Northern Ireland news

Family makes fresh appeal for witnesses to 1976 shooting of Liam Prince by British Army

Liam Prince was shot dead by the British army in 1976
Connla Young

THE family of a Catholic man killed by the British Army have made a fresh appeal for witnesses almost 45 years after his death.

Liam Prince was shot dead in south Armagh by members of the Parachute Regiment shortly after the IRA targeted a patrol with a landmine in June 1976.

The 27-year-old teacher, who was originally from Warrenpoint in Co Down, had been making his way to a dance in Co Armagh.

It has been claimed that troops had been carrying out rolling vehicle checkpoints between Meigh and Forkhill before the IRA attack.

Shortly after the explosion a Ford Cortina car containing six people stopped at a crater which had been caused by the blast.

Soldiers had ordered the occupants to put out its lights when Mr Prince arrived at the scene in a second vehicle.

It is claimed that he then tried to overtake the Ford at which point soldiers opened fire.

At his inquest statements from British soldiers suggested shots had been fired from the victim’s car.

However, an RUC detective said he was satisfied that no shots had been fired from the car.

The inquest found that the victim was innocent.

The Prince family has now appealed for the occupants of another car, which passed through the checkpoint, travelling from Forkhill towards Meigh, to come forward.

It is understood the RUC was unable to identify the occupants.

Relatives believe they may hold valuable information.

The victim’s niece Maria Prince, speaking on behalf of her father Paddy, said: “We are keen to hear from anyone who has information about the Saturday night in 1976 when on his way to a local dance, Liam was shot dead by the British army outside Meigh, Co Armagh.

“Although 43 years have passed since Liam’s tragic death, we are still searching for the truth of what happened on that evening.”

Alan Brecknell from the Pat Finucane Centre said: “The Prince family believes the people in this car may have valuable information about Liam’s shooting and are appealing to them to come forward with anything they can remember about the events of this tragic night.”

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