Ballymurphy Massacre Families meet shadow secretary of state for Northern Ireland Vernon Coake MP.

Posted By: December 24, 2015

 The Ballymurphy Massacre Families today  met the Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Vernon Coaker MP in West Belfast during a two day visit.  During the meeting family membesr were able to update Mr Coaker of the recent developments in the campaign including new evidence in the form of a report by Laurence Rocke retired A&E consultant who told the Connolly family that if their mother Joan had received adequate medical treatment at the time she may have survived her injuries. The quashing of Terry Laverty’s conviction for riotous behaviour, proving that there was no riot situation as was said at the time when his brother John and Mr Corr were murdered on 11th August 1971.
Families also updated the Shadow Secretary of State on the current situation of the exhumation of Mr Joseph Murphy, highlighting the extent that families have to go to get to the truth.  The body of a Mr Murphy exhumed after more than 40 years will not be reburied until questions about the circumstances of his death are answered. Janet Donnelly said: “At least we are not going to reinter him and say we missed something. It is better to do it now while he has been exhumed so that we can cover all the ground and make sure that nothing is missed.
The meeting was a very constructive meeting, Mr Coaker who had meet with families on two previous occasions reiterated his parties continued support for the Ballymurphy Campaign and in particular their call for an Independent Investigation Panel .  He has undertaken to lobby on behalf of families and will arrange a meeting with the Labour Party Leader Jeremy Crobyn at his earliest convenience.
He promised to raise the Ballymurphy issue with his counterpart Teresa Villiers who has not met with families despite several requests.
Speaking after the meeting Briege Voyle the daughter of Joan Connolly said that it was a positive meeting, the Shadow Secretary of state has agreed to undertake a number of actions on behalf of the families, she stressed the importance of the implementation of the Independent Panel proposal in light of the fact that there was no agreement on dealing with the past or mechanisms to achieve truth and justice. Briege added that all victims of the conflict deserve truth and justice not just us.

Paul Maskey west Belfast MP supporting the families at todays meeting “stated that the meeting today with the Ballymurphy Families and the British Shadow Secretary of State Vernon Coaker this morning was a positive one.
The meeting occurred after a number of conversations I’ve had recently with Vernon about the Ballymurphy families.
There were a number of action points from today’s meeting and I look forward to a positive working relationship in the near future between the families and the British Shadow Secretary of State.
The families have worked tirelessly for over 40 years to get justice for their loved ones and will continue until they do. That is the clear message they have told everyone they have met and we all must ensure we do all we can to shorten that process. That’s why today’s meeting was important but more importantly is the action points that came from it are delivered”.