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British Govt expresses "deep regret" that Aidan McAnespie was killed by a ricochet


bobbysands81

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So why did you do it? Do you still not have the guts to say? You still claim it was an accident, a ricochet.



Woodward meets family of Aidan McAnespie // Northern Ireland Office // Media Centre / Media Detail

Woodward meets family of Aidan McAnespie
Monday 27 July 2009

Following a meeting with the family of Aidan McAnespie, Secretary of State Shaun Woodward said:

“I have had the privilege of meeting with Aidan’s family having now had the opportunity of reading the HET report following their request that I should see it.”

“On behalf of the British Government, the Northern Ireland Secretary and the Defence Secretary recognise the pain and suffering of the McAnespie family. It is a matter of deep regret that Aidan was killed by a bullet fired by a soldier which ricocheted from the road.

“It is not for the Government either to accept or comment on the specific HET findings; however in overall terms the Government endorses its work and has confidence in the HET’s professionalism and thoroughness.

“Since part of the objectives of the HET is to bring solace and comfort to families and loved ones, we hope this will be the case for Aidan’s family.”

aidan McAnespie, Shaun Woodward, HET
 

adamirer

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So if it was an accident, which you dont accept, what do you expect them to say? Standard fare.
 

Robo

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Maybe it was an accident the only man who knows for sure is the man that did it.
 

bobbysands81

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So if it was an accident, which you dont accept, what do you expect them to say? Standard fare.
If it was an accident then I will accept that.

However, the people set up to investigate the incident, the PSNI Historical Enquiries Team, determined that an accident was the "least likely version" of what happened. This has been ignored by Shaun Woodward in his statement.

(Link - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/7471825.stm)

As you can see from the above statement the British Govt are refusing to comment on what the PSNI Historical Enquiries Team have said thus fudging the issue.
 
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st333ve

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I remember this event and didnt the soldier claim his finger slipped?
An excuse which was rubbished by experts who said that it was practically impossible for a finger to slip and exert enough pressure on the trigger of that weapon to make it fire.
Then you add to the fact that the soldier would have had to aim at his victim and these daft excuses just look plain bizarre.

These soldiers were regularly harassing and threatening this young lad before the murdered him.
According to his sister, British soldiers had threatened to kill him on several occasions.

----------

The day after the killing, the Irish Government appointed Garda Deputy Commissioner Eugene Crowley to investigate the incident.The results of the investigation were received by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform Gerry Collins on 8 April 1988, but have never been published.

In October 2008, a Police Service of Northern Ireland investigation concluded that "the likelihood of a British Army's version of events is so remote that it should be disregarded." The report stated that the gun required 9lbs of pressure to pull the trigger, and that the soldier's account of the events were highly unlikely. It further stated that the chances of this combined with hitting McAnespie by accident as "so remote as to be virtually disregarded".

Its disgusting that a murderer's lies should be used by Sean Woodward before the truth about this murder.
Even a bullying murdering scumbag still gets more respect than the mans family, because the scumbag murderer was Brit soldier.
 
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Pat Mc Larnon

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Really, after all this time, are there people out there who believe it was an accident?
 

st333ve

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I think the truth is that they dont care if it was an accident or not, so they have no problem backing up the murderer.
 

SlabMurphy

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Well indeed I remember Aiden's murder. Even for the British army it was particularily low and cowardly. Maybe some of you are too young, but it was clearly murder. Still, the local Provos stiffed a few brits in revenge in the following months ;)
 

st333ve

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Theres only two things that could have happened.

1. After harassing this man for months the soldier took a shot at him in anger, probobly after the bullies were told to f* off by the young man.

2. The soldiers were so hell bent on intimidating this man that they tried to fire a shot next to him which ended up killing him.

Either way its murder when you fire a gun at someone, a gun is a deadly weapon.
There was no reason to be firing any shots anywhere at the time, the soldier aimed towards him and fired a shot - murder.
 

eurosceptic

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Also remember that british soldiers were advised to fire shots to bounce off the road so they could claim they hit their target by "accident". The richochet will not greatly alter the trajectory.
 

zakalwe1

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murder is murder...and this smells like murder.

if there was "history" between the soldier and aidan, then that would indicate premeditation and not co-incidence or unfortunate accident.

the govt are only admitting a ricochet to stop the relatives from claiming wrongful death.
 

adamirer

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The family of Co Tyrone man who was killed by a British soldier 21 years ago has welcomed an expression of "deep regret" from the British government.

Aidan McAnespie was shot in the back by the soldier as he returned from playing a GAA game in the border village of Aughnacloy in 1988.

The British Army's official explanation was that the soldier's hand slipped on his rifle and Mr McAnespie was killed by a ricocheting bullet.

However, a police inquiry last year found that this was the least likely explanation of events.

Speaking after meeting the McAnespie family today, Northern Secretary Shaun Woodward said it was a matter of deep regret that Aidan had been killed.

The McAnespies said they had had the opportunity of explaining the British Army harassment Aidan had suffered and the devastation caused by his death.


Read more: Family welcome British regret over 1988 killing | BreakingNews.ie
 

Aindriu

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Also remember that british soldiers were advised to fire shots to bounce off the road so they could claim they hit their target by "accident". The richochet will not greatly alter the trajectory.
Complete tripe! Richochets aren't aimable in any way you dope. At no time were Brit soldiers told to aim at the ground when opening fire.
 

st333ve

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He had been hounded and harassed by the crown forces since 1981, and right up until the morning of his death, when he and his mother, Elizabeth, were stopped and detained at the Aughnacloy Ulster Defence Regiment base for two hours on their way back from the wake of a relative.

