Teen IRA member ‘shot in the back’ by soldiers, new evidence suggests

A teenage IRA member who was killed during Operation Motorman in Londonderry in 1972 was unarmed and shot in the back as he ran away, new evidence suggests.

The ballistics report, compiled for a fresh inquiry, also finds Seamus Bradley may have been stripped and shot before he died in captivity.

The findings contradict the official version of events surrounding the controversial killing.

Seamus Bradley, a 19-year-old IRA man, was shot with a high velocity rifle as the Army entered the Creggan Estate during Operation Motorman, the massive military mission mounted in July 1972 to clear paramilitary no-go areas.

His brother Danny saw what happened and it is a memory he says has never left him.

"There was a gunshot and Seamus fell, we could heard Seamus squealing and they were pulling him into the Saracen," he said.

Soldiers claimed Seamus was armed and shot after he climbed a tree.

The Army said he bled to death from his injuries, that marks on his body came from his fall from the tree.

Later an Historical Enquires Team report backed much of that account.

It was never accepted by the Bradley family.

Recently the Coroners’ Court approved the appointment of a new independent ballistics expert.

Unlike the HET, investigators went to the scene of the shooting and conducted tests.

The expert's report suggests Seamus was unarmed and running away when he was shot a number of times in the back.

He also found it was possible the teenager was stripped and shot before he died in a makeshift army camp in the Creggan.

Seamus’s sister Etta D’arcy, said she is glad their parents are not alive to learn of the development.

She said: "They'll never have to feel this about what happened to their wain [wee one]. His name has to be cleared."

Daniel added: "The first time I read it I cried for three days and I hope the MOD put their hands up and they apologise."

Seamus Bradley's case is one of the legacy inquires going through the corners court.

After searching for the truth about Seamus death for 44 years, the Bradley family hope this evidence may bring them nearer to the end of that journey.