Ballymurphy Massacre families angry at ‘snub by Haass’

Posted By: January 16, 2014


An Phoblacht. December 2013.

Christmas vigil for 11 killed by British Army Parachute Regiment in 1971

 The 11 victims – including a local priest and a mother of eight – were killed by the British Army in a 36-hour period following the introduction of internment without trial on 9 August 1971

THE FAMILIES of 11 people killed in 1971 by British Army paratroopers in Belfast what is known as the Ballymurphy Massacre said at their annual Christmas vigil that they are angry at US envoy Richard Haass’s failure to meet them.


The 11 – including a local priest and a mother of eight – were killed by the British Army in a 36-hour period following the introduction of internment without trial on 9 August 1971.


The American talks facilitator was in Ireland two weeks ago and met the North’s main political parties, the Orange Order, relatives of the Bloody Sunday dead and other focus groups. But, Ballymurphy Massacre spokesperson John Teggart said, he ignored the Ballymurphy families.


At their Mass and vigil this week, the campaign group reiterated its call for an inquiry into the killings.


Earlier this year, responding to the refusal of successive British governments to hold an inquiry into the massacre, the families outlined their plans for a probe headed by former Police Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan on the lines of the ‘Hillsborough Disaster Inquiry’ into the deaths of 96 Liverpool football fans in 1989.


A large crowd attended the 4 December Mass which was followed by a candlelight procession through Ballymurphy that ended with a vigil at the area’s Garden of Remembrance.


Family and friends of five people killed in the nearby Springhill/Westrock area also took part in the procession, as did representatives of  the 15 people killed in the McGurk’s bar bombing, the 42nd anniversary of which fell on 4 December.