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Owen Paterson to meet family of girl shot by soldier

Published 17/08/2010

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Owen Paterson
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Owen Paterson

A meeting is to be arranged between the family of a 12-year-old schoolgirl shot dead by a British soldier and the Secretary of State.

Northern Ireland Office Minister Hugo Swire has said Majella O'Hare’s relatives should meet Owen Paterson to discuss the Historical Enquiries Team's report.

Majella was shot in the back by a soldier on patrol near her home in Ballymoyer, south Armagh, in 1976 as she walked to church.

A private in the Royal Marine Commando was charged with her manslaughter but acquitted. Last week, however, a report by the HET disputed the Army’s account.

The Army claimed she was killed in crossfire and that the soldier had been aiming at a gunman in nearby hedges. The HET found that the RUC investigation was “thorough and good”.

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