CRITICAL new evidence is to be released on Friday, on the 49th anniversary of the murder of a West Belfast schoolgirl.

13-year-old Martha Campbell was walking along Springhill Crescent with a friend when she was shot in the face and killed on May 14,1972.

No organisation admitted to killing Martha and her murder remains one of a small number of child killings which lies unclaimed to this day. 

The report, The Murder of Martha Campbell, Schoolgirl, has been compiled by the charity Paper Trail (Legacy Archive Research) and will feature previously unpublished evidence which the charity has discovered in secret British Army files written in the hours after the killing. 

It is understood the new evidence will overturn a report by the Historic Enquiries Team (HET) which previously concluded that there was no evidence to place the British Army in Moyard Park at the time Martha was shot.

Martha's brother, Tony Campbell

Martha's brother, Tony Campbell

The launch of the report by Paper Trail is one of a number of events to commemorate the life of Martha Campbell. 

On Saturday the staff of Ó Muirigh Solicitors are taking part in a sponsored ‘Walk for Martha' and have already raised 74 per cent of a £5,000 target to pay for Expert Witness Reports to support the family’s application for a new inquest. The new evidence will also feature in the legal application.

Martha’s brother, Tony Campbell, said the new evidence must be considered by the Attorney General to grant a new inquest into Martha's murder. 

“The evidence has been kept from the family for 49 years and some family members have passed away without knowing the truth," he added. "How many more years must pass before we get the truth? The Campbell family deserve closure so that we can finally let Martha rest in peace."

Ciarán MacAirt of Paper Trail said: “Martha was murdered 49 years ago and her killers have yet to admit that they shot her dead – never mind face justice in court. 

“The family’s new report will feature previously unpublished evidence which may tell us why this is the case."