Tánaiste Micheál Martin has again raised the Michael Leonard case and his family’s demand for an inquest into his killing with the British Secretary of State.
Mr Leonard (24) of Lettercran, Pettigo, died on May 17, 1973, just inside the Fermanagh border as he attempted to make his way home. The innocent man was shot by the RUC just 200 metres from the border after a car chase between Belleek and Pettigo.
Sinn Fein Deputy Pearse Doherty welcomed confirmation, communicated to him through a response to a Parliamentary Question, that Tánaiste Martin has again raised the matter with the British.
However, he stressed more pressure needs to be applied from the Irish Government.
“I have met with the family of Michael Leonard and heard a detailed account of how Michael was killed by an RUC patrol,” Deputy Doherty said.
“I’ve also seen the new evidence that has emerged which proves that the inquest into his killing at the time was a whitewash. I am now pleased to hear that the government have raised his killing and his family’s demand for a fresh inquest again with the British Secretary of State.”
However, he added, more pressure needs to be applied.
Deputy Doherty said the family has three requests that are worth repeating:
- A fresh inquest at which the new evidence in the British Ministry of Defence records can be considered in relation to any findings regarding the killing of Michael.
- An immediate criminal investigation into the actions of the personnel travelling in the police Land Rover from which the shots directed at Michael Leonard’s car were fired. Such investigation to be overseen by the office of the Police Ombudsman.
- The Irish government to commit to pressing the British government to cooperate fully with the fresh investigation, including making discovery of all relevant police and military records relating to the killing.
“The Leonard family deserve justice. The despicable Legacy Act imposed by the British government has come as a hammer blow but we must not give up striving for justice for Michael,” concluded Deputy Doherty.Tags: