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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Executed Limerick WW1 solder to be pardoned

300 British and Irish soldiers including a Limerick man executed for cowardice during World War I are set to be pardoned, the UK’s defense ministry has said.

Limerick man Patrick Joseph Downey was one of 26 Irish men executed. He was executed after disobeying an order during the war.

The UK government has expressed regret for the executions in recent years, but has rejected several campaigns to have the soldiers officially pardoned, arguing that it is no longer possible to determine their guilt or innocence.

It is now thought that many of those shot for cowardice were suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after enduring months of artillery bombardment in the trenches.

The grand nephew of Patrick Joseph Downey, Christy Walsh says it is an emotional time for his family.

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