Another of the wrongs of the past forty years here in Northern Ireland has been acknowledged. The BBC are reporting that the government has apologised in writing to the family of Majella O’Hare who was killed by a soldier in Whitecross Co. Armagh on 18th August 1976. Miss O’Hare (aged 12) was on her way home from church when she was shot in the back by Private Michael Williams.
At the time Williams claimed that he was returning fire on the IRA. He was charged with manslaughter following an RUC investigation. To quote the HET which looked at this death in 2008:
“The original RUC investigation found that Private Michael Williams was not returning fire at a gunman as he claimed and they recommended to prosecutors that he be charged with manslaughter.
“The prosecutors agreed and charged him with manslaughter, but he was acquitted.”
“The HET supports the findings of the original investigation. We also said the RUC investigation was thorough and good.”
Hopefully this will bring some closure for the family.