November 30, 2021
Sheehan commends the family of Francis Rowntree

Sinn Féin MLA Pat Sheehan has commended the resilience of the family of Francis Rowntree as they succeed in civil action against the British Ministry of Defence.

The West Belfast MLA said:

“In 1972, Francis Rowntree was struck in the head by a rubber bullet fried by the British Army in West Belfast.

”Francis was an innocent boy of 11 years of age.

“Having campaigned relentlessly for truth and justice for over 40 years, the Rowntree family were vindicated as the coroner ruled in 2017 that there was no justification for the use of lethal force which cost the life of Francis Rowntree.

“The family has succeeded in civil action brought against the British Ministry of Defence in the High Courts.

“The ruling is further testament to the strength, courage and resilience of the Rowntree family.

“Despite the many hurdles placed in front of them, the family kept going and refused to be deterred in pursuing truth and justice for their brother.

“If the British Government succeeded in their legacy proposals, families will be frozen out of the courts and denied access to truth and justice.

“It is time for the British Government to bin their legacy proposals and to return to what they agreed in the Stormont House Agreement.

“Families deserve truth and justice, not contempt and deceit.”

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