Northern Ireland

Man shot dead was 'not killed by the IRA'

Thomas Mills
Image caption The family of Thomas Mills always believed that republicans were responsible for the killing

The family of a Protestant man shot dead in Belfast in 1972 say they want the public record corrected to show that their father was killed by the Army, not by the IRA.

Thomas Mills was found shot inside Finlay's packaging factory on the Ballygomartin Road in Belfast.

The 56-year-old worked as a security guard at the factory.

His family has never spoken publicly about the case until now.

They always believed that republicans were responsible for the killing.

They have now told BBC News NI that a draft Historical Enquiries Team report informed them that the Army was responsible.

Mr Mills' daughter Margaret Blac said that they are not the only family in this position.

Image caption Mr Mills' family have never spoken publicly before

"There are answers out there. Just get the right help," she said.

"We certainly didn't go out looking for this. It came to us."

'We want the truth out'

Paul McNickle, who acts as solicitor for the family, said that the findings from the Historical Enquires Report were a significant development.

"The family have been waiting 47 years to get to the truth of what happened to their father," said Mr McNickle.

There was a previous inquest into the death of Thomas Mills, but the family is now waiting for a date for another coroners' court hearing.

"The original inquest was misadventure. This wasn't misadventure," said Mr Mills' son, Jim Mills.

"We just want the truth to be out and I'm sure there's a lot of people in the same situation as us."

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