Northern Ireland news

Family of IRA man raise questions about his killing

Seamus Bradley was shot dead by the British army on July 31 1972.
Seamus McKinney

A BROTHER of an IRA man shot dead by the British army in 1972 has welcomed the end of the MoD’s bid to quash a finding that his death was “unjustified”.

However, Daniel Bradley says major questions still remain about what happened his brother between the moment he was shot at 4.20am on the morning of July 31 1972 and when his body was placed in the morgue at Altnagelvin hospital at 7am the same day. Mr Bradley said he still has many questions about his brother’s death and intends asking the Irish government to intervene in the case.

Seamus Bradley (19) was shot dead on the morning of Operation Motorman when British soldiers moved into Derry’s Creggan area as part of an operation to smash republican No-Go areas.

Danny Bradley (pictured left) says his family still has many questions about his brother's death. Picture by Niall Carson/PA Wire.

The army claimed the teenager was shot while in a tree and suffered further injuries as he fell. However, his family have always claimed the victim died later while under interrogation. Both versions were rejected at an inquest in 2019 although the coroner found the use of force in the case was “unjustified” and the investigation into the death was “flawed and inadequate”.

The MoD challenged the coroner’s finding of “unjustified” use of force. When the case opened at Belfast High Court on Tuesday, lawyers for the MoD said the challenge was being withdrawn following discussions with the defence secretary.

Mr Bradley described the High Court move as “great news”. He said he was pleased that the coroner’s ruing of “unjustified” force would stand. However, he said he had serious questions about how his brother met his death.

"Seamus was shot between 4.10am and 4.20am; he was then taken away. A police report in 1973 finds Seamus entering the morgue (at Altnagelvin hospital) at 7am and not 6am as previously stated,” he said.

Mr Bradley said his family needed answers about the two hours and forty minutes between his brother’s shooting and his arrival at the morgue. He said the family also wished to find out what medical aid, if any, was administered to his brother immediately after he was shot.

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