Derry political leaders welcome decision to prosecute over Daniel Hegarty murder

Colum Eastwood.
Colum Eastwood.

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MLA has welcomed a decision by the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) to proceed with a case against ‘Soldier B’ for the murder of Daniel Hegarty and wounding of his cousin Christopher.

The Foyle MLA said that the Hegarty family deserve justice and accountability for what happened to Daniel after an inquest in 2011 found that he posed no risk to soldiers during ‘Operation Motorman’ in 1972.

He said: “The murder of Daniel Hegarty is yet another example of a horrendous and cruel crime committed against a teenager who posed no risk to anyone.

"Daniel and his cousin Christopher were both shot in the head close to their homes in Creggan, according to an inquest jury, with no warning and no attempt to provide medical assistance.

“The Hegarty family have had to endure interminable delays for inadequate investigations. Now they have the opportunity to finally secure justice for Daniel.

“The British State has gone out of its way to deny truth, justice and accountability for Daniel, like so many others. That must come to an end.”

Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney said: "I welcome the decision today by the Public Prosecution Service to prosecute a former British soldier for the murder of 15 year-old Daniel Hegarty by the British army during Operation Motorman in Derry in 1972.

"He will also face charges in relation to the wounding of Daniel's cousin, Christopher Hegarty.

"I want to commend the family of Daniel Hegarty for their years of campaigning for the truth of what happened.

"All relatives bereaved by the conflict are entitled to access to truth and justice.

"Mechanisms were agreed at Stormont House to address the legacy of the past and we need to see the British government ending its blocking of that and see it implemented."