Daughter of IRA woman murdered with her sister in 1971 to launch legal action against attorney general

Margaret Kennedy holds photographs of her mother Maura Meehan and aunt Dorothy Maguire who were shot dead in West Belfast in 1971. Picture by Mal McCann

THE daughter of an IRA woman killed along with her sister almost 50 years ago is set to launch legal action against the attorney general after a new inquest was refused.

Mother-of-four Maura Meehan (31) died along with her sister Dorothy Maguire when British soldiers opened fire on a car in which they were passengers in West Belfast in October 1971. Both women were members of Cumann na mBan, the female wing of the IRA. The army claimed a gun had been pointed from the back of the car although this was disputed by the women’s families and eye witnesses. 

Legal action has already been launched against the British army in relation to the death and relatives asked former attorney general John Larkin to order a new inquest. That request was refused earlier this year. Ms Meehan’s daughter Margaret Kennedy, who was nine when her mother was murdered, has now launched legal action against the attorney general, a role now held by Brenda King. 

Maura Meehan, one of two women who died in a shooting incident involving a British Army patrol in the Lower Falls area of Belfast, N Ireland. She was aged 31 years and married with 3 children. The woman who died with her was her sister, Dorothy Maguire, 19 years, single. Both were Roman Catholic and from West Belfast. It later emerged that they were members of Cumann na mBan, the Women’s IRA, and were the first members of that organisation to die in the Troubles. The soldiers claimed that a gun was pointed at them from the car. It later transpired the women were sounding the car horn to warn of the presence of soldiers. 197110230424MM1
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Forensic reports from the time claimed Ms Meehan had lead on both hands “consistent with discharge residues due to firing a weapon”. However, reports carried out by Ms Kennedy’s legal team, KRW Law, cast doubt on the original findings, saying it did not “provide any salient evidence to conclude that Mrs Meehan had fired a gun”. The review added that the original report failed to consider other sources “as an explanation for the presence of lead on swabs taken from her hands”.

Dorothy Maguire, 19 years, single, one of two women who died in shooting incident involving a British Army patrol in the Lower Falls area of Belfast, N Ireland. The other woman was her married sister, Maura Meehan, of Brantry Street, Belfast. They were both members of Cumann na mBan, the Women’s IRA, and were the first members of that organisation to die in the Troubles. The soldiers claimed that a gun was pointed at them from the car. It later transpired the women were sounding the car horn to warn local people of the presence of soldiers. 197110230424DM1
Copyright Image from Victor Patterson, 54 Dorchester Park, Belfast, UK, BT9 6RJ
Tel: +44 28 9066 1296
Mob: +44 7802 353836
Voicemail +44 20 8816 7153
Skype: victorpattersonbelfast
Email: victorpatterson@me.com
Email: victorpatterson@ireland.com (back-up)
IMPORTANT: If you wish to use this image or any other of my images please go to http://www.victorpatterson.com and click on the Terms & Conditions. Then contact me by email or phone with the reference number(s) of the image(s) concerned.

Solicitor Kevin Winters said: “Expectations and hopes were raised on the part of the family when new forensic evidence came to light but unfortunately the new attorney general didn’t feel it was sufficient to warrant a new inquest.” Mr Winters said it was a “particularly heinous case” and that the legal action has been launched to “try and gain some measure of accountability to what happened”. “Its a case where that is long overdue and yet again another family are left with no option but to take legal action to try and get some semblance of justice,” he said.

With many thanks to: The Irish News and Connla Young for the original story –c.young@irishnews.com

Author: seachranaidhe1

About Me I studied for six months training and became certified in Exam 070-271 in May 2010 and shortly after that became certifed in Exam 070-272. I scored highly in both Exams and hope to upgrade my path to M.C.S.A. ( Server Administrator ) in the near future.I also hold Level 2 Qualifications in three subjects Microsoft Word, Microsoft Powerpoint and Microsoft Spreedsheets. I have also expereance with Web Design using Microsoft Front-Page.

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