Man held over 1977 IRA murders of Yorkshire soldiers

A man has been arrested in connection with the IRA murders of two teenage soldiers in Northern Ireland 36 years ago.

The 54-year-old suspect has been questioned about the gun attack on Army vehicles in Belfast that killed 19-year-old Michael Harrison and 18-year-old Richard Turnbull, who were both privates from Yorkshire serving with the 3rd Light Infantry.

The ambush in June 1977 left two other military personnel injured.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The arrested man was detained in west Belfast by officers 
from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s serious crime branch.

He was taken to Antrim police station for questioning and later released pending a report to the Public Prosecutors Service.

Private Harrison was from Dinnington, Rotherham, while Private Turnbull came from North Yorkshire.

They were just two days into a four-month tour of duty in 
Northern Ireland when they were killed in a hail of bullets as the Aarmy patrol they were travelling in turned into the path of the ambush.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A regimental padre and an officer were both injured in the attack, but not seriously.

A man from Belfast, aged 23, was put on trial for the murders in 1979 and given a double life sentence for his role in the attack.

He was among six people who were charged as a result of the shootings and is understood to be the only one to be sentenced for murder.

The serious crime branch in Ulster is involved in a series of historic investigations into sectarian related crimes.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Earlier this week two men, a 29-year-old man from Falkirk, and a 61-year-old man from London, were arrested and questioned over the sectarian murder of Seamus Gilmore, 18, who was gunned down as he was working at a petrol station in north Belfast in February 1973.