Family calls for British army apology over killing

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The family of a Catholic man killed by the British Army in north Belfast almost 50 years ago has renewed its call for an apology.

Michael Hayes was shot nine times by members of a British Army patrol near his home in the New Lodge, on October 1, 1972.

Mr Hayes, a dockworker, had been making his way home following a fundraising event for a local school at a social club, when he was shot dead.

The British Army falsely claimed the father-of-two was a “gunman”, a lie confirmed by forensive evidence.

His widow Rita was awarded £25,000 in compensation in 1975 but no apology ever followed.

His nephew Kevin Campbell said the killing of his uncle continues to dominate his family.

“From day one, every single day, it does not stop because we never received an apology... it never goes away,” he said.

Speaking to the Irish News, Mr Campbell said his family feels the need to continue the campaign for an apology.

“Michael is not here any more and we are Michael’s voice and we feel as his family it’s the least we can do and try to get an apology,” he said.

He added that while compensation was paid, no-one was held accountable.

“It was a lot of money then and the fact they paid that is an admission of guilt and they still refused to apologise for this and no-one was ever held accountable.”

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