THE family of teenager Daniel Hegarty shot dead over 40 years ago in Derry say they are “going after” the British soldier who fired the fatal shots.
They are furious at the decision by the Public Prosecution Service not to prosecute the soldier who killed him in July 1972.
The family are refusing to accept the PPS decision and are now planning to launch their own civil action against the squaddie – known only as ‘Soldier B’.
The 15-year-old teenager was shot twice in the head during Operation Motorman, an operation to clear so-called ‘no-go’ republican areas in Derry and Belfast.
A 2011 inquest found the boy posed no risk and was shot without warning.
His sister, Margaret Brady,has criticised the PPS decision not to prosecute after all this time.
She says the family will now pursue a civil action against Soldier B and the Ministry of Defence.
On Tuesday, the PPS said there was no reasonable prospect of a conviction in the case.
“That was a rude, pitiful excuse that they came up with, that it was self defence,” said Mrs Brady.
“It took them four years to come back with the same answer again, no prosecution. Nothing has changed since 1973.
“We will take a civil action and we will go after this soldier.”
The initial inquest was held in 1973 and recorded an open verdict.
In 2007, the British government apologised to the family after describing Daniel as a terrorist.
A second inquest was ordered by the Attorney General in 2009 following an examination by the Historical Enquiries Team.
The report found that the RUC investigation at the time was “hopelessly inadequate and dreadful”.
As a result of the report, an inquest in 2011 found that the teenager posed no risk and dismissed claims that soldiers had shouted warnings before firing.
Daniel was unarmed when he was shot close to his home in the Creggan.
After the decision on Tuesday, the prosecution service’s Assistant Director of Central Casework, Michael Agnew, said: “The standard of proof that the prosecution must reach in a criminal trial is the high one of beyond reasonable doubt.”
Speaking to BBC Radio Foyle today, Margaret Brady said the family will continue to fight for justice.
“My reaction was just dumbfounded,” Mrs Brady said.
“It makes me more determined to go on because somebody has to stand up for the innocent victims.
“My brother was innocent and these people need to be held to account.”