During Operation Motorman in Derry, the British Army shot dead two young men, Seamus Bradley (19) and Daniel Hegarty (15). Two others were seriously injured.
The Bradley family believe Seamus was injured by British Army gunfire, after which he was taken away by the soldiers and tortured. Seamus was an IRA volunteer. According to forensic tests carried out in 2000, he was unarmed when he was shot.
State pathologist Dr Thomas Marshall, who performed Seamus Bradley’s autopsy, concluded that death was caused by a gunshot wound that severed the left femoral artery.
Seamus Bradley had been shot four times and the autopsy report left open the possibility that a fifth wound in his left ankle was another gunshot wound or was caused by one of the four bullets that hit the body.
The autopsy report also refers to bruises on Seamus Bradley’s nose, lips and chin and “a few bruises with a vertical linear pattern on the chin and front of the neck”.
The medical findings were completely at odds with the British Army’s version of events.
Given that it was extremely unlikely that all of the shots were inflicted by a single soldier as claimed by the military, it appears that further wounds were inflicted, possibly at close range, on a man who had already been taken into custody.
The Historical Inquiries Team (HET) report said Seamus Bradley’s death had never been ‘effectively investigated’.
In inquest findings released in 2019, a coroner found that Mr Bradley was killed by a soldier who got out of a Saracen vehicle, knelt down and fired several shots.
He said the deceased was running across open ground and obviously had no weapon.
At the time of the shooting, there was no other immediate or apparent threat to the soldiers in this area.
He also ruled that the investigation into Mr Bradley’s death was flawed and inadequate.
The Bradley family are hosting a ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of Seamus’ death at 12:00 p.m. (noon) on Sunday July 31 at the Bishop’s Field monument in Creggan.
A second commemoration was organized by the Creggan Monument Committee. It will take place at 1:00 p.m., Sunday, July 31, at the Creggan Monument.
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