Shooting of Seamus Bradley by British soldier 'unjustified', Coroner's Court hears

Mourners at Seamus Bradley's funeral in 1972.
Mourners at Seamus Bradley's funeral in 1972.

Belfast Coroner's Court has found that the fatal shooting of 19-years-old Seamus Bradley during Operation Motorman on July 31, 1972, was 'unjustified'.

The IRA volunteer was unarmed and running away from a British Army Saracen across the Bishop's Field in Creggan when he was shot, Belfast Coroner's Court heard this afternoon.

Among the Coroner's key findings were that: "Seamus Bradley was running across Bishop's Field away from the Saracen and did not have a weapon."

It was further concluded that "he could not reasonably have been perceived as posing a threat of death or serious injury to the soldiers in the Saracen or any other person."

Judge Patrick Kinney at Belfast Coroner's Court found, however, that the individual soldier who shot Seamus Bradley could not be identified.

He found that the member of the Royal Scots Regiment who shot Mr. Bradley had failed to adhere to the terms of the British Army's own 'Yellow Card' rules on the use of force.

"The soldier was not justified in opening fire," he concluded.

More on this story in tomorrow's 'Journal'.