Belfast Telegraph

Ballymurphy families demand inquiry

The bereaved families of 10 people shot dead by British soldiers have appealed to Taoiseach Enda Kenny to support their calls for an independent investigation.

Relatives of those killed in the Ballymurphy shootings in west Belfast 40 years ago submitted a letter of petition to the Department of the Taoiseach.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams was at the Dail to support campaigners - who have also sent letters to Britain's Downing Street and Northern Ireland's Stormont to coincide with Human Rights Week.

Briege Voyle, who was 14 when her mother Joan Connolly was killed, said the families were calling for no more than what they were entitled to. She said: "We don't want an inquiry that goes on and costs thousands of pounds.

"All we want is the truth and an investigation is the only thing that's going to give us the truth. The law states that everyone is entitled to an investigation, especially in a killing. Our loved ones were murdered, so we're only asking for what we're entitled to."

Mrs Voyle said while an investigation would not change the past, it might prove those killed in August 1971 by the Parachute Regiment were innocent.

Mrs Connolly, a mother-of-eight, was shot in the face while she tried to help another victim and the parish priest Father Hugh Mullan.

Families want an investigation similar to the Saville Inquiry to prove the victims were not paramilitaries and were unlawfully killed.

The Savile Inquiry condemned the Bloody Sunday shootings of 14 people in Londonderry, which were carried out five months after the Ballymurphy Massacre by the same regiment. It declared the killings were unjustified and prompted the British Government to issue an apology.

Northern Ireland's Attorney General John Larkin wrote to the Ballymurphy families last month confirming inquests into the deaths would be reopened. Campaigners believe that had a criminal investigation been carried out and the Parachute Regiment held to account, Bloody Sunday could have been prevented.

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