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Northern Ireland

Volume 930: debated on Wednesday 27 April 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence what number of Army personnel, excluding the UDR, were stationed in Northern Ireland on 31st March 1977, 31st December 1976, 30th September 1976, 30th June 1976 and 31st March 1976, respectively.

Approximate troop strengths, excluding the UDR, in Northern Ireland on the dates quoted were:

31st March 197714,000
31st December 197614,000
30th September 197614,500
30th June 197614,500
31st March 197615,500
The figure for 31st March 1976 includes the Spearhead Battalion which was deployed in Northern Ireland during the early months of 1976.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether, in view of the court decision in Belfast exonerating the late Leo Norney of any involvement in terrorist activities, he is now prepared to hold an inquiry into the circumstances of the killing by members of the Army.

As part of the out of court settlement of the action brought by Leo Norney's parents, my Department accepted that Leo Norney was innocent of involvement in the shooting incident which led to his death. As for the question of a further inquiry, I would remind the hon. Member of the reply of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on 22nd Februaryβ€”[Vol. 926, c. 552–31]β€”in which he pointed out that there had been an inquest and a full police investigation.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if the soldiers responsible for the killing of Leo Norney are still members of the Army.

All but one of the soldiers involved in the incident have left the Army.