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Last Updated: Friday, 18 August 2006, 09:16 GMT 10:16 UK
Family told UVF killed teenager
Henry Cuningham who was shot dead
Henry Cunningham was shot dead (Picture from Irish News)
The family of a murdered County Donegal teenager has said they have waited 33 years to find out who killed him.

Henry Cunningham, 16, was shot in a motorway ambush as he travelled home from work outside Belfast.

His brother, Robert, said the PSNI Historical Enquiries Team have told them the loyalist paramilitary Ulster Volunteer Force was responsible.

He claimed the police knew at the time. "We knew the area that it happened in, it had to be loyalists," he said.

Mr Cunningham added: "They picked up five men. One of them was carrying a gun, and it was the gun that murdered Henry.

"That's what they told us. Five years down the road, in '78, they picked up two boys and questioned them and they opened the files and checked the files.

"That was the first time we knew this, 33 years later. They also told us, as well, they said they didn't know who was behind it, until the 16th of August, that year in '73.

"We now feel that's not right, they knew that evening. But we didn't know where we were."

Unsolved killings

The teenager had been travelling home from work in Glengormley on 9 August 1973 when the van he was in with three of his brothers and his brother-in-law was ambushed.

The shooting happened at Dunwilly Bridge, near Templepatrick, on the M2.

The murder is now one of the cases being looked at by the Historical Enquiries Team, which was set up to examine unsolved killings during Northern Ireland's Troubles.

Its function is to assist families with any unanswered questions, and to ensure that all remaining investigative opportunities are examined and fully exploited.

Mr Cunnningham told the Irish News newspaper that the Irish government "did not inquire" into the teenager's murder despite the family's pleas for help.

"They (Historical Enquiries Team) told us that our government made no effort to look into it," he said.

Murder review team to begin work
23 Jan 06 |  Northern Ireland

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