Inquest will be stark contrast to 1972 ‘charade’

November 1971... Kathleen Thompson family follow her funeral cortege as it makes its way through the City Cemetery. [Derry Journal Archive]
November 1971... Kathleen Thompson family follow her funeral cortege as it makes its way through the City Cemetery. [Derry Journal Archive]

The British soldier who shot dead Derry mother-of-six Kathleen Thompson may have to give evidence in person at a new inquest into her murder.

‘Soldier D’ as he is known, is now compellable by law, which makes any new inquest “very different” to its 1972 predecessor, according to Fearghal Shiels of Madden & Finucane Solicitors. “Soldier D, the soldier responsible for shooting Kathleen Thompson, did not attend to give evidence [in 1972] as he was not obliged to. He is now, however, a compellable witness and will be required to attend for cross examination by the Thompson family lawyers.

“This will be the first public rigorous exploration of the circumstances in which Kathleen died, in stark contrast to the charade presided over by the Royal Military Police,” Mr Shiels added.

Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has welcomed news of the new inquest. “Of paramount importance in this are the rights and entitlements of the Thompson family,” Mr McCartney said. “Our thoughts are with the Thompson family who have been treated shamefully by the state institutions since the murder of their mother outside her home in Creggan 43 years ago.”