On this day 8 July Northern Ireland


Mi General
MI.Net Member
Feb 29, 2004
1971: British troops shoot Londonderry rioters
Two men have been killed by the British army in Londonderry, Northern Ireland.
Some of the worst violence in the town for three years flared up this afternoon when a crowd of 200 gathered in Lecky Street at the news of an army shooting earlier in the day.

Welder and former boxer Seamus Cusack, 28, died in Letterkenny District Hospital of a gunshot wound.

Troops opened fire with CS gas and rubber bullets as rioters began to throw nail bombs.

One man was shot in the stomach and five soldiers were injured by the missiles.

The man was dead on arrival at hospital. He was identified as 19-year-old George Desmond Beattie of Donegal Street, Bogside.

There was a lull in the violence after Mr Beattie had been shot and a group of factory girls marched in silence through the area carrying black bags.

Over the past four days troops have been targeted by sporadic rioting in the Republican Bogside area of Londonderry.

Military response

Army marksmen shot a man they claimed was carrying a rifle and another seen to be throwing a petrol bomb this morning.

It is unclear which incident Mr Cusack was involved in, but an inquest has heard he could have been saved if he had gone to a local hospital instead of one 20 miles south of the border in County Donegal.

This evening the Ministry of Defence has announced that an extra 500 men - from the First King's Own Scottish Borders - are to be sent to Northern Ireland tomorrow.

This brings to 1,400 the total number of men drafted to Northern Ireland in the past 10 days in preparation for the traditional 12 July celebrations.

Large crowds attended the burials of the two men days later after further exchanges of rocks and rubber bullets between republican residents and the army.
The British Government refused to hold a public inquiry into the deaths in Londonderry despite a public outcry as republicans claimed the victims were unarmed.

The six members of the Social Democratic and Labour Party threatened to withdraw from the Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont leaving unionist MPs with an opposition of one when it opened in October.

On 21 and 22 July 1971 Labour peer Lord Gifford chaired an unofficial inquiry which the MoD refused to participate in.

The use of rubber and plastic bullets against civilians continues to arouse controversy.

Similar threads