In an open letter Derry justice campaigner Daniel Bradley narrates the events surrounding the British Army slaying of his brother IRA Volunteer Seamus Bradley in 1972.
To whom it may concern,
First of all I want to share that my brother was a Volunteer in the Provisional IRA who was at war with the British army. This can be confirmed by the files that are on record concerning "Operation Motorman" war files 31st July 1972.
The British army declared war on the IRA and on the 10th July 1972 William Whitelaw held a secret meeting with army intelligence and commanding officers. He then signed a paper which broke the Geneva Convention rules. He changed the yellow card, which he had no right to do so, as it goes against EU laws. But most important he gave British soldiers the right to kill and torture with no fear of being held accountable for their actions.
Between 4am and 4.30am on the 31st July 1972, Vol. Seamus Bradley was at the Creggan shops along with myself when we heard shots, which we now know was the murder of 15 years old Daniel Hegarty. My brother and others were told to step down early that morning and also had been informed by Martin Mc Guinness that there was a shoot on sight if anyone was seen on the streets that morning.
There were at least thirty people at the Creggan shops, so Vol. Seamus Bradley, unarmed, decided to draw attention to himself, so that these other people could be saved. So he ran down Bishops field and he was shot twice. He fell. He was still alive as myself and others heard him shouting when he was put in the back of an army Saracen. At 6am he was pronounced dead at Altnagelvin hospital. That meant that he was approx. one and a half hours in the hands of the British Army.
Soldier A and soldier B claim that Vol. Seamus Bradley was up a tree as he was badly marked - bruises on his neck and hands. I can confirm that the Bradley family was told that soldier A was dead and that soldier B has Alzheimer's.
I, Daniel Bradley, have carried on pursuing this case and I can assure you I never got it easy from MI5, RUC special branch, and the Provisional IRA. I had discovered that my brother was informed on by a top ranking officer of the IRA. But that never stopped me pursuing the truth.
I can also confirm that in January 1978 I was arrested in Liverpool and held for three days, beaten and tortured by the security forces, where they tried to make me sign a form stating that I was a member of the IRA and also that I took away a gun after my brother was shot; also that in August 1972 that I was in possession of a revolver outside the Telstar in Creggan. I refused to sign any of this. I was eventually released on the third day.
I can also confirm that on the 16th October at my brothers inquest my father was called a liar by the state barrister, saying that my brother was not tortured. He produced 2 B/W pictures to the jury which showed no injuries to my brothers face. The truth was withheld as the coloured pictures that were taken of my brother were not shown.
In 2001 I had an interview in the RUC station where they produced 9 B/W pictures and actually gave me a statement stating that there were no more photographs. I found it strange that one of the B/W photographs only showed the bottom half of my brother's back. This left me to believe that there was something badly wrong with the back of his neck and was being covered up. I carried on and struggled for a new inquest.
Martin Mc Guinness told all his volunteers not to give any evidence at my brothers inquest. I also know that the Hegarty family inquest had been interfered with by republicans but like me they defied everything and went on and got their brother's inquest heard.
I gave a statement to my solicitor Mr Seamus Quigley and the HET interviewed me in his office. The HET did not carry out a proper investigation in that case and others and they were disbanded. I ended up going to the Attorney General with the help of Martina Anderson and a new inquest was ordered for Vol. Seamus Bradley.
The solicitor for the barrister of the coroner's officer approached Sgt Penny and took a statement off him and asked were there any more photographs. Behold the Bradley family were given 12 coloured photographs which show clearly that Vol. Seamus Bradley was badly bruised. Again the back of his neck hasn't been shown and this raises serious questions on cover up of how Seamus Bradley really died. We the Bradley family believe he died with a broken neck.
On the 24th of August 2016 we received a ballistics report. It confirms that Vol. Seamus Bradley was shot running away/. It also confirms that he was shot five times, three of them being shots at close range. Sadly we have discovered from the ballistics report that he was stripped naked before being shot and that the strap of a soldiers rifle was placed around his neck. This ballistics report was handed to PSNI in the Strand Road by myself a week ago. I am aware that the MoD and the Coroners office has received the same ballistics report at the end of August start of September.
I am asking all of you who receive this letter, men and women, if you would agree with myself that murder is murder and must be condemned and that the British government broke the rules "article J",? As it coming up on 45 years I am not looking for the murderers but instead the Bradley family are looking for an apology from the Northern Ireland Fresh Start initiative. This case cannot be brushed under the mat.
As you are representatives of our society in 2016 you must recognise that what I am sharing is the truth and that the state must be held accountable for the murder of Vol. Seamus Bradley as it was Mr Whitelaw who signed the document that held "Article J" who allowed Vol. Seamus Bradley and young Daniel Hegarty to be murdered.