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‘Coroner ruling a damning indictment’ – Sinn Féin

17 November, 2017 - by Linda Dillon

The British Army and State must accept responsibility for the death of 11-year-old Francis Rowntree following today’s damning verdict at Belfast Coroner’s Court, Sinn Féin Victims Spokesperson Linda Dillon has said. 


The Mid-Ulster MLA was speaking following the conclusion of the legacy inquest into the death of Francis Rowntree who died two days after being struck by a rubber bullet while walking close to the Falls Road in April 1972. 


“Today’s ruling is a damning incdictment of the British State and its use of so-called non-lethal weapons,” Linda Dillon commented. 


“The coroner ruled that there was no justification for the use of lethal force which cost the life of Francis Rowntree, an innocent boy of just 11 years-old. 

“He also found that it was the ‘deficiencies of the State’ which led to the firing of such a lethal weapon at a child. 


“The acknowledgement of rubber bullets as lethal weapons is a vindication of the campaign to ban all baton rounds and an indictment of the state’s continued use of them. The PSNI should withdraw them immediately as a consequence of today’s ruling. 


“The British State and armed forces must also accept their culpability for the death of Francis Rowntree. His family had to wait over 40 years for the truth. They should not have to wait for justice.”

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