Secretary of State's Rules of Engagement in Northern Ireland

A memo from a private secretary to the Secretary of State in 1975 suggesting that the SoS would like to see '...some form of dispensation permitting the Forces to open fire in an emergency without fear of subsequent legal action.' The author speculates that compensation claims by the relatives of those killed on Bloody Sunday and by Kathleen Heatley* may have prompted the SoS to reassess the yellow card instructions.

*12 year old Kevin Heatley was shot dead by soldiers in Newry in 1973. Declassified MoD documents discovered by the PFC showed that the MoD rejected a compensation claim for £1000 and instead offered £750 because ' offering above the accepted rate for a minor (£750) are we not creating a precedent for future cases?' This was one of the cases featured in a week long advertising campaign by the PFC in Central London in 2016.


Document from the desk of the Secretary of State outlining British rules of engagement in Northern Ireland, 6 January 1975116.97 KB