Two male suspects have been arrested in connection with the murder of a Catholic teenager in Belfast over three decades ago.
Both suspects are being questioned in relation to the shooting dead of 19-year-old Eileen Doherty in September 1973. The teenager was shot dead by loyalist gunmen who hijacked the Belfast taxi she as traveling in.
Ms Doherty was returning from visiting a friend during the height of the Northern Ireland troubles. After the 1970’s killing, police insisted she was the victim of a random sectarian murder.
The arrests were made in Newtownards, Co.Down and south Belfast. The two men, both 53, are being questioned at the PSNI’s crime suite in Antrim.
The cold case was re-opened three months ago following a review by the police’s specialist Historical Enquiries Team (HET).
Ms Doherty called the Atlas Taxi depot at around 10.45pm on September 30th 1973, to get a lift home to her house in Andersonstown in west Belfast.
She agreed to share the cab with two men, who were in their 20s and were traveling to Finaghy.
The two men, who appeared to be drunk, sat in the back of the taxi while the teenager sat in the front.
Shortly after the taxi set off the two men produced a gun and ordered the driver to stop the blue Chrysler car they were travelling in.
Ms Doherty and the driver managed to run away but became trapped by a wire fence close to the River Lagan.
The two men chased the pair and while the taxi driver escaped, they caught Ms Doherty at the Annadale Embankment and proceeded to shoot her three times in the head and body. She was later rushed to hospital but died a short time after.
Following the re-opening of the case Ms Doherty’s family released a statement saying: "Eileen was murdered 37-years-ago but she has always been in our thoughts…The pain of losing a loved one in circumstances like this never goes away. Eileen had her whole life in front of her and it is a sin that it was taken from her. We knew that the historical enquiries team was looking at Eileen’s case but this development is a surprise. We hope police can get somewhere with it.”