Aidan McAnespie’s father dies before sentencing in manslaughter case over son’s death

The father of a man shot by a soldier in Co Tyrone more than 30 years ago has died.

ohn McAnespie has spent the last 34 years campaigning for justice for his son Aidan, who was killed on 21 February 1988 on Monaghan Road, Aughnacloy.

The unarmed 23-year-old was killed seconds after passing through a fortified border checkpoint on his way to a local GAA club.

He was shot in the back.

First Minister-elect of Northern Ireland and Sinn Fein Vice-President Michelle O’Neill said John’s death was “very sad news”.

“A gentleman and a father who dedicated his life to campaigning for truth and justice for his son Aidan,” she said. “He never gave up. My sincere condolences to the family at this sad time.”

Sinn Féin MP Michelle Gildernew said she was “deeply saddened” by John’s death.

“My immediate thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad and difficult time,” she said.

“John McAnespie dedicated his life to campaigning for truth and justice for his son Aidan, who was shot dead by the British Army in Aughnacloy in 1988.

“He never gave up.”

The Fermanagh and South Tyrone representative hailed the activist’s tireless search for the truth.

“He was an inspirational, calm and dignified man with a great love for his community and the local club Aghaloo GAA,” added Ms. Gildernew.

“I offer my sincere condolences on behalf of Sinn Féin. He will be missed by everyone. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.”

A verdict was reserved in July in the case of the former soldier charged with the manslaughter of Aidan.

David Jonathan Holden (52), c/o Chancery House, Victoria Street, Belfast, denied the charge during the Diplock-style no-jury trial at Belfast Crown Court

Mr. Holden was then 18 years old and was serving in the Grenadier Guards of England.

Expressing condolences to the McAnespie family, the Pat Finucane Center said: “The PFC sends its deepest condolences to the McAnespie family of Aughnacloy on the death of John, who was a staunch fighter for justice after his son Aidan was shot dead by a British soldier .”

Relatives for Justice added: “We were heartbroken to learn of the passing of John McAnespie, father of the late Aidan and our founding member Éilish.

“We extend comhbhrón ó chroí to John’s surviving children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

“An inspirational, courageous and generous man, John has been relentless in his quest for justice for Aidan, and it is of added significance that his death comes as a result is awaited in recent court cases.”

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/father-of-aidan-mcanespie-dies-before-hearing-judgment-in-manslaughter-case-of-sons-troubles-death-42003911.html Aidan McAnespie’s father dies before sentencing in manslaughter case over son’s death

Fry Electronics Team

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