DCSIMG

‘Time for apology’ over Strabane man’s killing

Eamonn McDevitt was shot dead by the British Army in Strabane in August 1971.

Eamonn McDevitt was shot dead by the British Army in Strabane in August 1971.

A Derry human rights group says it’s uncovered previously secret information relating to the death of a Strabane man killed by the British Army more than 40 years ago.

Twenty-eight-year-old Eamon McDevitt, who was deaf and could not speak, was gunned down at Fountain Street on August 18, 1971, following an anti-internment march in the town.

At the time, the British Army claimed Eamon was brandishing a pistol when he was shot.

But scores of local people came forward to tell authorities that not only was Eamon unarmed but he was posing no threat.

Now the Pat Finucane Centre (PFC) has discovered confidential documents which, it says, reveal government officials were aware the Strabane man was unarmed.

Correspondence from 1975, prepared by the MoD in London, outlines how the Ministry intended to “dispose” of the McDevitt case by settling out of court.

Eamonn McDevitt’s brother Sammy says the family never got over his death and they have called for an apology.

Sara Duddy, of the PFC, claims the content of the document “shows the MoD was afraid to allow the case to go to trial and allow a jury to hear the civilian evidence showing that Eamon was unarmed.”

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said no comment could be made until they had seen the documents.

See Friday’s Journal for more.

 
 
 

Back to the top of the page