Attorney General John Larkin QC has agreed to a request for a fresh inquest into the death of IRA man Patrick ‘Patsy’ Duffy from Bishop Street who was shot dead by undercover British soldiers at a house in Maureen Street, Derry, on November 24, 1978.
While the Derry father-of-eight was checking IRA arms at the time, it was subsequently discovered that the 50-year-old was unarmed and that he did not have the key required to open a wardrobe in which the arms were stored.
During the first inquest into his killing, it was revealed that he was shot in the back and side.
Following his death the then Bishop of Derry, the Most Reverend Edward Daly, now deceased, said he had been a victim of a British army “shoot-to-kill” operation.
A solicitor representing Mr Duffy’s family, Patricia Coyle, said there was no reason why a bullet removed from Mr Duffy’s body during a post mortem examination could not be made available for modern ballistic analysis to trace it to a weapon and possibly the soldier responsible.
Confirming the new inquest, Attorney General John Larkin has told Mr Duffy’s family no reason had been provided by the Ministry of Defence as to why the two soldiers who opened fire should not be called to give evidence.
He said: “There does not, on the materials available to me, appear to be any objective justification for shooting Mr Duffy.”.
The Attorney General’s decision has been welcomed by Mr Duffy’s daughter, Martina.
She said: “His death devastated my mother, me and my five brothers and sisters at the time and continues to do so today.”