Northern Ireland news

Family of Protestant UVF victim withdrew inquest request

Donegal teenager Henry Cunningham was shot dead by the UVF on August 9 1973 as the travelled along the M2 in a work van
Connla Young

The brothers of a Protestant teenager murdered by the UVF 45 years ago today have withdrawn an application to have a new inquest heard.

Henry Cunningham (16), from Carndonagh in Co Donegal, was a front seat passenger in a van bringing Protestant and Catholic workmen home from a building site in Glengormley when he was killed on August 9 1973.

The teenager died after the killers, who were on a bridge, raked the van with gunfire as it travelled along the M2 motorway.

Another man who was in the van was shot in the face.

A 1973 inquest into the teenager's death recorded an open verdict.

The Historical Enquiries Team (HET) subsequently found that one of the guns used in the attack was earlier stolen from a UDR base in Lurgan.

The same gun was used by the UDA to kill two Catholic workmen in Glengormley the following year.

The teenager's brother Robert said he and another brother Herbie had decided “not to go any further with it if there came nothing fresh before the 45th anniversary”.

He said they had wanted a new inquest “to which I think we were entitled to”.

He added: “We know now, looking through all of the documents we got, they would have known that evening, the police, the RUC, would have known that evening who murdered Henry because of where it happened.

“There was no investigation. We were told nothing. We found out from Lost Lives that Henry was murdered by the UVF,” he told the Inish Times.

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