The brother of an IRA man who was shot dead during Operation Motorman in July 1972 is demanding an apology from the British Ministry of Defence (MoD).
Seamus Bradley (19) was shot dead close to the Bishop’s Field by the British Army as they moved in to clear ‘no-go’ areas in Creggan and the Bogside on 31st July, 1972.
Last week, the MoD apologised to the family of Daniel Hegarty, the 15 year-old shot dead during Operation Motorman, after he was wrongly labelled a ‘terrorist’ in an analysis of ‘Operation Banner’ - the codename for the British Army’s 37 year involvement in the North.
In response to the apology, Danny Bradley, a brother of Seamus Bradley, said his family was also entitled to an apology. Mr Bradley said he had instructed his solicitor to write to the MoD demanding an apology. “I believe that the apology issued by the MoD last week to the Hegarty family has opened up a loop hole. Daniel Hegarty was an innocent civilian who was shot by the British Army and now they have apologised for calling him a terrorist. I am now calling on them to apologise for the shooting of my brother,” he said.
Mr Bradley acknowledged that his brother was a member of the IRA when he was shot but insisted that he was unarmed and not on active service at the time. “It was widely known that my brother was not armed when he was shot. Yes, he was a member of the IRA but was not active that day. My brother had been to a dance and had just come home and gone out again when he was shot. He was definitely not armed. He was not involved in any kind of ‘terrorism’ when he was shot so the British should now apologise for calling him a terrorist,” he said.
At the time of the shootings, the British Army claimed that Seamus Bradley was armed but no weapons were ever recovered, despite a search of the area by soldiers. At the inquest into the shooting, there were several discrepancies in the soldiers’ accounts of the incident. The autopsy report into the 19 year-old’s death was also at odds with the soldiers’ accounts. In August 2001, the RUC acknowledged that the results of forensic swabs carried out on the teenager’s body were negative, indicating that he was unarmed.