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Assembly rejects call for probe into killings

By Michael McHugh

Published 10/11/2015

Mike Nesbitt
Mike Nesbitt

A call for a Hillsborough-style investigation into the Ballymurphy shootings by soldiers in Belfast has been rejected by the Assembly.

MLAs voted by 48-44 against Sinn Fein's motion.

It requested Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers join the Irish government in supporting a probe into the killings in 1971 when 10 people were shot dead.

Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt said he opposed the motion with regret, bearing in mind what happened to the Ballymurphy families.

"For us it is time to stop the piecemeal approach."

The former victim's commissioner said truth and justice was just one of the needs of victims and survivors. He said acknowledgement and reconciliation is something that must challenge everybody.

Ten people, including a Catholic priest and a mother of eight, were killed during three days of gunfire involving members of the Parachute Regiment in August 1971. Another man died of a heart attack following an alleged violent confrontation with the troops.

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