Friel death - solicitor seeks new inquest

A Derry solicitor has written to Northern Ireland’s Attorney General requesting a fresh inquest into the death of a rubber bullet victim.

21 year-old Thomas Friel was shot in the head at close range on May 18, 1973. He died in hospital four days later.

Today, the ‘Journal’ can reveal that Paddy MacDermott wrote to Attorney General, John Larkin QC, on Friday.

He said; “We have asked the Attorney General to convene a fresh inquest into the death of Thomas Friel in view of new information uncovered by the Pat Finucane Centre at the Public Records Office.”

It also emerged yesterday that the Historical Enquiries Team have agreed to review the case. Again, the decision comes in light of recently declassified documents revealing that British officials not only knew rubber bullets could be lethal but that the testing of the weapon had been rushed. Last night Thomas Friel’s sister, Margaret Nash, welcomed the news.