The family of Derry schoolgirl Annette McGavigan, who was shot dead by the British Army 40 years ago today, have issued a new appeal for eyewitnesses or information relating to her brutal murder.
The families’ statement, issued yesterday by the Pat Finucane Centre, read: “Our sister Annette, who was a 14 year-old schoolgirl, was shot dead by a British soldier on 6 September 1971. We, Annette’s brothers and sisters, are still trying to get at the truth of what happened on that fateful day, and we have engaged with the Historic Enquiries Team’s investigation.
“Today we are appealing for anybody who was an actual eyewitness and at the scene at the time of Annette’s killing to come forward and contact Maggie O’Conor at the Pat Finucane centre. Any evidence and information can be provided in confidence to the Pat Finucane Centre.”
The McGavigan family also took the opportunity to thank the Pat Finucane Centre “for all the work they have done on behalf of our family and their continuing support in our efforts to recover the truth about the killing which cut our sister’s young life short”.
Annette McGavigan was still wearing her St. Cecilia’s Secondary School uniform when the British Army opened fire in Derry’s Eglinton Place after rioting in the area.
According to a friend, she was looking for a rubber bullet as a souvenir. One of the rounds fired by the soldiers hit Annette in the back of the head, killing her instantly. No-one has ever been charged with her murder.
The schoolgirl later became the subject of a mural on Rossville Street in the Bogside.