Father-of-six, Patrick ‘Patsy’ Duffy was shot dead by a suspected undercover SAS unit keeping surveillance on an IRA arms’ dump at a house in Maureen Avenue in the Brandywell on November 24, 1978.
The 50-year-old died instantly from his injuries after being shot up to 14 times as his daughter sat in a car outside. He was alone and unarmed at the time of the shooting.
It is believed to have been the first shoot-to-kill incident of the Troubles.
During the original inquest in 1980, two soldiers involved submitted statements of evidence in which they admitted being responsible.
A new inquest into the killing was granted in 2019. Mr Duffy’s family feared MoD claims that it could not start a security vet of files until April this year would prevent the inquest going ahead before the Legacy Bill came into effect.
However, Coroner Fiona Bagnall has now fixed the opening for the inquest for April 19 to 21.
As the inquest will open before any deadline set by the Legacy Bill, it should be able to proceed.
Evidence will be heard from Mr Duffy’s family as well as other non-contentious evidence from witnesses who have died since the original inquest into Mr Duffy’s death. Some expert evidence will also be heard.
Solicitor for the dead man’s family, Patricia Coyle of legal firm Harte, Coyle and Collins said her clients had waited a long time for a court to “objectively scrutinise” the circumstances of their father’s death.
“They also take this opportunity to appeal to any members of the public who may have useful information about their father’s killing to contact our office in advance of the inquest opening on 02890 278 227,” Ms Coyle told The Irish News.Tags: