Daniel Hegarty inquest to open

Daniel Hegarty who was killed during Operation Motorman in 1972.
Daniel Hegarty who was killed during Operation Motorman in 1972.

A new inquest into the killing of teenager Daniel Hegarty is due to open next week.

The inquest which is scheduled to last two weeks is to start on Monday in front of the Senior Coroner for Northern Ireland John Leckey.

Fifteen-year-old Daniel was shot dead in July 1972 during Operation Motorman, which saw thousands of British storm the IRA-controlled “no go” areas of Derry and Belfast.

The coroner had already made a decision earlier this year to excuse the British soldier who fired the fatal shot from giving evidence at the new inquest on medical grounds.

Daniel, who was unarmed, was shot dead and one of his cousins injured, when the man known only as Soldier B fired on them in disputed circumstances at Creggan Heights in the early hours of July 31, 1972.

The boy’s family reject the soldier’s version of events that the boys were running at him and his colleagues in the now defunct Royal Scots Regiment and they ignored repeated shouted warnings.

The relatives also claim Daniel was struck at close range, not 70 feet away as originally alleged by the Army.

A new inquest into the teenager’s killing was ordered by the former Attorney General Baroness Sotland after the Historical Enquiries Team criticised the original RUC investigation.

The British Ministry of Defence officially apologised to the Hegarty family four years ago for describing the teenager as an armed terrorist in an official document about the shooting.