BRITISH ARMY ADMITS UNJUSTIFIED KILLING OF MANUS DEERY
Our family has spent 40 years campaigning for the truth of how Manus was killed. We have always known that he was killed without any justification. Now we know that the British Government knew this too.
Manus was shot dead by a British soldier on May 19th 1972 as he stood with friends in Meenan Square in the Bogside. The soldier was stationed at an observation post on the City Walls. He said that he and a colleague had seen a man with a gun near Meenan Square and that he had fired at the man, either hitting him directly or by way of ricochet. This was a lie. There was no gunman, no reason whatsoever for the shot which struck Manus on the back of his head and ended his life.
A document which has now come to light reveals that the British authorities have known for 41 years that their official explanation of the killing was a lie. But they withheld the truth in order to save their own reputations at the expense of libelling a 15-year-old boy who had a whole life in front of him when they gunned him down in his own streets.
The document dated October 25th 1973 contained legal advice to the British Government to “settle” with our family because the killing was “unlawful” and couldn’t be defended in court. Our family accepted no “settlement” from them.
Needless to say, neither the soldier who pulled the trigger, nor any of his associates, nor the officers in charge, have ever been charged with any offence. Even though they had been told by their own legal advisers that the killing was unlawful, and although they knew the identity of the killer, they did nothing about it. This makes Government as well as military officials accessories to the crime.
We want to know what’s going to be done about this now.
An investigation carried out by the Historical Enquiries Team likewise let us down. The report got the soldier’s regiment wrong – and Manus’s mother’s name wrong! This couldn’t have happened if the HET investigators had really been focused on a proper examination of the evidence.
The fact that the guilty parties were soldiers must have played a part in the slip-shod nature of the HET investigation. It might have been a different story if the victim had been a member of the security forces and the killer a paramilitary.
The search for truth and justice in relation to the killing of Manus will continue. We will be discussing with legal advisers and with those who have campaigned alongside us how best to continue our quest for justice for our brother
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