Mc Shane v the United Kingdom

28 May 2002

In July 1996, there were disturbances throughout Northern Ireland. On 7 July 1996, the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) had announced that they would not allow a march by the loyalist Orange Order from Drumcree Church to the Orange Lodge in Portadown to pass through the mainly Catholic residential area of the Garvaghy Road. Members of the Orange Order gathered in the area, and demonstrations occurred in Londonderry (Derry) and Belfast. On 11 July 1996, the RUC reversed its decision and at 11 a.m. the march proceeded through the Garvaghy Road.

The following day, 12 July 1996, another controversial march was allowed through the mainly nationalist area of the Lower Ormagh Road in Belfast. That evening, there was a major disturbance in Londonderry, characterised by the use of petrol bombs and the substantial use of baton rounds, or plastic bullets, by the RUC and the British Army.Dermot McShane, the husband of the applicant, had been with friends in a bar close to Londonderry city centre during that night. According to a friend who was with him, they left the bar at about 1.30 a.m. Close to the junction of Little James Street and Great James Street, a large crowd of people had gathered and were throwing missiles at the police. Military reinforcements were called. Police were firing large numbers of plastic baton rounds at the crowd. A commercial skip and a large piece of hoarding were being used by persons in the crowd to shield them from plastic baton rounds as they moved towards the police. An RUC inspector at the scene consulted with army personnel who were arriving and requested that the barricades be removed. According to his statement, he instructed the driver of a Saxon armoured personnel carrier (ìthe APCî), Private P., to advance towards the obstruction. Dermot McShane fell underneath the hoarding over which the APC advanced.


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