13 January 2006

Woman meets soldier who shot brother

Belfast Telegraph

By Deborah McAleese
13 January 2006


Eddie Copeland declined such a meeting

An Ulster woman came face to face with the British soldier who shot dead her brother in Belfast 35 years ago during a meeting brokered by peace activist Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

The meeting will feature in a ground breaking documentary to be broadcast in the spring.

Mary McLarnon, whose brother Michael McLarnon was shot dead in Ardoyne on October 28, 1971, was filmed meeting the man who admitted pulling the trigger for the BBC programme Facing The Truth.

In an interview with the North Belfast News, Ms McLarnon said she took part in the programme to honour her brother's memory.

She said: "I did what I did for my parents, for Michael and for justice. I have no regrets. I wanted to clear Michael's name and character. He was an innocent man."

The programme, which will be aired on BBC2 in March, features five other families and perpetrators of the Troubles.

It includes a meeting between Michael Stone and the widow and brother of Dermot Hackett who Stone was convicted of murdering.

Leading Ardoyne republican Eddie Copeland, whose father was shot dead by a British soldier on the same day as Michael McLarnon, declined to take part in the programme.

He told the North Belfast News it was not the right thing for his family.

He said: "We weren't interested in speaking to the soldier or coming face to face with him, because you wouldn't get anything out of some soldier saying, 'I killed your father', because it goes higher than him.

"It goes higher than his boss and goes all the way to the top."

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