Northern Ireland

Marian Brown's boyfriend describes shooting 45 years ago

Marian Brown Image copyright PA
Image caption Marian Brown was shot dead moments after kissing her boyfriend goodnight

The boyfriend of a 17-year-old girl shot dead in west Belfast in 1972 has told an inquest she was his first love and he had lost not only his future wife but their unborn child.

Marian Brown was pregnant when she was shot and fatally wounded while walking back to her sister's house along Roden Street in west Belfast.

Her boyfriend, Thomas Corrigan, was also shot and seriously wounded.

He told the inquest that shots rang out moments after he kissed her goodnight.

He grabbed her hand and they ran for cover but within a few seconds they had both been hit.

Mr Corrigan, who was 16 at the time of the shooting, said when he woke up, he was lying on the street surrounded by armed soldiers and an ambulance crew.

Later, at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital, he said two men in suits who he believed were police officers stood by his bed and asked him "what did you do with the guns, where are the guns?"

The men were then asked to leave the hospital by nursing staff.

Marian Brown's sister, Teresa, has also been describing the horror of the night the teenager was killed.

Teresa was with Marion when she was shot and told the inquest she heard a burst of gunfire and man shouting at them: "Hit the dirt!"

When the shooting was over, she went over to her sister who was lying on her back with her boyfriend lying across her.

She grabbed Marian's wrists and she said that she knew she was dead.

She told the inquest that a few days after Marian's death, two bullets in an envelope were posted through her letter box.

The Brown family believed at the time that Marian had been killed by loyalist gunmen firing down Roden Street.

However, it later emerged that soldiers had opened fire during the incident.

A fresh inquest was ordered after questions were raised over the velocity of the bullet that killed her.

Last week, Marian's older brother, Richard, said he "felt ashamed that he couldn't do anything" to help her and he was angry that whoever fired the shot "took her life and robbed us of a sister, a daughter and a friend".

Mr Brown said the 17-year-old "never got to bloom".

The inquest is being heard in Belfast by Judge David McFarland.

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