Marian Brown: Relatives of teenager shot dead in 1972 settle MoD legal action

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Marian Brown
Image caption,
Marian Brown, 17, was shot dead moments after kissing her boyfriend goodnight in 1972

Relatives of a teenager shot dead when soldiers opened fire in west Belfast nearly 50 years ago have settled legal action against the Ministry of Defence.

Marian Brown, 17, was killed in disputed circumstances after gunfire erupted in the Roden Street area on 10 June 1972.

No admission of liability has been made.

The family's lawyer said they were "extremely satisfied" with the outcome.

Resolutions were reached at the High Court in lawsuits brought over the killing of Marian, who was pregnant, and the wounding of her boyfriend, Thomas Corrigan.

She had just said goodnight to him and was returning home when she was shot.

A post mortem concluded she had been hit by at least three bullets.

Mr Corrigan, then aged 16, was also struck and seriously wounded. He required surgery to his face, chest and arm where the bullets caused severe damage.

At the time of the shooting, soldiers from the Royal Anglian Regiment were on patrol in the area.

The coroner also concluded that the patrol of soldiers was returning fire to a gunman who had most likely been firing an automatic weapon from a moving car at the Grosvenor Road end of the street.

However, the coroner stated that the use of force by the soldiers was "more than absolutely necessary" and "not justified".

Based on those findings, lawyers for her family, her sister and Mr Corrigan issued civil proceedings against the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Although the terms are to remain confidential, the MoD is to pay the plaintiffs' costs.

'Small degree of closure'

The cases were due to get under way at the High Court in Belfast earlier on Monday.

But the judge was told that all three actions had been settled on confidential terms.

Outside court, the plaintiff's legal representative said the inquest findings helped to enable the resolutions.

Eoin Murphy of O'Muirigh Solicitors said: "Our clients are extremely satisfied with how this litigation has concluded.

"Whilst nothing will truly reverse what happened in 1972, it would be hoped that with the conclusion of this litigation, some small degree of closure has been obtained by the family and Mr Corrigan."

Mr Murphy added: "It is crucial that cases of this nature be allowed to progress through inquest and civil proceedings, as in the absence of robust judicial investigations, much of that which we and the family now know, may never have been uncovered."