Coroners verdict on N Ireland 'shoot to kill' incident

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by HectortheInspector, May 3, 2012.

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  1. I can't see if anyone else has posted this yet:
    Coroners verdict on the Loughgall shooting:
    BBC News - Inquest rules SAS 'justified' in shooting dying IRA man

    An inquest jury has ruled that an SAS soldier was justified in shooting an IRA man as he lay dying on the ground.

    Dessie Grew was shot dead alongside fellow IRA man Martin McCaughey in County Armagh in October 1990.

    The pair, who were both armed with AK47 rifles, were shot more than 30 times when the SAS unit opened fire at isolated farm buildings near Loughgall.

    The ruling is thought to be the first 'shoot to kill' verdict in Northern Ireland in 30 years.

    The deaths caused controversy in Northern Ireland when it was revealed that neither of the IRA men had fired a shot during the incident, prompting claims that the SAS had opened fire on the men without making an attempt to arrest them.

    The inquest, which opened in March, examined the cause of the men's deaths and the planning and control of the SAS operation - including claims that Mr Grew had been shot twice as he lay mortally wounded on the floor of a mushroom shed.

    The County Armagh farm was believed to have been under surveillance on the night of 9 October 1990 and the SAS fired more than 70 rounds in the incident.

    The Detail news website reported that Dessie Grew had been shot 22 times with wounds to his heart, lungs, liver, kidney, ribcage and diaphragm while Martin McCaughey was shot 10 times.

    During the case, an SAS witness identified only as 'Soldier D' admitted opening fire on Mr Grew while he was on the ground.

    However, he insisted his actions been justified, claiming the IRA man had made a noise as the SAS entered the shed and he believed the soldiers' lives were in danger.

    Reaching its verdict after hearing weeks of evidence, the jury ruled that that the SAS had used "reasonable force" during the operation and that the IRA men's own actions had contributed to their deaths.

    "Mr Grew and Mr McCaughey put their lives in danger by being in the area of the sheds in the vicinity of a stolen car, which was expected to be used in terrorist activity," the verdict stated.

    "They were both armed with guns, wearing gloves and balaclavas and were approaching soldiers who believed that their lives were in immediate danger."

    The men's families had campaigned for an inquest to be held for more than 20 years.

    During the case, their barrister said that the families accepted that that both men had been on what was described as 'active service' for the IRA and were therefore liable to arrest.

    However they argued that the shooting of the two men as they lay dying on the ground was evidence of a shoot-to-kill policy.

    The Detail reported that the jury could not agree on whether the SAS had attempted to arrest the IRA men.

    However, they ruled that the soldiers were justified in opening fire as they thought the IRA men had moved towards their positions and they believed they were under attack.

    "We cannot be unanimous on the balance of probabilities whether or not there was an opportunity to attempt arrest in accordance with the Yellow Card (British Army rules on soldiers opening fire) prior to the soldiers feeling compromised.

    "However, once the soldiers felt compromised we agree that there was no other reasonable course of action," the verdict said.

    The coronor, Brian Sherrard, praised the Grew and McCaughey families for the dignity they had shown throughout the inquest.

    Dessie Grew was 37 at time of his death. His older brother Seamus had been shot dead by the police in 1982.

    Twenty-three-year-old Mr McCaughey was a former Sinn Fein councillor.
  2. I’m trying to remember my NI rules of engagement…..went something like this:

    Bangity Bang Bang…… “Army”…. Bangity Bang Bang………. “Stop or I’ll”…… Bangity Bang Bang…….Reload…… Bangity Bang Bang……. “Fire”!........ Bangity Bang Bang

    Not that I had to use it mind you!
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Cause of death = lead poisoning.
  4. What gets me is their constant claim that they were an 'army', should be treated as POWs but complaining about getting shot (fatally or otherwise) by those nasty Security Forces, or as they put it, 'occupying forces'. Of course there was a 'shoot to kill' policy as if lethal force was called on, you have to expect fatalities due to the impossibility of only 'shooting to disable'.

    On the other hand, the IRA's policy of indiscriminate bombing and shooting of civilians with total disregard for any collateral damage and policy of torturing and executing captives was just fine.
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  5. Over 70 rounds fired, 32 on target and only 2 bodies. I'm OUTRAGED!!
  6. What I am most concerned about is whether any mushrooms suffered as a result of this.
    Shooting aside, did any of them drown in the Bull shite spouted by certain "politicians"?
  7. I think you'll find that there were more than 2 IRA scum killed, 8 were killed altogether.
  8. you're on about Loughgall 1987. this was in 1990
  9. No that was at Loughall police station in the 80's when 8 terrs were killed. Amongst them Jimmy Lynagh...a worse case psycho that ever lived and .. ..died by the bullet.
  10. skid2

    skid2 LE Book Reviewer

    Heard that on the radio in the car coming out of town.
    'Good Lord' said the driver, who's a bit younger 'Shot 30 times. Why'
    'Ran out of bullets probably'
    The rest of the journey continued in silence.
  11. I really regret that day those two were killed.

    somebody woke me at 6 with the news and a beer the drinking carried on all day the hangover was hidious:)
    • Like Like x 1
  12. skid2

    skid2 LE Book Reviewer

    I'm feeling your pain.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Lord Gnome beat you to it. By about 30 years.

    Still valid though.

    Private Eye
  14. skid2

    skid2 LE Book Reviewer

    Allegedly done by an American sherriff or Highway Patrol person, when the camera crews turned up at a siege. App the patrolman or whoever got into terrible trouble over it, then became a law enforcement hero when the story broke.