Troops Out Movement - Peter McBride

**Go here for background of the Peter McBride murder



Jean McBride, mother of New Lodge teenager Peter McBride who was gunned down by the British army, has labelled comments by the Ministry of Defence that her son’s convicted murderers did not intend to kill him “a disgrace”.
The grieving mother was responding to comments made by the MoD in response to questions by the North Belfast News asking the current whereabouts of Irish Guardsmen James Fisher and Mark Wright.
We put it to the MoD that disclosure of the location of the two former Scots guards who shot dead an unarmed man on the street was in the public interest.
However, the MoD response was that the army had a duty to its servicemen not to disclose their details.
“There are people serving who have convictions, though not as serious as murder and we have to look at things like the rehabilitation of offenders act.
“These guys presumably didn’t think they were going to go out and kill on that day. It doesn’t indicate that they are pathological killers. They committed murder, but in a particular set of circumstances,” said a spokesman.
But the comments were greeted with fury by Jean McBride who said it was impossible for any army official to know what was in the heads of the soldiers.
“Nobody in the British army could say they didn’t mean it because nobody knows. They told nothing but lies at the trial. This is a terrible disgrace,” she said.
“I would also ask the MoD how these murderers were put back in the army and rearmed when it is British law that no convicted murderer is ever allowed to hold a firearm.”
Paul O’Connor of the Pat Finucane Centre, which is helping Jean McBride fight her case was equally scathing of the MoD.
"The MOD response goes to the heart of the scandal surrounding his case. It is not up to the MOD to second guess the court and attempt to minimise or explain away the murder committed on the streets of North Belfast on Sept 4 1992 when Peter McBride was shot in the back,” he said.
“This reference to a 'particular set of circumstances' is reminiscent of the 'exceptional circumstances' quoted by John Spellar on the Army Board as justification for the retention of murderers. The MOD still refuses to accept that the Court of Appeal held that there are no exceptional circumstances justifying the decision to allow Wright and Fisher to remain as serving soldiers.”
The furore came the week that Jean McBride travelled again to the court of appeal in Belfast to have the soldiers kicked out of the army after a court of appeal ruled last June by a 2-1 majority that the army was wrong not to discharge the soldiers. But the justices stopped short of ordering the British army to sack them.
Jean McBride has vowed to take her fight to the European Court at the end of the current review.

Journalist:: Andrea McKernon

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