Manus Deery: Family angry after coroner suspends inquest
- 16 November 2012
The sister of a Londonderry teenager shot dead by a soldier in the Bogside 40 years ago has said she is angry that his inquest has been suspended.
Earlier this year, Attorney General John Larkin ordered a new inquest into the death of 15-year-old Manus Deery who was killed in 1972.
On Thursday, it was suspended along with 14 others by Northern Ireland's senior coroner John Leckey.
Mr Leckey said Mr Larkin may have exceeded his powers.
Helen Deery said the family was given fresh hope when it was announced in June there would be an inquest into her brother's killing.
"We were delighted and so were the witnesses because they were given the opportunity to stand up and tell the truth," she said.
"It was our chance to lay him to rest but that has been denied now as well.
"As a family we are gutted, it has been postponed for 40 years, why any longer?"
Helen Deery questioned why John Leckey decided to postpone the inquests.
"I don't think he had the right to do that at all. These inquests should have been done 40 years ago.
"What do I tell my grandchildren? Are we second-class citizens still and where is the peace process?
"We had great hope in the summer when we heard there was going to be an inquest.
"It was brilliant for the family, but now again that has been pulled away from us. It seems to be a stalling process.
"I would ask John Leckey to overturn his decision, it is a disgrace. "It shouldn't be within his power.
"He can't deny an inquest into the killing of a 15-year-old boy."
Manus Deery, 15, was shot dead in the Bogside in May 1972.
The Army maintains that a soldier in a lookout post on Derry's walls fired at what appeared to be a gunman about 200 metres away, missed, and that the ricochet fatally injured the teenager.
His family have always disputed the Army's version.