Press statement from the family of Kathleen Thompson

A High Court judge today (Wednesday) rejected a judicial review taken by the family of Kathleen Thompson who was shot by British soldiers in the back garden of her Derry home in 1971. Last year a judge ruled that there had been no effective RUC investigation into her murder. The family had challenged a number of decisions made by the Director of Public Prosecutions in relation to the death of their mother;

– the sufficiency of the reasons provided by the Director for his refusal to prosecute soldier D or any other person,

– the refusal to undertake a formal review of the original decision,

– the refusal of the Director to direct the Chief Constable to undertake further investigations.

Judge Girvan ruled that soldier D had a self-defence plea available and also that the Thompson family should have appealed the original August 1972 decision within three months.

Speaking at a press conference in the Pat Finucane Centre, Billy Thompson, son of the deceased said,

“How can the self-defence argument be described as rational when no investigation took place – soldier D was never even questioned by the RUC. So why has the DPP claimed that their decision was made on the basis of an investigation file when no investigation took place. Judge Girvan has claimed, quote,

‘It was apparent from the information available to him (DPP) that a police investigation had been conducted.”

We, the Thompson family, totally reject the claim that any police investigation took place and the present Lord Chief Justice ruled last year that no police investigation had taken place.

This morning the judge ruled that we should have appealed this decision in 1972. How could we appeal a decision in 1972 when know one told us any decision had been made? No-one ever knocked on our door. Neither the DPP nor the RUC ever contacted us.

The issue here is the refusal of the DPP to put his hands up and admit that he was and is wrong. The present Director is playing Pontius Pilate with our family. We don’t want revenge. The issue isn’t soldier D. It’s the cover-up that happened afterwards. The RUC didn’t investigate and the DPP accepted this. We don’t accept it and we will fight this decision as far as it can go.