Aidan McAnespie dies before judgment due on son John's 1988 killing

John McAnespie's son Aidan was shot by the British army in 1988
John McAnespie Credit: Presseye

The father of a man shot by a soldier in Northern Ireland at an Army checkpoint over 30 years ago has passed away.

Tributes have been paid to John McAnespie following the announcement of his death on Tuesday.

His son Aidan, 23, was killed in Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone, moments after walking through a border security checkpoint in 1988.

He was on his way to a Gaelic Athletic Association club when he was shot in the back.

Aidan McAnespie Credit: File/PA

Back in July judgment was reserved in the case against the former soldier accused of Aidan’s manslaughter. David Jonathan Holden, c/o Chancery House, Victoria Street, Belfast, denied the charge during the non-jury Diplock-style trial at Belfast Crown Court.

Accused: David Holden. Credit: PA

Mr Holden was aged 18 at the time and was serving with the Grenadier Guards from England. He denied deliberately firing a weapon, instead saying the shooting was "accidental".

Reserving judgment, the trial judge said he hoped to deliver the ruling "as soon as possible".

Aidan's father John had campaigned for justice for his son for 34 years.

Politicians took to twitter to express their condolences.

Fermanagh and South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew said she was "deeply saddened".

"My immediate thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad and difficult time.

"John McAnespie dedicated his life to campaigning for truth and justice for his son Aidan who was shot dead by the British Army in Aughnacloy in 1988.

"He never gave up.

“He was an inspirational, quiet and dignified man with a huge love for his community and local club Aghaloo GAA.

"I offer sincere condolences on behalf of Sinn Féin.

"He will be missed by all."In a tweet, Sinn Fein Vice President also paid tribute.

The First Minister designate described him as "a gentleman and a daddy that dedicated his life to campaigning for truth and justice."

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