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Vindication for James McDonald

It may have taken former docker James McDonald more than 40 years to obtain an official apology for the appalling ordeal he suffered at the hands of the Parachute Regiment but the saga has at last reached an appropriate outcome.

The Catholic man, now aged 70, endured severe and prolonged physical and verbal abuse after walking into a military checkpoint as he made his way to his Belfast workplace in 1971, and at one stage had a loaded gun put in his month.

Through the intervention of the Pat Finucane Centre, Mr McDonald, as we report today, has finally received a written expression of regret from a British government minister.

He said he was `overjoyed' with the official vindication, which demonstrated that, for many innocent victims on all sides, a simple but sincere acknowledgment of wrongdoing can go a very long way.

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