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Soldier who shot boy ‘too sick’ to go to inquest

By David Young

A British soldier who shot dead a teenage boy in Londonderry six months after Bloody Sunday has applied to be excused from his inquest on medical grounds.

The man, known as Soldier B, killed 15-year-old Daniel Hegarty in July 1972 during the controversial Operation Motorman, which saw thousands of troops storm parts of Derry and Belfast that were controlled by the IRA.

Earlier this year Belfast Coroner's Court heard he now suffered from health problems, but yesterday it was confirmed he had made an official application to be excused from the new inquest.

The inquest was due to start in Derry later this month but due to a series of unresolved legal issues — including Soldier B's application — it has now been postponed until February.

Solicitor for the inquest Fiona Doherty told a preliminary hearing in Mays Chambers that the soldier did not feel able to appear.

Daniel was unarmed and was shot dead when Soldier B fired on he and his in disputed circumstances on July 31, 1972. His cousin was injured in the shooting.

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