Minutes before his murder, Aidan McAnespie had left his car on the Aughnacloy side of the checkpoint to avoid harassment from crown forces and instead walked through on his way to attend a GAA match some 500 yards down the road.
He had been the target of systematic harassment since the age of 17. On the day of his death, his movements would have been routinely noted by the crown forces as he passed through the checkpoint.
His family said that a number of people saw Aidan arriving at the match and then leaving, apparently on his way to Todd’s tobacconist’s shop, situated about halfway between the checkpoint and the GAA pitch. Only minutes later, at approximately 2.50pm, he was lying dead on the roadway, killed by a single bullet. The widespread belief was that a British soldier carefully took aim through a small observation hatch in the watchtower and deliberately shot to kill an identified target – Aidan McAnespie.

When his sister, Éilish McCabe, saw her brother’s body lying on the roadway, there was a single bullet hole in his chest. Conveniently for the British Army, there were no eyewitnesses to the killing.
Almost immediately, the British attempted to whitewash the true circumstances of McAnespie’s death. The British Army issued a statement saying he was killed as a result of an “accidental discharge” from a machine gun.
To support the British Army version, the RUC swiftly prejudged the outcome of their own alleged investigations, one of “accidental shooting”, by claiming that three shots accidentally discharged by a British soldier struck the road beside Aidan McAnespie. One of these bullets, according to the RUC, “ricocheted” and killed the victim.
However, few people if any in the country believed such an obvious cover-up story. As his sister, Éilish, told An Phoblacht at the time:
“It was cold-blooded murder. It’s a bit much to believe that a bullet hit a target almost 300 yards away with that accuracy and for the British Army to say it was an accidental shooting. That was shoot-on-sight. There’s no doubt in our minds about that. The harassment he was getting was unbelievable.”

The British Army and RUC knew Aidan McAnespie on sight, yet he was questioned on average twice a day, every day, as he passed through the Aughnacloy checkpoint going to and from his workplace. Eventually they murdered him. Occupying soldiers had shot dead yet another Irishman going about his business in his home town. His fellow workers held a sombre vigil for him in Monaghan town centre two days after his death.
 

st333ve

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Complete tripe! Richochets aren't aimable in any way you dope. At no time were Brit soldiers told to aim at the ground when opening fire.
3 shots were fired towards him, ricochet or not they still fied deadly bullets towards an innocent man who they had been systematically harassing.
 

Kf

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Also remember that british soldiers were advised to fire shots to bounce off the road so they could claim they hit their target by "accident". The richochet will not greatly alter the trajectory.
This I doubt. I don't believe for a second that the bullet that killed him was a richochet. I think he was shot in the back, plain and simple. But there is no way a soldier can accurately target somone by calculating the direction on a deflected bullet. Its like trying to anticipate the bounce of a rugby ball.

The BA and RUC were advised to shoot, or claim that they shot, rubber bullets on the ground to deflect them into rioters and crowds.
 

st333ve

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Even if it was a ricochet, it makes absoloutly no difference.

If you take a gun, point it towards someone and fire 3 bullets at that person and he dies then its murder.
Your aim is irrelevent, you fired a weapon in anger at an unarmed innocent person.
Firing bullets anywhere near a person without any reason is likely to end up killing that person.
Bullets fired from such a distance do not travel in straight lines, a soldier knows this and he was well aware that his actions were an attack on an innocent man and could have easily killed him, it was cold blooded murder.

There was no reason to even harass this person let alone aiming at him and firing.
 

supamolli

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Theres only two things that could have happened.

1. After harassing this man for months the soldier took a shot at him in anger, probobly after the bullies were told to f* off by the young man.

2. The soldiers were so hell bent on intimidating this man that they tried to fire a shot next to him which ended up killing him.

Either way its murder when you fire a gun at someone, a gun is a deadly weapon.
There was no reason to be firing any shots anywhere at the time, the soldier aimed towards him and fired a shot - murder.
The second one would be manslaughter but could still get life for it.
 

st333ve

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Claiming you were aiming to miss at that distance would be impossible to prove considering the knowledge the soldier would have had about the inacurate trajectory of the bullets.

Firing them anywhere near him would be attempted murder as bullets dont necessarily travel to the exact point in which theyre aimed.
 

OldDog

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The reality is that the man was killed unlawfully, that's the most important point.

The concept of using a ricochet as a way of aiming to hit someone is pure fantasy, anybody with any ounce of knowledge of firearms will tell you that. Ricochet's are completely unpredictable.
The theory of an "aimed ricochet" is almost as stupid as the soldiers claim that his finger slipped while wet.

My belief is that while the squaddie and Aidan McAnespie were giving each another abuse (Mr McAnespie I am reliably informed was pretty good at giving as good as he got in this respect), the squaddie fired near him (maybe he thought he would teach him a lesson and scare him), but sadly Aidan McAnespie was hit by the ricochet.

That is not murder, there was no evidence of intent to murder. The squaddie may have been reckless, of that there is little doubt, but that does not make "murder".
This is manslaughter at best., unlawful discharge certainly, there was definite reckless endangerment, but the "mens reas" for murder could not be established.
 
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