Shooting of Derry teen was ‘unjustified in law’

Helen Deery with Eamonn McCann at the press conference yesterday.  (DER2913JB30)

Helen Deery with Eamonn McCann at the press conference yesterday. (DER2913JB30)

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The family of a Derry teenager shot dead by the British army more than 40 years ago have said they are not surprised by the discovery of a document from the time advising the government that his killing was “unjustified in law.”

Relatives of Manus Deery, who was 15 years-old when he was shot dead in the Bogside in May 1972, said a document written by British government legal advisers, which admits liability for the fatal shooting, proves their long-held view that the teenager was murdered.

At the time the British army claimed the soldier had fired at a gunman in the area, a claim disputed by eyewitnesses to the killing.

The document, which was discovered in the National Archives at Kew, states that the shooting “was in contravention of the Yellow Card and unjustified in law, irrespective of whether Deery was carrying a firearm.”

The ‘Yellow Card’ system governed the circumstances in which British troops could open fire.

Helen Deery, Manus’ sister, called for a fresh inquest into his death and said her family have no faith in the HET to investigate the shooting.