and I just hope we get truth and justice for her."

The inquest, which is being heard by Judge Sandra Crawford, continues.

 

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