Óglaigh na hÉireann


In Memory Of I R A Volunteers William Fleming and Danny Doherty

On 6th December 1984, Volunteers William Fleming and Danny Doherty were driving a motorbike into the grounds of Gransha Psychiatric Hospital, approximately 4 miles from Derry City Centre. The hospital was also the administrative headquarters of the Western Health and Social Services Board. It was reported at the time that the pair were at the hospital in an attempt to kill an off-duty member of the Ulster Defence Regiment who worked at the hospital as there was a shift change at the hospital at 8am. The SAS unit were aware that an IRA operation had been planned to take place in the vicinity of the hospital after receiving a tip-off. An SAS unit from the Londonderry Detachment of 14 Intelligence Company, without the knowledge of the RUC or the hospital authorities, were on duty at the hospital for two weeks prior to 6 December, however they had little prior information as to the details of the operation.

At 8am an unmarked car driven by a member of the SAS rammed into the motorbike, dislodging Fleming from the pillion seat and causing it to go out of control. After Fleming had been knocked from the motorbike, two further SAS troopers shot him, claiming he was armed and posed a direct threat. The bike then mounted a kerb and threw Doherty to the ground. Forensic evidence showed that a further six shots hit Doherty while he was on the ground and Fleming's autopsy showed that he had four gunshot wounds to his head and 56 to his trunk and torso. During the inquest into the shootings, the coroner stated that Doherty had three gunshot wounds to the head and a further twenty one shots to his body.

Video below is of the funerals of the two volunteers
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