Britain drops bid to overturn inquest outcome

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A brother of an IRA Volunteer shot dead by the British Army in 1972 has welcomed the end of British efforts to overturn a coroner’s finding that his killing was “unjustified”.

Seamus Bradley was shot dead on the morning of Operation Motorman when British soldiers moved into Derry’s Creggan area as part of an operation to seize control of the city.

The British Army claimed the teenager was shot while in a tree and suffered further injuries as he fell. However, his family have always said the victim died later while under brutal interrogation.

At an inquest in 2019, the coroner found the use of force in the case was “unjustified” and the investigation into the death was “flawed and inadequate”. He held that Mr Bradley was killed by a British soldier who got out of a Saracen vehicle, dropped to one knee and fired a number of shots. He said the victim was running across open ground and clearly had no weapon.

The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) challenged the coroner’s finding of “unjustified” use of force. When the case opened at Belfast High Court on Tuesday, lawyers for the MoD said the challenge was being withdrawn.

However, his brother Daniel Bradley said he still has many questions about his brother’s death and intends asking the Dublin government to intervene in the case.

He said his family needed answers about the two hours and forty minutes between his brother’s shooting and his arrival at the morgue. The family want to find out what medical aid, if any, was administered to his brother immediately after he was shot.

“Seamus was shot between 4.10am and 4.20am; he was then taken away. A police report in 1973 finds Seamus entering the morgue (at Altnagelvin hospital) at 7am and not 6am as previously stated,” he said.

However, he described the High Court move as “great news” and said he was pleased that the coroner’s ruling of “unjustified force” would stand.

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