Ballymurphy Massacre Families meet to discuss the UVF statement claiming it was involved in the Massacre.

Posted By: May 05, 2018

Belfast. Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Families are skeptical about the timing of the statement so close to the inquests starting in September. Why did the UVF not claim this at the time of the Ballymurphy Massacre, why have they come out now with a statement? If there is Ballistic evidence in the form of a rifle its needs to be provided to the coroner so that ballistics checks can be carried out. All information no matter where it comes from needs to be provided to the coroner immediately. The focus still remains the tracing of soldiers who murdered our loved ones.

Full reaction from Families below.


John Teggart son of Danny Teggart, ” I am skeptical about the story that has been put out to the media, the families got together at short notice and had discussed it. Questions need to be asked about the motivation of the UVF. We are heading into the inquests in September, and for ourselves the statement said the veterans from the UVF, we are also concerned about the veterans of the British army the paratroopers, we don’t want to take the focus off who shot our loved ones, the evidence that we have put forward to the coroner’s court is that the paratroopers shot our loved ones and that is where the focus needs to go back on. What we need to do is ask questions, who is this person? Is he alive? Has he made a statement before? And any evidence that there needs to be put to the coroner’s court, if there is a rifle there for ballistics, there are ongoing tests being done for ballistics at the coroners preparing for the inquests in September, and that would be welcomed to get in now. It is obviously, deflective. It’s the UVF: they are not doing the Ballymurphy families any favors. Their intention isn’t to help the Ballymurphy families or help anybody for that matter. It’s a paramilitary force, so anything they have said is going to be dubious. It is going to be skeptical to the families, and if there is anything there, they need to forward it to the coroner’s court so that we can get ready for the inquest. This won’t derail the inquest starting in September. The families and the coroner are determined to get these things done in time. The main problem, at the moment, is the tracing.  We have trouble with the tracing of soldiers, and if there is any help out there —that can bring these soldiers forward who have made statements that they murdered our loved ones and branded them, gunmen— we would welcome that also. Coroner Keegan has stated that she wants the inquests started on time. If there is any ballistic evidence, as said in the UVF statement, they need to pass that onto the coroner. There is an ongoing review of ballistics, preparing for the case, and that can be done in that time as we are preparing for the inquest in September. Our inquests won’t be derailed, and coroner Keegan stated that herself. This is to muddy the waters. It is a delaying tactic by the UVF and the MOD, delaying tactics by what they are calling veterans, delaying tactics up till now and we are ready for it. It’s a bit of a shock what we have heard up to now, but we have some concern. However, at the same time,, the families are a resilient group, and we will take whatever positives out of it that we can, and carry on preparing work for the inquests in September which we know will be on track.”


Pat Quinn brother of Frank Quinn said, ” I feel just a wee bit shocked, once again, after all these years there is always something that comes in front of us, things come out and try to derail us and I just feel I was just numbed a bit now, it has just hit me now. Why does this thing come at this time in the middle of trying to get this inquest set up? All our families after 47 years and then all of a sudden this story comes out, why was it not brought out years ago, why did they not come forward years ago? To me, I don’t know if it’sts dirty tricks, or a publicity stunt or what? I haven’t a clue. I know it has shocked us, but the military and the MOD have been stalling for long enough. We have asked them to get these soldiers traced, and they won’t do it. They were told in the court a couple of weeks ago, and they were brought to book about it, now it seems that this has come out all of a sudden after a couple of days, it seems to me that it’s muddying the waters. There have been campaigns by these veterans’ groups who have put out information to soldiers not to give any information, and this is to muddy the waters because the MOD doesn’t want this to come out. There are constituencies in England and Britain who don’t want this to come out— that their soldiers could do this [shooting innocent, unarmed civilians], they thought it was only Derry it was done in. But it was done in Ballymurphy, and it’s been done in the New Lodge, and it been done in Springhill. They must be getting a bit jumpy at the minute. Why is it just being brought at this time, 47 years later? It is very dubious. I am resolute that the evidence will come out on the day. If these people have information, tell them to bring it forward, tell them to come

out with it, tell them to make a statement on it. That’s what we want to hear. Tell them to do it.”


Solicitor for the families Padraig O’Muirigh made this statement: “The focus of the preliminary Hearing last week was around the military’s  failure to meet their obligations to the Inquest —in particular, the failure to trace soldiers and that has been a big focus of our campaign and at the last Hearing. The coroner had set clear directions for that issue to be resolved, and we question now— given that we are only several months away from the Inquests—why we have this development, which could be seen as a distraction to that. The Ballymurphy Inquests are due to start on September 10 this year, so we are a matter of a few months away from the commencement of the inquests. These families have waited 47 years for that Inquest, the original Inquests were deeply flawed, and we are concerned that this might be a development that might derail the commencement of the Inquests. We don’t know much more about the information than we have seen in the media and online. There is a reference to potential ballistic developments, there is a Ballistic review currently underway by the coroner, this matter should be addressed immediately, and it should be brought to the coroner, and it should be part of that Ballistic review which is due to complete before the inquest begins. We have learned very little today. We simply have a statement. We don’t have evidence. Any of the information that has come forward should be produced in a statement and be provided to the coroner. [Then] we would be able to review that statement in advance of the inquest. The reference to the potential around ballistics, the rifle, again, that needs to be brought to the attention of the Coroner immediately, so that can be reviewed as part of the ongoing ballistic review.

This isn’t the first time that Loyalist gunmen have been referenced in relation to Ballymurphy, so it’s not a complete shock to the families. It is very unclear what this evidence, or what this information, is —so it’s too early to give any clear response to it. We would simply urge that the information is brought to the coroner immediately and is acted on. Any information or any evidence about Ballymurphy should be brought forward as a matter of urgency regardless of where that comes from, and the MOD need to fulfill their obligations. It is very clear their own soldiers say they shot people in Ballymurphy. We have their statements, but we don’t have many of the soldiers traced, so it’s incumbent on the MOD, as well, to respond to this and to fulfill their obligations to this Inquest and indeed anyone else who has information or evidence to do so, and to do so, very quickly, given the proximity to the Inquest. We have only received this information in the last hour, and we have gathered as many family members together as quickly as possible to speak to them. This is out of the blue; we didn’t receive any notice of this before the news broke, so we are trying to react to that. We need to find out more information, at this stage, it is very vague but there is a skepticism, there is a concern, as well, about the timing and motivation of this.”