Irish Republican News · November 28, 2015
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
A century of secrecy for Derry victims


The scale of British state secrecy efforts in the north of Ireland has been highlighted after it emerged that a British Army film file on its murderous ‘Operation Motorman’ in Derry has been declared ‘locked’ for a period of 100 years.

A Freedom of Information request from the Derry Journal found that Britain’s National Archive had three military films from the 1972 operation, but one has been marked as classified for a period of 100 years.

Two teenagers were killed by the British Army in Creggan on July 31, 1972, as it sought to assert control in the ‘Free Derry’ area.

In 2011, an inquest into the death of fifteen-year-old Daniel Hegarty finally cleared his name of British military lies that he was engaging in armed resistance when he was shot dead. In that inquest, one military file was also deemed classified for a century.

The controversy over Britain’s refusal to admit the truth in its actions in the Six Counties reignited last week when a deal in crisis talks avoided any discussion on dealing with the past conflict as a result of British ‘national security’ concerns.

The so-called ‘Fresh Start’ deal signed by Sinn Fein, the DUP and the two governments has been strongly condemned by groups representing victims and survivors of state killings and collusion.

Daniel’s sister, Margaret Brady said she wasn’t even aware that the newly found film footage existed.

“I find this more than strange. In fact I find it shocking. Why is locked for 100 years? Are they again trying to wait until we are all rotting in the ground before they reveal the truth?

“They are just trying to manufacture a story that suits them. We have political parties here talking about ‘fresh starts’. How can there be a fresh start when the British government continue to hide things.

“But, like I’ve always said, it is not the innocent who have to fear the truth. It is those who committed these crimes who are running scared,” she said.

The other Motorman victim, 19-year-old IRA Volunteer Seamus Bradley, was unarmed when shot by the British Army, arrested and tortured. The process to get a fresh inquest into his death is underway.

Lawyer for the Bradley family, Richard Campbell said he had never come across an incident before where material had been closed for such a length of time.

“We have made a request to the Coroner’s Service, who have investigatory powers for their help in getting all material in relation to Motorman released.

“But, this is bizarre. Why is it locked for 100 years. What could be contained in this material that is so bad that it is to be locked for a century?”, he said.

The lawyer said he will be tabling the issue at the next meeting working towards the establishment of a date for a new inquest into Seamus Bradley’s death.

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