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Two Former Soldiers To Be Prosecuted Over 1972 Belfast Shooting

Two former soldiers are to be prosecuted for murder in relation to the fatal shooting of an Official IRA man in Belfast in 1972.

The defendants, known as Soldier A and Soldier C, are the surviving members of the Army patrol which shot Joe McCann. They are aged 65 and 67, and were in the Parachute Regiment. They are from England, but are expected to appear in court in Northern Ireland in the next few months.

Joe McCann was a prominent member of the Official IRA. He was 25 when he was shot near his home in the Markets area of Belfast.

The original police investigation was conducted in the early 1970s and no-one was prosecuted.

Prosecutors have reviewed the case after the Northern Ireland Attorney General, John Larkin, referred it to the Director of Public Prosecutions in March 2014. This followed a report in 2012 by a police team which investigated alleged crimes from the Troubles.

A spokesperson for the Public Prosecution Service said the decision to prosecute the men for murder was reached “following an objective and impartial application of the test for prosecution”.