No regrets, says soldier who fired fatal rubber bullet

Francis Rowntree
Francis Rowntree

A soldier who fired a rubber bullet that killed a Belfast schoolboy more than 40 years ago has told an inquest he has no regrets.

The former sergeant major, whose identity is protected, told Belfast Coroner’s Court he has no concerns about his conduct that day, insisting he was simply doing his job.

Giving evidence by videolink from an undisclosed location, the man known only as Soldier B said: “I have nothing to be reproachful about.”

Eleven-year-old Francis Rowntree died on April 22 1972 – two days after he was struck on the head by a rubber bullet while walking through the Divis Flats complex close to the Falls Road.

The case is mired in controversy with disputed claims on whether the boy was hit directly or injured by a ricochet.

The hearing was adjourned.