Republican News · Thursday 07 September 2000

[An Phoblacht]

McBride call for justice

The eighth anniversary of the killing, by two British soldiers, of North Belfast teenager Peter McBride was marked by a series of events throughout the Six Counties and in London this week.

On Wednesday 6 September, Peter's mother Jean, accompanied by British Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn and Paul O'Connor of the Derry-based human rights group, the Pat Finucane Centre, travelled to Downing Street in London to hand in a letter of protest to the British Prime Minister.

In the letter, Jean McBride is calling on the British government to discharge from the British army Scots Guards Mark Fisher and James Wright, who were found guilty of the 1992 killing.

The pair were given life imprisonment but served less than six years in jail and on their release an army board ruled that Wright and Fisher could continue serving in the British army. Describing that move as ``deeply offensive'', Jean McBride pointed out that ``British soldiers found guilty of using drugs were more likely to be dismissed from the British army than two convicted murderers''.

The week of events organised to mark Peter's killing began last Saturday 2 September in Derry, where the Pat Finucane Centre (PFC) organised a massive `crime scene' event. Together with families of people killed by state forces over the past 30 years, members of the PFC drew chalk representations of bodies; one to depict each of the over 350 people killed by the state.

On Monday 4 September, the date of Peter's killing, a vigil and white line picket were held in the New Lodge area where he lived.

Speaking at the vigil, Paul O'Connor of the PFC said that a previous letter handed in to British Prime Minister Tony Blair in Downing Street in April was lost.

The delegation to Downing Street handed in their letter at 11.30am, one year to the day that the High Court in Belfast ordered the British army to reconsider its decision to keep Wright and Fisher in the British army.

Other events in Sydney, New York and in the European Parliament are also planned to mark the anniversary of McBride's killing.

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