Council demands Met release Devenny files

The late Sammy Devenny.
The late Sammy Devenny.

Derry City & Strabane District Council is demanding the immediate release of all files relating to the RUC beating and death three months later of Sammy Devenny in 1969.

The Council passed a motion at its July meeting on Thursday calling on the Metropolitan Police to release all relevant documents now.

Independent Councillor Gary Donnelly, requested standing orders be suspended so he could raise the matter.

“Last night I had the privilege alongside other elected members to attend a service in St. Eugene’s Cathedral marking the 50th anniversary of the death of Sammy Devenney, followed by a poignant minute’s silence at the spot where he was attacked,” said Colr. Donnelly.

Relating the details of the RUC assault on Mr. Devenny in his William Street home on April 19, 1969, he said: “Sammy Devenny never recovered from his injuries and was dead in three months.”

He said the Council should recognise the courage shown by the Devenny family in their 50 year campaign for justice.

Sinn Féin Councillor Paul Fleming, said Sammy Devenny’s family were being obstructed in their search for justice by the British establishment. He said the legacy mechanisms outlined in the Stormont House Agreement needed to be implemented.

“The British Government are stalling and trying to rewrite history,” he said.

SDLP Councillor Brian Tierney said: “As a young boy I grew up not for from where Sammy Devenny lived. It was a name always known to us, in the same way Bloody Sunday was.”

People Before Profit Councillor Eamonn McCann, said Sammy Devenny’s death had hit Derry like a “thunderclap”.

“Death was a stranger to politics before then,” he said.

He said it had been moving watching Mr. Devenny’s grandchildren at his 50th anniversary commemoration.

“When a person is killed it affects a great deal of people. Those grandchildren never got to sit on their grandfather’s knee.”