A ‘final exquisite cruelty’
A ‘final exquisite cruelty’


The sister of Derry teenager Daniel Hegarty has said she is “heartbroken” after learning that Crown prosecutors have launched an appeal to the Supreme Court to overturn a decision requiring a prosecution of the British soldier who shot him dead.

The soldier who killed Daniel, known only as Soldier B, died last week, ending the family’s campaign to see him face justice.

Daniel, who was from Derry’s Creggan area, was shot twice in the head in 1972, while his cousin Christopher Hegarty was also shot, but survived. The children were watching British Army tanks being deployed as part of a major military operation in Derry when the shooting happened.

An inquest in 2011 found the teenagers posed no risk to the soldiers, and no warning had been given before the shooting.

In July 2021, prosecutors said they would not pursue charges against Soldier B, but this was decision was overturned by the Supreme Court in June.

The Hegarty family says the decision to appeal this “feels like an act of final exquisite cruelty against us”.

“It perpetuates this never-ending nightmare of a miscarriage of justice we have suffered,” Daniel’s sister Margaret Brady said in a statement.

“We are lost for words, apart from to repeat that what has happened in Daniel’s case since 1972 requires detailed public scrutiny.”

Daniel Hegarty’s sister, Margaret Brady, added: “I can’t get my head around it. I’m totally heartbroken over it. I haven’t received any contact from the PPS over this, and it just adds to the hurt my family has felt over the years.”

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said the Hegarty family have been “treated disgracefully by public agencies” throughout their long campaign for Daniel.

“This application by the PPS, and the speed with which it was undertaken, adds insult to injury,” Mr Eastwood said.

“There should be a full review of how this process has been conducted,” he added.

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