Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Call for probe into Belfast security force shootings

The Irish government has been asked to back a campaign highlighting the shooting dead of 11 people by security forces in west Belfast in 1971.

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams and bereaved relatives met the Irish government's Justice Minister Dermot Ahern yesterday for talks on the campaign to uncover the truth about the deaths.

The Ballymurphy Massacre Group is lobbying for an inquiry and a public apology into the shooting dead of 11 people by British soldiers in the days following the introduction of internment.

The deaths came during a tense period in the history of the Troubles when security forces arrested and imprisoned republican suspects without trial, but also rounded-up large numbers of people who had no political links.

The Sinn Fein leader said that the families came together ten years ago to establish the truth surrounding their loved ones' deaths.

"There has never been any acceptance of what occurred," said Mr Adams.

"Since then they have been campaigning for the truth."

He said Mr Ahern had listened to the families concerns and agreed to brief the Irish government on the killings.

"The families briefed him on their campaign and sought the Irish government's support," said Mr Adams.

"The families made a very cogent and compelling case."

The killings were blamed on the Parachute Regiment and relatives have said the cases were never properly investigated.

They now want the details properly probed and are demanding a public apology.

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