Posted on April 16, 2019
Veterans slam ‘politically motivated witch hunt’ as second soldier faces murder charge over the Troubles after being accused of shooting dead a 15-year-old boy almost 50 years ago
- Daniel Hegarty died after he was shot near his Londonderry home in July 1972
- Veteran will be charged with his murder, Public Prosecution Service said today
- Daniel’s cousin, then 17, was also shot and injured during the incident in Creggan
- Former soldier will also be charged with wounding with intent over his injury
- Comes a month after paratrooper ‘Soldier F’ was revealed to be facing charges
A veteran of the Troubles in Northern Ireland has criticised a murder charge being brought against a fellow former soldier as a ‘politically motivated witch hunt’.
Alan Barry, co-founder of Justice for Northern Ireland veterans, branded the British government as ‘spineless’ after the announcement that a second veteran is to be prosecuted with murder by the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland.
The veteran, known only as Soldier B, has been accused of shooting 15-year-old Daniel Hegarty twice in the head near his Londonderry home in July 1972.
Mr Barry told MailOnline this afternoon that the British government should be ashamed for caving to Irish republicans.
‘This is a politically motivated witch hunt coming from Northern Ireland and Sinn Fein,’ he said.
‘We have a spineless government. This is a government that has shown how spineless they are on Brexit, we have the same lack of back bone over standing up to the republican movement in Northern Ireland.’
Daniel was shot in the Creggan area during Operation Motorman, which was aimed at removing ‘no go zones’ for Catholics and Protestants during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
The former soldier will also be charged with wounding with intent after Daniel’s cousin Christopher Hegarty, then aged 17, was shot and injured in the incident.
Last year the Hegarty family won the right to seek the prosecution of the soldier after the High Court quashed a PPS decision not to bring criminal charges against him.
It comes amid public outcry following last month’s announcement when a former paratrooper known as Soldier F faced murder charges over the Bloody Sunday massacre in Bogside – which took place the same year.