The Provisional IRA has said it killed 15-year-old Bernard Teggart in 1973.
The admission comes after a campaign by family members was backed by the ‘Relatives for Justice’ lobby group, and Coiste na n-Iarchimi, a welfare group for former IRA prisoners.
The killing of Bernard, a mentally challenged child wrongly labelled as an informer, was the west Belfast family’s second tragedy.
Bernard’s father, Daniel Teggart, had been shot by British paratroopers two years earlier as he stood in a group looking out for their children when violence flared on the day internment without trial was introduced in the North.
The British Army opened fire on the civilians, shooting several of them, including her father, who was wounded in the thigh.
The army drove a Saracen out of the base, lifted the injured and drove them back in. The Teggart family is convinced, based on local efforts to establish the truth, that it will eventually emerge that British paratroopers murdered her father inside the base.
“It would be hypocritical of us to seek the truth behind why the British army killed Daniel Teggart while remaining silent about why the IRA killed Bernard Teggart,” the director of Relatives for Justice, Mark Thompson, said earlier this year.
Mike Ritchie, of Coiste na n-Iarchimi, also urged the IRA to establish the facts of Bernard Teggart’s death.
In response, the IRA issued the following unsigned statement this week:
Following a request from the family of 15-year-old Bernard Teggart from Belfast, the IRA has carried out an investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death on 13 November 1973.
At the time, no formal claim of responsibility for his death was issued.
We can now confirm that Bernard Teggart was shot by the IRA.
We offer our sincere apologies to the Teggart family for the pain and grief we have caused.
The killing of Bernard Teggart should not have happened.