Two British army veterans go on trial for shooting IRA man 50 years ago

Joe McCann (24) was allegedly responsible for murder of 15 British soldiers

Army Veterans protest outside Belfast Crown Court, in Belfast,  on Monday  as the trial  opened of two former soldiers charged with the murder of Joe McCann almost 50 years ago. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP via Getty Images

Army Veterans protest outside Belfast Crown Court, in Belfast, on Monday as the trial opened of two former soldiers charged with the murder of Joe McCann almost 50 years ago. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP via Getty Images

An IRA leader shot dead by paratroopers in Belfast almost 50 years ago had allegedly been responsible for murdering 15 British soldiers, the trial of two veterans has heard.

On-the-run Official IRA commander Joe McCann (24), was killed in the shooting in the Markets area of Belfast in April, 1972.

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