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24 April 1997 Edition

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Back issue: Stephen McConomy murdered

``My son is just an empty shell, his brain is dead, all I want now is to bring him home.'' Those were the words of Mrs Marie McConomy in the intensive care unit of Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) on Monday afternoon shortly after she had given doctors permission to turn off her 11-year-old son Stephen's life support system.

The desperate three-day bedside vigil of parents and relatives ended at approximately 5pm that night when Stephen died several minutes after tubes were disengaged by medical staff. Neuro-surgeons were unable to operate on Stephen because of the extensive damage caused to his brain and since Saturday had informed his mother than it was only a matter of time before he died.

Stephen McConomy, the latest tragic victim of plastic bullets, is the tenth person to die of fatal injuries since the introduction of plastic bullets in 1975 as the major riot control weapon. He is also the seventh person to die since April last year when plastic bullets were extensively used during the hunger-strike as a form of terrorising the nationalist community off the streets, being deliberately used in non-riot situations on women and children.

An Phoblacht, 22 April

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An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1
Ireland
 

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