Northern Ireland

Manus Deery: Calls to reveal identity of soldier who witnessed killing of teenager

Manus Deery Image copyright Deery family
Image caption Manus Deery was shot dead in the Bogside in 1972

A barrister for the family of a teenager shot dead by the Army has asked for the identity of a soldier who witnessed the shooting to be revealed.

The application came during a fresh inquest into the death of 15-year-old Manus Deery from Londonderry.

The teenager was shot dead in the Bogside in 1972.

Last week, a witness - known only as Soldier B - gave evidence to the inquest from behind a screen and was only visible to the Deery family.

Unlawfully killed

He was with William Glasgow - the soldier who fired the fatal shot - on the night Manus Deery died.

Mr Glasgow maintained, up until his death in 2001, that he was firing at a gunman, but missed and accidentally killed the teenager.

The Deery family has always rejected the Army's version of events and claim he was unlawfully killed.

Today, counsel for the Deery family asked the coroner to revisit the anonymity order granted to Solider B.

She said there was no risk to him because he lived outside Northern Ireland and there was no chance he would be recalled here to give evidence.

Fatal shot

But counsel for the Ministry of Defence opposed the application, saying it appeared to smack of "dishonesty and unfairness" and would impact on soldiers in other cases.

The barrister also referred to a report last week by the BBC and other media outlets which inaccurately reported that Soldier 'B' ordered Private William Glasgow to fire the fatal shot.

A barrister for the coroner said the consequences for legacy inquests would be significant and damaging if the application was granted and any decision could only be made on an up-to-date risk assessment being carried out.

He said the matter was also complicated by the inaccurate reporting of the case, and added: "In my submission the interests of justice would not be served by ordering a fresh assessment of risks." The coroner did not indicate when he would deliver his judgement.

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