The families of Paul Whitters and Stephen McConomy made the call on the anniversaries of their killings this week.
Paul, who was 15, died in hospital ten days after he was hit on the side of the head by a plastic bullet fired by a RUC constable on April 15, 1981.
Twelve months later, 11-year-old Stephen died three days after he was shot in the back of the head by a soldier who fired a plastic bullet at close range on April 16, 1982.
The two families have written to British Secretary of State Karen Bradley demanding she release files held in the National Archives at Kew Gardens in London on the deaths of the two children which have been sealed until 2059.
By the time the file is opened in 40 years time, his mother Helen will be dead and so to will the RUC officer who fired the fatal plastic baton round.
In her letter to Mrs Bradley, Helen Whitters has spoken of the shock she felt when she was made aware of the secret file on her son’s death.
She said: “I have become aware that a file exists at the National Archives in London titled Paul Whitters: killed by a plastic baton round April 1981 CJ4/4402.
“It appears that the file was reviewed in 2018 and the decision was made to keep the file closed until January 1, 2059.
“I find this deeply shocking.
“I brought Paul into this world. When this file is opened on January 1, 2059 I will not be alive.
“No one will still be alive who actually knew Paul as the lovely, handsome, caring, intelligent young man that he was,” Mrs Whitters added.
“Why should a file on the death of my 15-year-old child, which happened almost 40 years ago, remain classified for another 40 years?
“What has the British government, the NIO, the RUC got to hide?
“What secrets must be protected about events on that April evening in Great James Street?
“Paul would be 53 if he were still alive.
“He might well have been a proud and loving father and husband, and I may well have had more grandchildren.
“Who knows what he would have achieved? I owe it to him to ensure that his file is not allowed to gather dust in a vault in London simply because it is seen as too embarrassing for the establishment.”
Mrs Whitters is being supported by the brothers of Stephen McConomy who are also demanding the files are released unredacted.Emmet McConomy recently met with Mrs Bradley after she told the House of Commons that soldiers who killed people in Northern Ireland had not committed a crime. He said she needs to prove she was sincere in her subsequent apology.
He said: “It is well within the powers of Karen Bradley to release these files and it would go some way to addressing the concern the families have.
“This is an opportunity for Karen Bradley after her apology to us over her remarks in the House of Commons to set the record straight that she and her government have nothing to hide and that they are prepared to meet the needs of the families and victims.
“We are talking here about the deaths of two children.
“So what are they hiding or what are they so ashamed of that they have to keep these files closed?
“It is time now these questions were answered.
“This adds to the pain of our family and all families who are seeking the truth of what happen to our loved ones.”
Karen Bradley, who said last month that deaths caused by police and soldiers during the Troubles “were not crimes”, has remained silent on the families pleas to open up the secret files on their loved ones.Tags: