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  • Writer's pictureGreg O'Loughlin

McAnespie court verdict offers hope to other families - Gildernew

A British judge today suspended the sentence of former British soldier David Jonathan Holden, who was convicted of manslaughter earlier this year.

Last year, Holden was found guilty of killing of Aidan McAnespie in February 1988. Aidan McAnespie was 23 years old when he was shot and killed while passing a permanent British Army checkpoint in 1988. He had been on his way to a GAA match in the Tyrone village of Aughnacloy. You can read more about that here: British soldier who fired fatal shot found guilty of manslaughter.

Sinn Féin MP Michelle Gildernew today said victims and families need to continue to have access to truth and justice through the courts.

Following the sentencing of a British soldier for the 1988 killing of Aidan McAnespie, Michelle Gildernew said, “For over 34 years, Aidan McAnespie’s family have faced down delays, lies and cover-up by the British state, and his mother and father, and his sister Eilish, have died without ever seeing justice.

“They have campaigned with strength, dignity and determination.

“Aidan McAnespie was brutally shot dead by a British soldier while walking to his local Aghaloo Gaelic ground in Aughnacloy in 1988.

“A High Court judge acknowledged in November that the soldier had given a ‘deliberately false account’ of what happened on that day and was guilty of Aidan’s manslaughter.

“This case offers hope to other families that accountability is possible, and the door needs to be left open to access truth and justice through the courts.

“Sinn Féin backs the family’s call for the British government’s cruel and callous Legacy Bill to be scrapped and mechanisms to give truth and justice to families agreed at Stormont House in 2014 to be implemented.

“Sinn Féin will continue to support victims and families on their ongoing campaigns for truth and justice.”

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