More details have emerged about the involvement of undercover British soldiers in alleged shoot-to-kill operations in the 1980s.

A preliminary inquest hearing took place yesterday into the deaths of IRA men Daniel Doherty (23) and William Fleming (19) as they travelled through the grounds of Derry’s Gransha Hospital on a motorbike in December 1984.

It was reported that they were on their way to shoot a UDR man when they were ambushed by undercover soldiers.

It emerged yesterday that one of the soldiers involved was also present when three IRA men were shot dead in an SAS ambush in a field near Strabane two months later.

Brothers Michael Devine (22) and David Devine (16) died alongside Charles Breslin (20) in February 1985.

A second soldier involved in the Doherty and Fleming ambush, who has since died, was also present when IRA members Declan Martin (18) and Henry Hogan (21) were shot dead after a gun battle with undercover soldiers near the village of Dunloy in Co Antrim in February 1984.

Solicitor Fearghal Shiels, from Madden and Finucane, said the role of the soldiers involved will be closely examined.

The Irish News