Category: Archive

Family to oppose screens in court

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Dermot McShane, aged 35, whose wife, Treasa, is American, was mown down as he sheltered behind a wooden screen during fierce rioting linked to the Orange Order’s blockade at Drumcree in 1996.
During a preliminary inquest hearing, nearly 10 years after his death, a Ministry of Defense lawyer admitted that there had never been a British army board of inquiry into the killing to establish if soldiers had acted improperly.
At the same preliminary hearing in Derry, lawyers for the dead man’s family said they would vigorously oppose any application for British soldiers to give evidence from behind screens.
Solicitor Paddy McDermott said such screenings would be a “transgression on the openness of the inquiry.” He said lawyers in Derry had already had experience of screening, during the Bloody Sunday Inquiry where all police officers were screened.
McDermott said that experience was “unsatisfactory” and added that the McShane family believed it would be unnecessary as there was “no threat to anyone and no reason for it.”
Accordingly, he said, the family would oppose any application for screening “tooth and nail.”
The hearing was part of new attempts to begin hearing the inquest into McShane’s death by next February. Up to 40 witnesses are expected to be called during the anticipated month the hearings will take.
David Hunter, deputy coroner for Derry district, told a preliminary meeting in the city courthouse on Monday that he had written to various TV companies who filmed the disturbances at the height of the Drumcree crisis in July 1996.
As well as receiving a tape from the BBC, he said, he had received an offer from UTV to go and view whatever footage they have. RTE is also expected to co-operate.
McShane was killed when a soldier drove at a hoarding behind which he was sheltering. His American widow, Treasa, was awarded

Other Articles You Might Like

Sign up to our Daily Newsletter

Click to access the login or register cheese