Aerial imagery set to be used in shooting inquest

Danny Doherty and William Fleming

Report on recent preliminary hearing of the inquests into the deaths of Danny Doherty and William Fleming.

Aerial imagery of the former hospital site in Londonderry is set to be considered in an inquest into the shooting of two men almost 40 years ago.

William Fleming, 19, from the Waterside area of Londonderry and Daniel Doherty, 23, from Creggan in the city were shot dead in the grounds of Gransha Hospital on December 6 1984.

It has been claimed they were shot by members of the SAS.

A pre-inquest review hearing at Belfast Coroner’s Court was told yesterday that work was under way on disclosure of material.

It also heard that some new aerial photos of the former hospital site had been identified by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Coroner Mr Justice Ian Huddleston heard issues around military witnesses possibly having the potential to cause delay in progressing the inquest, and that there were difficulties in identifying representatives for each of the witnesses.

He urged counsel for the MoD to use the time over the summer to sort the issues out.

Mark Robinson, counsel for the PSNI, said work was under way on sensitive material for the inquest which they hoped would be completed by the end of the summer recess.

“The course thereafter is it goes before the chief constable and then the Secretary of State,” he said.

The inquest has been provisionally booked to take place at Banbridge Courthouse for six weeks from April 17 2023.

Yesterday’s hearing was told inquiries were ongoing around the possibility of moving the inquest to be heard in Belfast.

Mr Justice Huddleston said there were constraints on court accommodation at present, adding comfort should be taken from the fact that a venue had been booked for the inquest.

“Investigations will continue but it is looking increasingly likely it will be in Banbridge,” he said.

Another pre-inquest review is set to take place on September 16.