MoD apology to Derry family

Billy McGreanery who was shot dead by a British soldier in Derry in September 1971.
Billy McGreanery who was shot dead by a British soldier in Derry in September 1971.
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A British government minister today apologised to the family of Derry man William McGreanery (41) who was shot dead by a soldier in the city in 1971.

The apology came during a 30 minute adjournment debate secured at Westminster by Foyle MP Mark Durkan.

In 2011, the Historical Enquiries Team (HET) found Mr McGreanery “was not carrying a firearm and he posed no threat”.

The Army’s Chief of the General Staff later sent an official apology to the family.

Speaking following this afternoon’s debate, Mr. McGreanery’s nephew, Billy McGreanery, said: “We are proud that this process has finally taken place and that Billy has been officially and publicly exonerated.

“There should have been an official public response after we received the private apology from the Ministry of Defence for the wrongful killing of Billy.

“If, the government had shown any shred of common decency or genuine remorse for the shooting dead of Billy, this process should have been offered to us automatically.

“It is high time the British government take responsibility for the crimes that soldiers committed while serving in Northern Ireland.”

Mr McGreanery was walking in the vicinity of an Army observation post near the Bogside when he was shot.

(See Friday’s ‘Derry Journal’ for more).