Operation Motorman: Hegarty family to pursue civil action

Daniel Hegarty who was shot by a soldier in Creggan during Operation Motorman.
Daniel Hegarty who was shot by a soldier in Creggan during Operation Motorman.

The family of a 15-year-old boy killed by British soldiers during Operation Motorman in Derry in July, 1972 say they are refusing to accept a decision not to prosecute the British soldier who shot him.

Daniel Hegarty was killed in the early hours of July 31, 1972 when a soldier opened fire striking him twice in the head from close range near his home in Creggan.

Operation Motorman was the biggest movement of British armed forces since the Suez Crisis of 1956 and was designed to break ‘no-go’ areas in Creggan and the Bogside.

Yesterday the Public Prosecution Service ruled that they would not prosecute the perpetrator of the killing on the grounds that there was no “reasonable prospect of a conviction”.

However, Daniel Hegarty’s sister, Margaret Brady said that the family will now take a civil action against the soldier in question.

In 2011, a second inquest into the teenagers killing found that Daniel Hegarty posed no risk and that he was shot without warning. In 1973, the initial inquest recorded an open verdict.

A Historical Enquiries Team report in 2009 found that the RUC investigation into the case in the 1970’s was “hopelessly in adequate and dreadful.”