Calls for ‘Ballymurphy massacre’ inquiry rejected by assembly

Posted By: November 10, 2015

Irish News(Belfast). Tuesday,November 10, 2015

 Relatives of 10 people shot dead by British soldiers in Ballymurphy in 1971 have called for a Hillsborough-style inquiry 
A call for a Hillsborough-style investigation into the Ballymurphy shootings by British soldiers has been rejected by the assembly.

MLAs voted by 48-44 against Sinn Féin’s motion.

It requested Secretary of State Theresa Villiers join the Irish government in supporting a probe into the killings in 1971 when 10 people were shot dead.

Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt said he opposed the motion with regret, bearing in mind what happened to the Ballymurphy families.

“For us it is time to stop the piecemeal approach,” he said.

The former victims commissioner said truth and justice was just one of the needs of victims and survivors. He said acknowledgement and reconciliation is something that must challenge everybody.

He referred to the Stormont House talks on dealing with decades of violence.

“I hope we can find a better and fairer way forward over the next number of days.”

Ten people, including a Catholic priest and a mother-of-eight, were killed during three days of gunfire involving members of the Parachute Regiment in August 1971. 

Another man died of a heart attack following an alleged violent confrontation with the troops in the west Belfast estate.

Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney said the Ballymurphy families had been failed by the state.

“There is absolutely no doubt that those families seeking the truth won’t be put off and in my opinion they should be supported,” he said.

“The Ballymurphy families have asked for nothing more and deserve nothing less than the truth.”

A total of 96 Liverpool supporters died in the Hillsborough Football Stadium tragedy.