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Video: Henry Thornton's widow Mary feels 'some closure' after naming of soldier who killed him in 1971


The soldier who shot dead Northern Ireland workman Henry Thornton on the Springfield Road, Belfast in 1971 has been named as Sergeant Allan McVitie.

Mr Thornton (29) from Silverbridge, Co Armagh had been driving along the Springfield Road in a van with a colleague Arthur Murphy when the vehicle suddenly backfired.

Solicitor Pádraig Ó Muirigh thanked the coroner on behalf of the Thornton family.

Speaking outside court Mr Ó Muirigh said it had been a very fair and transparent inquest, "in stark contrast to the original inquest which was deeply flawed".

"We have been fighting for over 40 years now to clear the name of her (Mary Thornton) husband and the father of her children," he said.

Mrs Thornton said she is happy with the outcome of the inquest, and that Sg McVitie had been named.

"The way I look at it, he shot him so why not," she said.

She said the inquest had been hard but agreed that it had brought some closure of her and her children.

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