SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MLA has backed calls from the family of Paul Whitters for access to files relating to his death which have been sealed until 2059.

Paul, a 15-year-old boy from Derry, was killed after being struck on the head by a plastic bullet fired by an RUC officer in 1981.

 Mr Eastwood said: “Paul Whitters was a boy when he was struck on the head by a plastic bullet and killed in Derry. He had an entire life ahead of him.

 “The Pat Finucane Centre has discovered that the British Government holds files relating to the death of this teenage boy but has sealed the contents until 2059, effectively sentencing his family to a life without the truth about what happened that day. That is unacceptable.

 “The SDLP fully supports Helen Whitters’ call for access to these files. What has the British Government to hide from a grieving family 38 years after the killing of their son? The Secretary of State should release the files to the family to afford them some measure of truth and closure.”

CAPTION:Paul Whitters who died ten days after being hit by a plastic bullet fired by an RUC man in Derry in April, 1981.

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