Friday, August 7, 2009

Teenager Murdered by IRA Vindicated

Bernard Teggert was kidnapped and subsequently murdered by Irish Republican Army forces when he was 15 in 1973. Now, decades later, the IRA is clearing up the whole mess and apologizing to the boy's family. From the Belfast Telegraph:

News reports from the time said that Bernard had seen IRA members hijacking a beer lorry and after witnessing them hold a gun to the driver's head he shouted at them to leave the man alone. A relative interviewed in 2004 said the boy had shouted: “I am going to tell on youse.”

When soldiers coincidentally arrived on the scene and captured the IRA members, it appeared that Bernard was later blamed.

Family members also contend that although Teggert was 15 years old, he had "the mental age of a child." Although in this instance it is easy to cast the IRA as monsters, consider that aside from their nationalistic struggle, the IRA took great care in prisoner support. Screaming "I am going to tell on youse" to guerrilla combatants in an occupied country generally means death; mind of a child or not. The misunderstanding that followed is unfortunate, but not hard to see the logic in. Perhaps more detective work on behalf of the IRA could've benefitted all parties involved.


  1. The boy is still dead though, nothing can change that.

  2. I agree with you. What I don't think is being looked at is the context of repression being faced at the time as well as the way the IRA handled that historically. Looking at the rest of the war, this is a relatively minor action in comparison. This boy was an extremely unfortunate casualty in a brutal, brutal campaign.

  3. Think if I was the kids family, I'd have to insist on personal apology from some IRA leader, then even up the score when he showed up.