Bally Murphy Families Outraged By British Government Response

Posted By: April 29, 2014

 Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Ballymurphy Massacre Families have expressed their outrage at the British
Government’s response to their call for an independent panel to be established to
investigate the Ballymurphy Massacre in 1971.

The Independent Panel proposal, which has been presented to both the British and
Irish governments, is based on the model used to investigate the Hillsborough
tragedy.  However, in a meeting with a representative from the NIO, on behalf of the
secretary of state for Northern Ireland, Teresa Villiers, the families were informed
that the British Government would not be supporting their proposal.

We, the Ballymurphy families, are shocked and outraged at the British Government’s
response, particularly in light of the support which has been rightly provided in
the Hillsborough case which includes supporting the legal costs of inquests.

The Ballymurphy Independent Panel proposal has already been endorsed by Sinn Fein ,
the SDLP, the Alliance Party, TDs and many MPs. Father Tim Bartlett speaking on
behalf of Catholic Church. has also backed the families as seen at our recent press
conference launching this proposal. The first fatality of the Ballymurphy Massacre
was our parish priest Fr Hugh Mullan. The Irish Government has also endorsed the
families calls for an independent panel - Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the families in
Dublin recently “that the Irish Government supports them, and is fully committed to
assisting them in their search for justice”.

We have led our campaign for truth and justice in a dignified but determined manner
and deserve the opportunity to have the innocence of our loved ones proven. We feel
that the Conservative led British Government is treating us in a disrespectful and
shameful manner. We have demonstrated flexibility in that our proposed approach is
not a “costly and lengthy public inquiry”. It is a tried, tested and cost effective

The families have a message for David Cameron. When will you stop harbouring the
murderers in the ranks of the British army? No-one should be above the law!  Are the
11 people  who lay in their graves of different worth because they are Irish
citizens .? We  families will not be deterred by this disgraceful decision, in fact
we will step up our campaign, shaming your government and your hypocritical
policies. We will not accept being treated like second class citizens. Let’s be
perfectly clear, you haven't seen the last of the Ballymurphy Families. It is
inexcusable in a country that claims to be a democracy that there has never been an
investigation into the murder of 11 innocent civilians in Ballymurphy in August

Successive governments have ignored this atrocity and attempted to pervert the
course of justice. All they have offered is a desktop review of the 11 cases through
the HET even though Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) condemned the
HET policies and practices as "illegal,"

The Ballymurphy Massacre Committee received a letter from the Historical Enquiries
Team (HET) last summer announcing that it has suspended its "reviews" of cases
involving the British Army due to the damning report by HMIC. As the HET letter to
the Ballymurphy families indicates, there is NOW NO MECHANISM through which the
British State is dealing with Army murders in Ballymurphy. So how will we get to the

We have said in the past David Cameron’s Government is treating victims of state
violence families in the north of Ireland as second class citizens, today he has
proven that to be true. Shame on you David!

Our legal representative, Padraig Ó Muirigh is considering a judicial review against
the decision by the British Secretary of State to refuse the establishment of an
Independent Panel.