‘Troubles’ legacy: Inquest date set for Manus Derry killing

Manus Deery, the Derry teenager who was shot dead by a soldier in the Bogside in Derry on 19th May 1972. The Deery family have called for a second inquest.
Manus Deery, the Derry teenager who was shot dead by a soldier in the Bogside in Derry on 19th May 1972. The Deery family have called for a second inquest.

A date has been set for a fresh inquest into the killing of Manus Deery, a 15-year-old boy shot dead by the British Army in May, 1972.

Solicitor for the Deery family, Richard Campbell of Quigley, Grant and Kyle confirmed that the inquest has been scheduled to take place over a two -week period at Derry courthouse beginning on October 17, 2016.

Two preliminary legal processes in relation to the case are due to take place at Belfast Court in early September. These are a Public Interest Immunity hearing and a hearing to establish screening to ensure anonymity for military witnesses.

Last month a hearing took place in Belfast to establish whether a jury will be appointed for the inquest, but the ruling on this aspect of the case will not be made until August.

However, solicitor Richard Campbell feels confident that the inquest into Manus Deery’s death will now go ahead this October.

He told the ‘Journal’: “We are ecstatic that we have reached this point.

“This looks like this is the final piece of the jigsaw. Remember that this inquest was scheduled to proceed last April so we are happy for the Deery family that it has now made such progress.”

Manus Deery was close to home on the evening of May 19, 1972 and standing with friends close to the Bogside Inn when a bullet fired from a British Army outpost struck and killed him.

The British soldier who fired the shot has since died, but always maintained that he had spotted an IRA gunman in the area as his reason to fire.

In May this year a series of independent tests to establish the line of fire from the city’s walls were carried out on behalf of the Deery family.

The conclusions of those tests will form a core part of the evidence at the inquest.