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daniel hegarty

Decision not to prosecute soldier who killed 15-year-old Daniel Hegarty overturned

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood welcomed the ruling made by the Court of Appeal.

THE DECISION NOT to prosecute a soldier who fatally shot a 15-year-old in Derry in 1972 has been overturned following a successful challenge by the boy’s family. 

Daniel Hegarty was shot twice in the head by a man known as ‘Soldier B’. 

In July 2021 the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) announced it was dropping the prosecution case against the veteran, a decision that has now been quashed by the Court of Appeal. 

The appeal was made by Daniel’s sister Margaret Brady, who told media outside the court that today has been very emotional. 

Politicians including SDLP leader Colum Eastwood welcomed the ruling made by the court. 

Eastwood said that his thoughts are with the family of Daniel Hegarty. 

 I know how devastated they were by the decision not to prosecute, and I commend them for their refusal to give up and successfully challenging the PPS’ decision.
“I welcome today’s ruling by the Court of Appeal which opens the door for the Hegarty family to finally see justice done.
“Where evidence exists to prosecute it is only right that the courts take forward these cases, no matter how much time has elapsed.
“I know that the passage of time has not made this any easier for Daniel Hegarty’s family, especially given the multiple obstacles put in their way,” he said. 
Eastwood said that this case shows the “futility of the British government’s Legacy Bill”, which he claimed seeks to “close down prosecutions and routes to truth and justice for victims and their families”. 
“There can be no hiding place for those who carried out unspeakable crimes during our troubled past, whether they be state forces, paramilitaries or anyone else. I hope that this ruling from the Court of Appeal will now see the Hegarty family finally get their day in court and every effort should be made to progress this case as soon as possible,” he added. 

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