An appeal has been launched to trace a man and a woman who were shot and injured by the British Army in 1972. The pair were wounded in an incident in which a woman was shot dead in West Belfast.
For decades the gun attack was blamed on loyalists, but a cold-case review has found evidence it was British soldiers who opened fire, killing 17-year-old Marian Brown (pictured) and wounding three other people.
One of those who was shot and survived, Tom Corrigan, has come forward and is to give evidence at a fresh inquest into Marian’s death. The other two have not yet been tracked down by Marian’s family’s legal team.
In a further shock to her loved ones, they only found out she was pregnant when she died after the Historical Enquiries Team reviewed the RUC police investigation in 2011 and saw her post-mortem report.
Tom Corrigan said it is “important for Marian’s family and it’s important for me that we get the truth out, so there can be some sense of closure”.
He added: “I never knew for years who had shot us. I remember waking up in hospital and two men in suits asking me ‘what did you do with the guns?’. I remember lying on the ground and soldiers standing over us, but as for who did it, I only found out in the last few months.”
Mr Corrigan was 16-years-old at the time and had been in a relationship with Marian. He was badly wounded and still has scars on his face and body from the shooting. He moved to England more than 30 years ago.
He says: “I’m reminded of what happened every time I look in the mirror. Who ever did this needs to come forward. It won’t change what’s happened, but it’s important the facts are out there.”
The shooting happened at the junction of Grosvenor Road and Roden Street close to where Marian lived at the time.
Soldiers claimed they had been shot at and returned fire and that a man with a Thompson sub-machine gun had been involved in the incident. Later reports claimed the Marian’s wounds were consistent with being hit with .45 rounds from a Thompson, but this view was discredited by a forensics expert brought in by the HET. He said the wounds were more likely to have been caused by 7.62mm rounds used by the British Army at the time.
Another report, which looked at one bullet fragment recovered from one of those wounded, established it too was a 7.62mm round.
That bullet was recovered from Lawrence Wilson, who is one of the witnesses being sought. Elizabeth McManus was also wounded and is also needed as a witness.
Other witnesses, who were not wounded but are being asked to come forward, are Marie Fusco and Michael McGuigan. Lawrence, from the Whiterock, Elizabeth, from Roden Street, and Michael, from Clowney Street, all worked at the Abercorn Bar and had been on their way home from work when they got caught up in the incident. Ms Fusco was from the Whiterock.