Press release re: Exhumation of Daniel Rooney (deceased 27-09-72)


An order to exhume the remains of Daniel Rooney from Milltown Cemetery was granted by the Coroner on the 7th November 2016. The exhumation will be carried out on the 21-22 November 2016.


Daniel Rooney died as a result of injuries he received when he was shot by the Military Reaction Force (MRF), an undercover British Army unit, as he stood talking to a friend, Brendan Brennan, at St James’s Road in Belfast.   The shooting took place on the 26th September 1972. Daniel died in the early hours of the 27th September 2016. He was 18 years old at the time.


A fresh inquest into the death of Daniel Rooney was directed by the Attorney General in September 2014 after written submissions were made by our office. The PSNI also initiated an investigation into this matter after a request in November 2013 by Director of Public Prosecutions, Barra McGrory QC, in the wake of a Panorama documentary into the activities of the MRF.


Pádraig Ó Muirigh, solicitor for the Rooney family, commenting on the decision of the Coroner commented:


The exhumation of Daniel Rooney, whilst distressing for the Rooney family, is a necessary step to be taken due to the flawed original investigation of his death by the RUC.


For reasons unknown there was no post-mortem carried out after Daniel’s death. However, there is a medical report on his admission to hospital noting Daniel’s injuries and discloses that there was a bullet wound with an entry wound and no corresponding exit wound. This means there is a possibility that a bullet remained inside Daniel’s body when he was buried. If such a bullet exists it could be an important piece of evidence in this case which could assist the forthcoming inquest and police investigation.


The  Rooney family have also engaged an independent forensic anthropologist to attend the exhumation’


The Rooney family have requested their privacy is respected during this difficult time. They have released the following statement:


‘The extended family of Daniel are aware of the order to exhume made by the Coroner in relation to the remains of Daniel.


Whilst the family are distressed by this development, as it disturbs the burial ground of the whole family, we understand the Coroner’s reasons  for granting the order and that it may assist the pursuit of the truth of what happened to our innocent brother Daniel back in September 1972.


Daniel was an innocent boy standing beside another innocent boy when he was shot by undercover soldiers.


This is a very sensitive time for the family and we would ask you to respect our privacy at this time.  We will be making no further comments until the Coroner has concluded the proceedings.’


The Rooney family have requested that any contact in relation to this matter is made via our office.