Army Shooting Victim Reburied After Second Autopsy
MONAGHAN, Ireland (AP) _ The body of a 23-year-old Northern Ireland man, who was shot to death at a British army checkpoint, was reburied in the Irish Republic after a second autopsy.
Irish Prime Minister Charles Haughey was expected to tell Parliament on Tuesday about the results of the examination of the body of Aidan McAnespie.
In a snub of Britain, Haughey has ordered an investigation into the Feb. 21 killing, which occurred across the border in the British-ruled north. A British soldier has been charged with unlawful killing.
McAnespie’s body was exhumed Sunday after his family requested that an autopsy by done by an Irishman. A British autopsy already had been completed.
The second post-mortem was conducted at Monaghan General Hospital by Dr. John Harbison, Ireland’s chief state pathologist. The body was then reburied Sunday night.
Haughey’s order for the inquiry has upset the British government and infuriated the majority Protestant politicians in the north, who see it as interference in their affairs.
Harold McCusker, a Protestant lawmaker, said: ″It was always clear that this inquiry was designed not to help but to embarrass the British government and to question its procedures and honesty.″
″My own view is that this inquiry will not produce anything startling or embarrassing, though it will be used for that purpose,″ McCusker said.
McAnespie belonged to the Roman Catholic minority and his sister, Eilish McCabe, claimed Sunday that her brother had received a number of death threats from the British army.
She said British soldiers constantly harassed her brother as he crossed the border between his home in the north and his workplace in the republic.
The army said the bullet that hit McAnespie was fired accidentally and ricocheted. An 18-year-old soldier charged with unlawful killing is held on bail in military care.
The McAnespie family lawyer, Pat Fahy, said there was autopsy evidence to show the fatal shot entered the body from the front, rather than the back, as indicated by authorities in Northern Ireland.
McAnspie was buried last Tuesday in Clara, County Monaghan, across the border from his home at Aughnacloy.