A re-enactment of one of the most controversial killings during the Troubles was carried out in Derry last night following an order for a fresh inquest by Northern Ireland's Attorney General John Larkin.
Schoolboy Manus Deery (15), from Limewood Street in the Bogside, was shot dead by a British army soldier on May 19th, 1972, when he was standing on the street with a group of teenage friends.
He was shot in the head by a single high-velocity round fired at 200 yards by the soldier who was manning a sentry post on the city’s walls overlooking the Bogside. The soldier has since died.
Last night a group of barristers, solicitors, engineers and nautical experts stood on the spot from where the fatal shot was fired four decades ago. The dead boy's sister Helen Deery, accompanied by relatives and friends, stood close to the spot where her brother died.
A HM Nautical Office official Dr Steve Bell advised about lighting conditions and visibility, while ministry of defence officials provided the telescopic sights that were used by the British army in 1972.
The original inquest into the killing in 1973 returned an open verdict. His sister Helen had pressed for a Historical Enquiries Team investigation. Attorney General Larkin ordered a new inquest in 2013 after its report.
Saying the re-enactment was “a unique event”, the Deerys’ solicitor,
of Quigley Grant and Kyle said: “It has been a very difficult and emotional journey for the family of Manus Deery but they are determined to see it through.”
Meanwhile, a new archive will be launched in Belfast today, telling the stories of the families of those who were killed during the Troubles.
The people interviewed include Isadore Whyte whose mother was blown up and killed by loyalists and whose father could not live long without her, Stella Robinson whose parents were killed in the IRA's Enniskillen bomb, and Joe Campbell whose policeman father was shot by loyalists with the alleged collusion of RUC members.
In one of the most harrowing accounts, Edward Brady tells of how his Catholic father was killed by the British army. His Protestant mother was then banished by republicans. Later, the Brady children were put into care in Britain: "We were fostered out to people that didn't like us, treated us like slaves."