Belfast Telegraph

Soldiers witnessed teen’s shooting, HET finds

By Catherine Lynagh

An undercover surveillance team witnessed a loyalist gunman leave the scene of the murder of a Catholic teenager, an Historical Enquiry Team (HET) report has found.

Damien Walsh (17) was shot dead as he worked at a coal supply business in Twinbrook in 1993.

The HET report said the soldiers were watching the Dairy Farm shopping centre for IRA activity from the hills overlooking the site.

They witnessed the gunman leave the premises where Damien was shot dead.

The report said Damien Walsh had not been involved in paramilitary activity and had not been the UFF's intended target.

It found that the undercover soldiers had been too far away to intervene and stop the killing.

They had radioed the police with details of the killers' getaway car but got the make and model wrong.

The report concluded there were no new lines of enquiry.

Speaking to the Andersonstown News, Damien’s parents Marian and Peter lambasted the report.

“The RUC were in charge of the operation but it was the Army who were watching the shopping centre,” they said.

“We were told there was up to 15 people that they suspect were involved in the murder but they are unable to arrest them and check for DNA.

“We find it very strange in a murder inquiry. The report is as we expected. We wanted prosecutions and they failed. We regard the HET involvement as merely a cosmetic |exercise.”

The family has asked the Police Ombudsman's office to carry out a separate investigation into how the RUC murder inquiry was conducted.

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