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New probe ordered into SAS killing

The SAS killing of a 20-year-old joiner at an IRA arms dump is to be re-examined in one of two inquests ordered by Northern Ireland's new attorney general.

John Larkin has directed the Coroners Service to hold another hearing into the shooting of Francis Bradley near Toomebridge, Co Antrim, in 1986.



Mr Bradley, from Castledawson, Co Londonderry, was shot eight times by special forces at the paramilitary weapons store at a remote farm.

While some SAS soldiers appeared at the original inquest in 1987, those who fired the fatal shots did not give evidence. It is understood the new inquest would have the power to compel the soldiers to appear.

In the wake of the killing, the IRA denied the young Catholic was a member of the organisation. The initial inquest heard that soldiers who confronted Mr Bradley shouted at him to stop and he turned on them in a threatening manner, at which point they opened fire. But other evidence suggested he was shot from behind at close range.

Police said guns recovered from the dump after the shooting had been used in four IRA murders.

Mr Larkin is Northern Ireland's first attorney general in almost 40 years. He was appointed following the devolution of policing powers from London to Stormont.

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