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Northern Ireland: Sentencing due in Aidan McAnespie Troubles case

Former soldier David Holden found guilty of manslaughter in November 2022

Sentencing expected Friday 27 January (11am) - McAnespie family and Amnesty to hold press conference outside Laganside Court

The former Grenadier Guardsman David Holden is due to be sentenced on Friday (27 January, 11am) for the manslaughter of Aidan McAnespie. The McAnespie family and Amnesty International UK will hold a press conference outside Laganside Court immediately after the sentence has been handed down.

Holden was found guilty of manslaughter on 25 November 2022, after the judge found he gave a “deliberately false account” of events. Aidan McAnespie, 23 years old, was killed while on his way to a Gaelic football match in 1988.

The sentencing comes as the highly controversial and widely-opposed Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill returns to the House of Lords next week (31 January) for further deliberation. If passed, the bill will introduce a de facto amnesty for serious crimes committed during the Northern Ireland conflict, permanently denying other victims and their families justice.

The bill has been firmly rejected by victims and victims’ rights groups, Amnesty, Northern Ireland political parties and the Irish government, as well as prompting serious concern from the US Congress, the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights, UN Special Rapporteurs, and the Council of Europe Commissioner on Human Rights.

Press conference

Who Vincent, Sean, Margo and Gerard McAnespie, and Brian Gormley - siblings and cousin of Aidan McAnespie, along with Grainne Teggart, Amnesty International UK’s Deputy Director for Northern Ireland, and Solicitor Darragh Mackin of Phoenix Law.


  • 10:45am: Photo opportunity as McAnespie family, Amnesty and solicitor arrive at court
  • 11am: Sentence handed down. Press conference afterwards.

When: Friday 27 January 2023, starting at 10:45am

Where: Outside Laganside Court, 45 Donegal Quay, Belfast BT1 3LL        

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