Relatives settle legal action against British govt

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Relatives of a teenage girl shot dead when British soldiers opened fire in west Belfast nearly 50 years ago have settled legal actions taken against Britain’s Ministry of Defence.

The Tory government in London has recently proposed a statute of limitations which would end all legacy inquests and civil actions related to the conflict.

But resolutions were reached at the High Court in lawsuits brought over the killing of Marian Brown and the wounding of her boyfriend, Thomas Corrigan.

Although the terms are to remain confidential, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is to pay the plaintiffs’ costs and the family’s lawyer said they are “extremely satisfied” with the outcome.

Marian Brown was just 17 years of agen when she was shot dead in the Roden Street area on June 10, 1972.

She had just said goodnight to her boyfriend and was returning home when she was shot by at least three bullets, understood to have been fired by the British Army’s Royal Anglican Regiment.

Mr Corrigan, then aged 16, was also struck and seriously wounded. He required surgery to his face, chest and arm where the bullets caused severe damage.

In 2018 a second inquest found that Ms Brown had been killed by a bullet fired by an unidentified soldier. Hhe ruled that Ms Brown was not posing a threat to anyone, and that the use of force that caused her death was not justified.

Based on those findings, lawyers for her family, her sister and Mr Corrigan issued civil proceedings against the Ministry of Defence.

The cases were due to get underway at the High Court in Belfast this week, but all were settled on confidential terms.

Outside court, Eoin Murphy of Ó Muirigh lawyers said: “Our clients are extremely satisfied with how this litigation has concluded.

“Whilst nothing will truly reverse what happened in 1972, it would be hoped that with the conclusion of this litigation, some small degree of closure has been obtained by the family and Mr Corrigan.”

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