Belfast Telegraph

Two held over 1973 teenager killing

Two men have been arrested in connection with the murder of a Catholic teenager in Belfast 37 years ago.

The suspects, both aged 57, are being questioned about the shooting of 19-year-old Eileen Doherty in September 1973.

Ms Doherty, a stitcher, was shot dead by loyalist gunmen who hijacked the Belfast taxi she was taking home after visiting a friend during some of the worst of the Northern Ireland troubles.

At the time police said she was the victim of a random sectarian killing.

The arrests - one in Newtownards, Co Down, and one in south Belfast - come three months after the murder investigation was reopened following a review of the case by the police's specialist historical enquiries team (HET) identified new evidential opportunities.

The files were transferred to detectives from the Police Service of Northern Ireland's serious crime branch to take forward.

At about 10.45pm on September 30 1973, Ms Doherty called at the Atlas Taxis depot on the Ormeau Road near the city centre to get a lift to her home in Andersonstown in west Belfast. In the depot, she agreed to share a car with two men who said they were going to nearby Finaghy.

The men, who were in their 20s and appeared to be drunk, sat in the back seat while Ms Doherty sat in the front. A short time into the journey, they produced a gun and ordered the driver to stop the blue Chrysler car. Ms Doherty and the driver managed to get out and run away but they were trapped by a wire fence near the River Lagan.

The men drove after them and while the taxi driver escaped unhurt, they caught Ms Doherty at the Annadale Embankment and one of them shot her three times in the head and body. She was taken to hospital but died a short time later.

The two suspects are being questioned at the PSNI's serious crime suite in Antrim.

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